LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 ways to prepare elementary-aged kids for school.

All month long we’re helping you get your kids ready for the upcoming school year – and now we’re talking about 1st through 5th graders. Elementary school is such a special time for kids, in fact, many growth development experts say, it’s one of the most important times of a child’s life and will shape their future.

As parents, we need to try our best to help them feel ready, prepared.. and excited. So, here are 6 things parents can do to get their kids ready to go when class begins:

*Begin a back-to-school bedtime routine. This should start at least a week or two before the first day of school. This means making sure bedtime is set, which will likely include other tasks, like brushing teeth and maybe even a bedtime story.

*Establish a solid morning routine. This should include a set wake-up time, a scheduled breakfast, and a ‘leave for school’ time.

*Go over the school calendar and add it to your family calendar.

*Take back control of any extra screen time allowances that were provided during the summer – and talk about school-year screen time restrictions.

*Go back-to-school shopping. Experts say when kids help to choose their own school supplies, clothes, backpack, or lunchbox — it’ll help increase their excitement about returning.

*Visit the school and classroom before the first day. This will help familiarize your child with where they will be, plus calm some nerves.

Now, once school starts – parents, you must stay involved. Experts say, the more mom and dad remain engaged as the school year goes along, the more engaged their children will be as well.