It's time to start making the transitions BEFORE school year starts, so your kids have time to adjust. Start the routine a few days early, by getting bed time back to a normal time. Turn the clock back 10 minutes to make waking up a little easier - of course, don't tell them! ;)
If you can, try to meet the teacher(s) before school starts. Many teachers are in their rooms each day the week before school starts. (I know my MIL is already in hers several hours a day, and they don't go back until August 25th!) This helps cut down on some of the anxieties, and gives your child a familiar face.
After school activities tend to rule the home. Try color coding activities on a calender so you can see if there are conflicts and fix the times if possible. Try not to plan a lot of things the first week of school, so everyone can settle back into the routines.
Designate an area near the door for everyone's "important" things such as cell phone charger, keys, backpacks, change for lunch etc. Have the kids involved! You can even make a homework station in this area if you have the space there. If you do this, remember it's important that they have a clean work surface with extra supplies.
When it comes to school supplies, let your kids pick as much as they want when it comes to the style. (Well, I suppose as long as it is isn't offensive or doesn't get them in trouble at school!!)
Many school supplies don't go bad - since you never seem to have enough loose leaf notebook paper or pencils, stock up at the beginning of the year when they are very cheap. Otherwise, you'll end up paying 4 to 5 times the price later in the year! Don't worry about paper, pens, etc, because these are items that kids can use from year to year. While designs may change, they are still functional and your kids can use them at least at home to do homework if they don't want to take them to school.
A good, safe backpack is a must. Look for wide straps, a chest or hip straps, and when it's loaded it should not weigh more than 10 to 20% of your child's body weight.
By the way, a comment was made at the end about homeschoolers not being socialized/learning enough, and I want to say that I disagree vehemently. My including these tips in my blog is not an endorsement of those thoughts personally since obviously I am very pro-homeschooling. (and the comment was not endorsed by OfficeMax, either)
I didn't receive anything for this post - I just viewed a free webcast and thought I would pass along some of the tips and ideas to help folks out.