Schedules, just like routines, will go a long way to keeping everyone on the same page and on time. Start talking about schedules two to three weeks before the start of classes to help ease the back-to-school transition.
Establish a location for a family master calendar -- either paper or electronic -- that everyone can look at. As children get older, they can help to keep the calendar updated.
If it's a paper calendar, post it on a magnetic strip or bulletin board near the kitchen.
If your calendar is computer based, place a laptop in a central location. When you get the school calendar, add all the important events for each child to a master calendar, including school holidays and half days.
Avoid scheduling dentist and doctor appointments on test days. And plan chores by the week or month, and keep a chore chart or calendar so everyone knows who is responsible for what.