It's a sight that will be encountered often, starting today in Cedar Rapids and Marion, and over the coming days elsewhere. Students entering the lots and hallways of schools everywhere for their first day of class for the year.

It's a bittersweet feeling for both parents and students. Summer is over. No more trips to the pool. Family time will become more scarce.

It can be nice as a parent to enjoy some "you time", assuming you have any even after they go back to school, between your own job, shuttling them to their practices and making sure they are doing their homework. Knowing the kids are busy and productive all day can bring peace of mind, but it can also drive a parent stir crazy after a summer of having them around all the time.

One friend of mine who is a parent said, regarding the pros and cons of the first day of school:

Best part is having a solid few hours to get things done and/ or have some time to myself. Worst part is panicking because I don't even know where to begin and will probably just spend hours liking friends' 1st day of school pictures and reading terrible news.

I also heard from another parent who said:

Shelling out the bucks for clothes fees, PTO donations before and after care, supplies etc. All of my birthdays and stuff follow this and then Christmas so I will be broke for the next 4 months

Parade magazine offers some good tips on getting re-acclimated to the school year routine, including planning out your family dinners for at least the first week--things will be hectic and you won't have time to scramble on that at the last minute. They also suggest having a designated drop-off area in the home for keys, change and a handy spot to hang up coats, bags and sports uniforms right near the front or back door to keep them organized and accessible as you need them.

So what do you as parents--and students too--think about the best and worst parts of back-to-school time? Share your thoughts in the comments.

[Via Parade]