Northern Lights Public Schools has released a mental health checklist for getting back into the school year swing.
Here are some things to consider in preparation for the upcoming school year.
Get back to a routine
About 1-2 weeks before school starts, gradually (15 minutes each day) move your child’s bedtime and wake up time back to what they will be during the school year.
Visit some professionals
Doctors, dentists, optometrists. Make sure your vaccine records, physicals, immunizations and eye appointments are up to date!
Give them the script
Talk about expectations-theirs and yours. Ask your child what their goals are for the second year. What are your rules about chores or homework and screen time? Remind them or create reasonable rules together.
Plan healthy meals and snacks
Involve your child in the process so they learn how to make healthy food choices. Brainstorm family dinner ideas, or fun lunch options. Your children can help plan, prepare and pack those lunches!
Are you a working parent and need before and/or after school care? Plan those arrangements now so everyone knows where they are going and what is happening.
Find some extracurricular activities
Sign up for fall sports and other after school activities. Research shows that getting kids involved in activities after school creates a sense of belonging and self-worth. Remember to maintain a balance between family time, school, and other activites.
Check for changes
Review what’s different from last year. Is your child going to a new school? Does your child have a new bus stop? Be proactive. Walk to the new bus stop, play on the school playground, come for a visit when school’s open on August 21, or call to set up a time to meet with members of your school team.
Get a calendar and then print and post school and extracurricular activities so you don’t miss any important dates. All of our schools have online calendars on their websites with information about upcoming school activities.
Meet your team
Meet teachers, coaches and program leaders. Take time to introduce yourself to teachers, coaches, and anyone else who will spend time with your child this year. Let them know the best way to reach you and share any important details about your child. What is your child’s strength? Where do they need extra support?
Have a good time with your family. Plan a few final family activities. Have a board game night, make smores, go for a swim in one of our beautiful local lakes or pools. Go see that movie you didn’t have time to see this summer, take a family bike ride or visit a local attraction like a park or museum. Be together.