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Sunday , 7 March 2021
happy young teacher woman at elementrary school teaching and giving leassons to group of young smart children

Mental health checklist for back to school: Northern Lights

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

Northern Light back to school mental health checklist.

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!

Schedule childcare

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.

Organize yourself

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?

Celebrate summer

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.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.