Family Back to School Mental Health Checklist

Getting ready to head back to school? This time of year can be very exciting, yet stressful. We want to help your family reduce some feelings of stress with the changing schedules, school supply lists, forms and registrations to fill out and new teachers to meet. Check out our Back to School Mental Health Checklist:

  1. Get back into 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. Need tips for helping your child get a good night’s sleep? The My Health Alberta website has some great information.

  2. Visit some professionals. Doctors, dentists, optometrists. Make sure your vaccine records, physicals, immunizations and eye appointments are up to date! 

  3. 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 schools open on August 21, or call to set up a time to meet with members of your school team. 

  4. 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.

  5. Give them the script. Talk about expectations-theirs and yours. Ask your child what their goals are for the school year. What are your rules about chores or homework and screen time? Remind them or create reasonable rules together.

  6. Plan for healthy meals & 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!

  7. Schedule child care. 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. 

  8. Find some extra. 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 balance between family time, school and other activities.

  9. 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? 

  10. 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.
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