Ten Tips to Prepare Kids for Back to School

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As the province returns to in-person learning this fall, here are some tips to help you and your child prepare for the school year ahead.

  1. Visit this page for recommendations, visuals, videos and social stories to talk to your child about what school may look like this year.
  2. Remind your child about social distancing at school. For school age children, you may want to make arrows and spots around the house to practice social distancing rules or read this social story together.
  3. Practice hand washing, good hygiene and mask wearing.
  4. Encourage your child to voice their feelings (positive and/or concerning) about back to school. Listen to them intently, provide encouragement and support, and if your child show signs of anxiety, check out these tips. Be aware that your child may pick up on your own uncertainties and concerns about the return to school. If your child is transitioning to kindergarten, high school or post-secondary, check out these tips to ease worries.
  5. Create a dedicated and quiet learning space, as well as a consistent time for your child to do homework. Contact your child’s teacher if you feel your child is struggling with the curriculum or other issues at school such as social emotional learning, peers, etc.
  6. Let your child pick their backpack and lunch bag at the store or online, then encourage them to pick healthy snacks and practice opening containers and unzipping/zipping the bag. Take a picnic to the local park to rehearse for the big day!
  7. Re-establish a bedtime routine. You may have to do this gradually each night leading up to the first day of school.
  8. Practice the school morning routine – set an alarm, eat breakfast, pick lunch, pack school bag, get to school (bus, taxi, walk, etc.).
  9. Help your child connect with school friends virtually or organize a socially distanced playdate. Try these fun activities to work on therapy goals while having fun with friends.
  10. Every year may take some adjustment and this year may be more. Work with your child's team to help you determine any requirements to make back-to-school less stressful, more enjoyable for your child and your family.
Good luck this September!

Thank you to the CTN Service Planning Coordinators for helping to create this list for families.