Take charge of the 2020/2021 school year with these helpful ideas.

As much as we’d like to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and get back to normal, the health and safety of our community are most important.

Due to current events, our school district has determined that Duvall students will be returning to remote learning this school year and will remain learning remotely until changes are able to safely be made in the future.

The good news is our schools are much better prepared for remote learning this new school year! This, coupled with engaging the 5 tips featured below, we anticipate that you and your family can have a great experience this new school year.

1. Design a flexible school week schedule incorporating routines and a daily plan.

The more uncertainty that seeps into our lives, the more powerful a schedule becomes.

Sit down with your family and create a schedule for the week outlining important due dates, meetings with teachers, and general blocks of time dedicated to schoolwork. Don’t forget to include time in the day for daily routines, like showering and brushing teeth, meal times, walking the dog, and general chores or tasks.

In addition to a weekly schedule, start the day by writing a daily plan complete with achievable tasks. For your kids, this may be assignments or reading. For you, it may be returning emails or checking in with a coworker.

The real trick to making a schedule work is to keep it flexible and make changes as needed. A daily schedule or routine should be guidelines rather than hard rules.

2. Use a timer app to help motivate focused learning sessions and remind you to take breaks.

Timers are a wonderful tool for increasing productivity while also decreasing stress or frustration. You and your kids can really benefit from having structured focus times as well as regular breaks.

A classic approach to this is the Pomodoro technique of 25 minutes of dedicated focus followed by a short 5-minute break. After four rounds of focus, you then take a long break for 20 to 30 minutes. You can play around with these numbers, increasing or decreasing allotted focus and break times depending on what suits you and your kids.

You can find Pomodoro-style apps online as well as on your phone.

3. When things don’t go well remind yourself that bad days can help your family grow.

Consider the thought that bad days aren’t always that bad. Sometimes it comes down to how we choose to perceive a less than ideal day.

Being realistic, families will probably be experiencing some rough days as they return to remote learning, especially for the first month or two. When this happens, remind yourself that one bad day may feel defeating, but rarely does one bad day have a significant effect in the grand scheme of things.

Reflect on what happened that didn’t go quite right and think of how you can avoid the same problem in the future. Then let the negativity go and appreciate the fact you were able to spend a day with your family.

4. Change your perspective from being your kids’ teacher to being their helper.

The pressure of trying to be a teacher as well as a parent, spouse, employee, or business owner, is a lot to take. If you find yourself in this predicament, reconsider your label as your kids’ teacher and shift your perspective to being your kids’ helper.

The mind is powerful and the way we think of ourselves has a significant effect. By thinking of yourself as helping or assisting your kids rather than teaching them, you’re allowing yourself to let go of the responsibility and stress that comes with actually being a teacher.

For example, if a coworker asks you to teach them something you don’t know a lot about, you may feel unprepared, reluctant, and stressed. However, if a coworker asks you to help them with a project, your perspective changes because you’re now working together as a team.

5. Control the things within your power and be merciless at ignoring whatever doesn’t benefit you or your family.

It’s obvious that not everything can be controlled in life, but it can really be a tough thing to truly accept. After all, the things we can’t control are the things that bother us the most.

As you navigate this new school year, remind yourself that you can’t always control whether Zoom works, you can’t always control how your kids feel, and you can’t always control whether the day goes exactly how you planned.

But you can control having healthy meals for dinner, you can control dedicated family time, and you can control how you choose to react to obstacles in your path. Focus on the positives as much as you can.

The Duvall Dental Center team wishes you and your family a productive and stress-free school year.

With many of our team members being parents, we’re right there with our fellow Duvall families as they navigate the ups and downs of the new school year. We wish you nothing but the best and our doors are open for whatever dental care needs your family may encounter.

If you or one of your kids is due for an exam, give our office a call to book an appointment. A visit to the dentist can be a great way to sneak in quiet time for parents—whether you want to zone out during your cleaning or have some time to relax while your kids are in safe hands at their appointment.