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Back To School (Part 2)

First days at nursery, preschool, primary or secondary school, college or university; nothing changes that dreaded feeling in the pit of your stomach whether you are the parent, child or the teacher. We have some secondary school mums and a primary school teacher giving us their top tips for you to get ready and in that back to school mindset!

Kelly, an experienced Learning Support Assistant currently running Sounds Right Phonics Classes for Chelmsford and mum of two, “This year feels like a big milestone for us, our youngest, Joe is joining his big brother Tom at Secondary School! Joe is now 11 and definitely ready for the challenge of high school and I’m excited for all the opportunities that he has ahead of him and he can’t wait to be at school with his big brother.  I’ve certainly noticed the difference this year with the boys and the holidays. They didn’t demand to be entertained daily and weren’t so interested in the days out I suggested like we used to. I’m not sure if that’s because we had a holiday at the start of August but they seemed to be happy just chilling at home or hanging out with friends.



What I love most about the summer holidays is the break in routine. We eat when we’re hungry and sleep when tired but then, by week 4 I’m itching to get back to normality! I’m nowhere near as productive when I feel like I have tomorrow to do it. I’m so lucky in doing the job I do that I get the holidays off. I’m much better with my time when I have less of it!   

The last couple of weeks of the summer I still have a relaxed approach to our days but with a bit more structure. By implementing an earlier set bedtime and starting your day at 7am a week or two before returning to school, the days naturally set into a routine. Our bodies are back to eating and sleeping when we need to and it means that not only is that first day back to school easier but everyone’s moods are a lot better after a good night’s sleep.

 Well Kelly, I think we would all agree that a break in the routine is fun for little bit but let’s face it, most of us need that routine back in our lives in order to have time to focus on the important things, to make more time for those special moments. That’s actually the YOLO ethos; get organised; own your day; be more you! Back in a routine doesn’t necessarily mean the craziness goes away, it just means you need to be more on top of it! And that means your you time can get lost. Take five mins out of your day to use our beautiful Bedside Book to focus on you, reinforcing that positive mindset and resetting your spirit for the next day.

Amy, a primary school teacher and Year One mum, “The summer holiday end-date all of a suddenly looms on the horizon and the first priority is then my classroom, figuring out how the classroom will be laid out for the new class, setting up the book-bag and peg station, gathering workbooks, scrounging stationery and making freshly-backed display boards. Then I move onto the creative stuff that I love doing – a new theme in my book corner, an interactive science table, figuring out challenge activities.

 My main tip would be it’s all about making lists, so you don’t get too overwhelmed. My other tip would be to be mindful of your child’s emotions as you head towards the new term. It’s a lot for them to process so expect the first week’s inevitable tired tears. And as I endlessly hunt the classroom for misplaced jumpers and hats, any parent that’s used those sticky name-tags immediately goes to the top of my teacher’s pet list!”

Here at YOLO, we ADORE a list. We would make a list for our list if we could. That’s why we have added so many To Do and Notes pages in our stationery, a list is nothing if not handy. If you would like to hear about how co-founder Sarah has honed her technique for list-making, take a look at her FB Live video ….

Launching TIPS ON TUESDAY! Listen in for this week's tip in how to get and stay organised.

Posted by YOLO on Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Sara, owner of Flitch Nails and Beauty and mum of three with her eldest starting secondary school, “To get myself ready for the school chaos I usually spend an entire day prepping, taking the new uniforms out the packets, washing and ironing what needs to be done, getting the school bags prepped with the appropriate stationery and book requirements (not just what the kids want in there!). I spend some time ensuring that all the term dates, parents’ evenings, sports days and school events are in my diary – this year will be the start of double that info! Our secondary school applies some online apps for trip payments, lunch money and homework so they need to be set up and understood.  

My top tip (borrowed from a friend who has tried and tested this method already!) is to set up 5 of those magazine or file holders, label them from Monday to Friday and once you have the class timetable, we will spend some time organising his books into the correct ‘Day Organiser’. The theory is that each night he can then pack his bag with the correct books for the following day, that responsibility will be on him to check and know his schedule and hopefully put him in good stead for keeping organised! Plus it will help his physical health because he won’t need to be lugging around a bunch of books he doesn’t need!”

The thing we love second to a list is a top organisational tip, and we think that’s a great one! And it doesn’t need to apply to just school work, we use this to organise our dining room storage … ahem we mean our home offices! Easy to set, effective, and simple enough for a child to use, literally. We might even be able to persuade our husbands to get on board with it!


31st August 2018

Thanks to guest bloggers Kelly Monksfield, Amy Turtle and Sara Sexton for their time and words.





Photo Credit: Jon Holloway Photography

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Back to School (Part One)
Women In Business : Interview with Jodie Gray
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