After a long lockdown, British children returned to school at the beginning of September.
And, while it may be easier than homeschooling, staying organised can be difficult when you’re working hard and there’s so many things to remember.
If you've had to pick up more hours, or maybe you're working overtime, it can be hard to balance everything.
Especially if you have more than one school age child and find yourself forgetting things!
To help parents get more organised Daily Star Online spoke to famous YouTube family the Saccone Joly’s.
What's your top parenting tip? Let us know in the comments section…
Jonathan, 40, and Anna, 32, Saccone Joly have four kids and six dogs – plus, over 1.8 million subscribers.
It’s been ten years since the Irish couple started sharing their family friendly content featuring kids, Emilia, seven, Eduardo, five, Alessia, three, and Andrea, one.
Here are mum Anna’s top tips for handling the rush of school-life and saving some cash in the process:
Anna Saccone Joly’s top tips:
Put everything in the diary
Especially if you have more than one child heading back to school, sometimes it can feel like they need their own PAs!
As soon as you get any communication from the school about uniform/games kits, electives, after school activities etc, write it down and put it in the diary no matter how small the detail, otherwise you will probably forget about it.
We have so many diaries and a planner!
There’s a family calendar in the kitchen which is colour coded for each of us which really helps because it encourages the kids to get involved.
They can easily see what mum and dad are up to and all it takes is a quick glance for me to know what everyone’s doing.
In the evening, I plan on my Notes app for the next day.
If you’re struggling to fit everything in and feel that there simply aren’t enough hours, try this as an experiment; break up the day into half hour slots from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
Then, throughout the day, write out what you did in those half-hour slots.
I know it sounds extreme, but it completely transformed my life!
You need to be really regimented and honest with yourself, but I promise it is super illuminating and allows you to see where you could be using your time more effectively.
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Meal plan for the week
I do this year-round but especially during term time.
It keeps me to get organised and I save money as I avoid ‘shopping blind’ and grabbing last-minute takeaways.
I plan the family’s meals for the week ahead on Sunday, and this acts as a guide for when I do my big online shop.
I find shopping online really useful and schedule my deliveries for Monday mornings.
I plan lunches according to those of us who need it and of course dinners, but I don’t meal plan breakfast as this is usually cereal, porridge or wholemeal toast that we will always have in the house.
I do try to make sure that our family meals don’t clash with the children’s school canteen lunches.
I recommend asking the school if they can provide you with a copy of what they’re serving if possible, so you can plan around it.
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Make dinner early
I like to have dinner prepped and ready to cook before the madness of the afternoon school run.
As soon as everyone gets home, it’s often complete chaos, so having to cook on top of that is just madness!
I feel so much calmer and on top of things when I get it done earlier in the day, then I just heat it up when we’re ready to eat.
Lay everything out the night before.
I teach my kids to do this too! Set out their uniform/kit, school bags, snack/lunch boxes if needed etc.
Check the calendar to make sure they have everything they need for the following day and check the weather for rain gear/sun cream.
This really helps ease the morning rush and it makes the children feel more prepared and organised too.
For next year: shop ahead of time!
I do all my uniform and shoe shopping in the beginning of the summer holidays, so I’m not stressed before term starts and I miss the big rush.
Subscribe to the Saccone Joly’s YouTube channel here.
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