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Save 33% at Toby Carvery

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Blog, Making Mum’s Life Easier, Money Saving MumsClub | 0 comments

Save 33% at Toby Carvery

Save 33% at Toby Carvery

We use our local Toby Carvery quite often and using our AA membership card have always got a useful 20% off. However last week we were made aware of the Toby Carvery App that gives you an impressive 33% off when you spend over £15 on food. The only downside is that it’s not available on Sunday. But it does give you other benefits like sporadic free desserts and the like so it’s worthwhile.

Just download the app, for free and show the waiter the code and it comes straight off your bill.

It’s really useful!

The voucher is valid for up to four people, so don’t miss out on this chance to bring the kids to Toby and give the whole family a treat. Simply sign up for the app here.

Free books to download

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Blog, Making Mum’s Life Easier, Money Saving MumsClub | 0 comments

Free books to download

Did you know that by using a clever app you can download library books and audio books for free?

It’s been possible for some time using a service called Overdrive but in all honesty it’s not been hugely user friendly. I consider myself to be moderately tech savvy and I have to admit whenever I’ve used it I’ve scratched my head trying to remember how.

I have always persevered though because the audio books in particular are great for long journeys, the last one we had on a 4 hour-that-turned-into-an-8-hour trip to Cornwall was Chomp by Karl Hiaasen which was a fun listen. But I now quite like the idea of playing a language cd in the car too, not so sue the fam will agree on our next 8 hour journey.

 

So, the beginning of a new school year is upon us and armed with the new school reading list we had a look at Overdrive to see what they had, and I was delighted, yes delighted to spot the new app that has made life so much easier!

It’s called Libby and it’s more like a Kindle now. If you have a Kindle you’ll know how easy it is to click to download a book to your tablet.

You login with your local library card and PIN and then have access to that Library’s books. You won’t get 100% of the books but you do great a great deal. You can borrow up to 5 books, and as you would from your local brick-built library you can have them for 20 days before you have to release it back. But you can renew it if there’s nobody waiting. And if there’s a book you want want but its on loan, you can place a hold on it so you’ll get it when available.

It’s been great for us, both me and my secondary school pre-teen now have the app on our iPads, and I have both our library cards registered so that I can download a book on his behalf so that it appears on both of our accounts, which is handy. Plus it means you can borrow up to 10 books at a time if you wish.

And when you’ve finished with one, you can return it at any time within those 20 days, thus saving you a huge amount of space on your shelves, because if your pre-teen is anything like mine, reading books over and over again is (thankfully) a thing of the past, honestly I don’t think I could take any more readings of Biff and the gang. These days it’s a case of read it and leave it…to gather dust.

Libby is user friendly too so you’ll figure it out easily, and your kids can search and download books easily too.

We fully recommend it.

Let us know in the comments if it’s made your life easier too!

 

 

 

Ways to Deal with Stress

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Blog, Featured Articles | 0 comments

Ways to Deal with Stress

How to deal with stress

Everyone undergoes stress at one point or the other. It is a mechanism to help our bodies meet with the pressures of life. Stress has been a key mechanism of survival for the human species, but we have now evolved to a position where we can be constantly under stress – sometimes, for no reason. If stress is taking over your life and hurting you, then you ought to see a doctor to prevent long-term harm.

However, for the stress that accumulates during daily life, you can easily handle. Some things you can do to deal with daily stress are described below:

Get proper sleep: Sleep is very important to battle stress. Switch off the electronics and go to bed early. Get seven to nine hours of sleep at night for best results. An afternoon nap can also help in relaxing you.

Listen to music: Music is food for the soul. Listening to music will calm you and relax you. It is better to go in for soothing music. Nature sounds also have the same kind of effect on the body and mind.

 

 

Do something Adrenaline fuelled: Taking up activities which are adrenaline packed such as a driving experience can help channel your stress into more positive forms. As they may be a bit scary to you, they are likely to make you feel like you’ve achieved something. This will make you start to think with a more positive mindset, as well as taking your mind off the things which are causing stress on your life.

Reduce caffeine: If you are consuming multiple cups of coffee, tea, or soft drinks per day, then it is time to reduce. Large amounts of caffeine induce stimulation to the body and the brain, keeping you stressed. Lay off the caffeine, and switch to green tea instead!

Visit new places: Taking in new experiences is fun and makes you forget your problems for a while. Take up travelling solo or with a group. Explore new places and get new experiences. It is guaranteed to make you sleep better.

Take up meditation: There are many ways in which you can meditate. From yoga to tai-chi, there are myriad options for you to choose for disciplining your mind and body.

Take up hobbies: Whether you like to paint or woodwork, collect stamps or coins, or write, or play sports, taking up a hobby is good for you. It will redirect your focus to something that you love and which is soothing to you whenever you are in times of stress.

Get some exercise: Get off the couch and go for a walk. Exercise doesn’t have to mean strenuous training in the gym. Just going for a short run or a walk in the park has major beneficial effects when it comes to stress reduction.

 

 

Meet people: Go out and meet people as spending time with others can help reduce stress. The flip side is that you need to stay away from negative people who can drag you down while you are yourself stressed. Talking, laughing, and having fun with people is otherwise a great stress-buster.

There are hence many ways to reduce stress. You will have to choose one which works for you!

 

 

What to do when the kids are away

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

What to do when the kids are away

What to do when the kids are away

This week, I have the displeasure of a week long school trip. Years ago I thought weeks like this would be shangri-la, I’d be able to do anything I like, go anywhere, have a night out with friends and not be worried about getting back for school run, or babysitters and getting the kids ready for bath and bedtime. But it’s not like that at all, it’s more moping and looking at the clock, counting down the days, watching twitter for updates from teachers who sporadically tweet photos home.

 

I’m not the only one either, one mum has set up a Facebook group for us all to console each other…

But it shouldn’t be like this. My clubbing days are behind me now so I won’t be advocating a trip to the Hacienda or anything but I have come up with a list of workable activities that us parents can do until our little ones come home.

1. Blog about it

Yes, you’re reading it. If you don’t already have a blog then this is a great time to start one, who knows you could make money from it too. It’s really not that difficult, getting started with a website and hosting is the easy part, keeping a momentum with fresh regular content can be the tricky part. Focus on ways to keep traffic coming to your site which will help your site grow, this is the key.

2. Spa day!

Oh how we love pampering, get some other mums together and book a day at a spa. Get a massage, have a swim, a manicure and all this other wonderful pampering activities you don’t normally get time to do. Make time, see this week as your Me Time and make the most of it. You can get lots of deals too, just look out for those deal of the day coupon websites that offer great offers.

3. On your Bike!

What’s the weather like? Get online and find a cycle route, disused railways lines are the best, because there’s no roads to navigate and they’re generally flat terrain. You’ll find them all over the country, but have a search for cycle routes, get your bike out, a rucksack with lunch and drinks and go for it.

4. An overnight trip to a concert or the theatre.

You don’t have to go far but booking into a hotel even if it’s a half hour drive away can feel like a holiday. Go see a concert, a comedy show, or show at your local theatre, or better still a west end show. You’ll totally forget about everything that’s on your mind!

5. Place your bets!

How about this for a little fun and indulgence? This maybe something you’ve not thought of before but especially if the weather isn’t ideal for an evening walk to the pub, how about getting online and playing some big, exciting jackpot lottery games?

Over 90% of Brits partake in at least one lottery draw a week, I do! And worldwide it’s one of the most popular games in the world. Why do we do it? Because simply,  the lottery has turned ordinary people like us, into millionaires and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be any one of us next.

Lottoz is a great example of a new and exciting online lottery brand. Fully regulated to the highest standard by the UK Gaming Commission, it’s an easy to use, highly secure and innovative website that removes geographical barriers and provides people from all around the world the chance to bet on the results of the world’s most incredible and biggest jackpot lotteries. If you bet on the right numbers you will win the same prizes as you would have won should you have bought a lottery ticket in that country. And better still, you don’t have to buy a ticket and wait till Friday or Saturday, you can see what’s available that day and place your bet there and then.

 

 

3 cups of coffee is the key to longer life

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

3 cups of coffee is the key to longer life

Drinking coffee boosts your health. And, decaf has a similar effect too!

OK so being a mum in business, juggling business with the kid’s antics, coffee is often a saviour, some may even say it’s a guilty pleasure. And last night we had NO SLEEP due to an anxious pre-teen not sleeping so today coffee really is my saviour so after seeing this news, I was delighted to be able to abandon the lifelong quest to drink lemon water first thing in the morning and reach for the coffee.

A landmark study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London has found that People who drink around three cups of coffee a day may live longer than non-coffee drinkers.

It’s the largest study of its kind, in which scientists analysed data from over half a million people across 10 European countries, including the UK, France, Denmark and Italy, to explore the effect of coffee consumption on risk of mortality.

They found that higher levels of coffee consumption were associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, especially from circulatory diseases and diseases related to the digestive tract. Women are 7% more likely to live longer.

An estimated 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world each day. Coffee contains a number of compounds including caffeine and antioxidants, which can positively interact with the body.

“We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases”

said lead author Dr Marc Gunter of the IARC and formerly at Imperial’s School of Public Health.

“Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”

Using data from the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition), the group analysed data from 521,330 people from over the age of 35 from 10 EU countries. Their diets were assessed using questionnaires and interviews, with the highest level of coffee consumption (by volume) reported in Denmark (900 mL per day) and lowest in Italy (approximately 92 mL per day). Those who drank more coffee were also more likely to be younger, to be smokers, drinkers, eat more meat and less fruit and veg.

After 16 years of follow up, almost 42,000 people in the study had died from a range of conditions including cancer, circulatory diseases, heart failure and stroke. Following careful statistical adjustments for lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking, the researchers found that the group with the highest consumption of coffee had a lower risk for all-causes of death, compared to those who did not drink coffee.

They found that decaffeinated coffee had a similar effect, although consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is not simple to separate, as they could not exclude that decaffeinated coffee drinkers may have been consuming caffeinated coffee as well in different periods of their life.

In a subset of 14,000 people, they also analysed metabolic biomarkers, and found that coffee drinkers may have healthier livers overall and better glucose control than non-coffee drinkers. Dr Gunter explained:

“We found that drinking more coffee was associated with a more favourable liver function profile and immune response, this, along with the consistency of the results with other studies in the U.S. and Japan gives us greater confidence that coffee may have beneficial health effects.”

Professor Elio Riboli, head of the School of Public Health at Imperial, who established the EPIC study, said:

“These findings add to a growing body of evidence which indicates that drinking coffee not only is safe, but it may actually have a protective health effect for people. While further research is needed, we can be confident that the results from a large European study confirm previous findings seen around the world.”

Dr Gunter added:

“Due to the limitations of observational research, we are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee. That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking – up to around three cups per day – is not detrimental to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.”

The study was funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumers and the IARC.

I’ve had two cups so far, ready for another?

 

 

Mums in business we want your story

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Blog, Member Profiles, Mumpreneur | 0 comments

Mums in business we want your story

We are looking for interesting real life stories from real women who have juggled starting a business around family life.

You don’t have to be a super success (yet), we simply want to know your journey, your experience, and/or the lessons you’ve learnt for us to pass on to the next generation of mums in business. So think about what’s interesting about you, what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t and let us know.

Simply fill in this form; any or all of the questions.

 

The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry! But it only takes a few seconds to become one, and it's free (mostly).

JOIN OR UPGRADE HERE!

   

Sally Hall of Dorothy & Theodore

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Member Profiles | 0 comments

Sally Hall of Dorothy & Theodore

Dorothy & Theodore is an online shopping boutique (www.dorothyandtheodore.com) created specifically for parents who do not wish to wholly compromise on style in order to accommodate the needs and wishes of their children.  It is the 5th ‘baby’ of co-owners Sally & Emma who, from the day that we agreed it was a good idea to jump out of an aeroplane together at 13,000 feet, realised they had found a like-minded life-long friend in each other, both willing to take calculated risks if the rewards justified it.

They met over 8 years ago at law school where they were both pursuing second careers as solicitors, and have been friends ever since, supporting each other through their legal qualifications and training, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, babies and everything else which becoming a ‘grown up’ brings.

As parents, (Sally is mummy to 3 year old Dalton and the newest member of the D & T team, 17 week old Belle, and Emma is mummy to 3 year old Sophie and the other new D & T addition, 6 month old Joshua) they realised first hand that there was no one place which offered a one stop shopping solution where parents, relatives and friends can purchase beautiful products with children in mind.

They spent hours trawling the internet for child-friendly yet stylish products for their own homes and unique gifts which had not been mass produced.  Sharing frustrations over coffee and cake one afternoon led Sally and Emma to the idea for Dorothy & Theodore; a new e-commerce website created specifically to address that gap in the market, and in spite of the old adage; “don’t mix business with pleasure” we both felt strongly enough about our concept for Dorothy & Theodore that we decided to take the plunge together once more.

In terms of backgrounds, after college, Sally undertook a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies which included a scholarship at the University of South Florida.  On completing studies she successfully pursued a career as a singer and entertainer working for, amongst others, the Walt Disney Company in Paris, Toronto and the US.  Whilst abroad, she began studying for a second degree, and eventually put away the greasepaint to pursue a career in law.  Sally is now a qualified solicitor and has now completed a Masters in Advanced Legal Practice.

Emma studied International Business and Modern Languages at Aston University which included a year abroad (her main reason for choosing the course) during which she studied at Université Laval in Québec and completed a work placement at consultancy firm Thasos AG in Munich.  Following her degree, she completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and then spent two years gaining commercial experience (and some finances!) before completing the Legal Practice Course part-time whilst working at Canon Europe as a Legal Assistant.  Upon qualification as a solicitor Emma worked in private practice as a corporate lawyer before joining an in-house legal team.

Not content with all the above, Emma taught herself website design in her free time and launched her own baby development website last year.  She now has primary responsibility for the design of the Dorothy & Theodore website.

Emma wrote the website and we pressed the ‘on’ switch on 15 September 2011 – just one week before Sally gave birth and 5 weeks after Emma had.  Dorothy & Theodore launched at the Earls Court Baby Show.

Sally says “Our children are our real source of motivation.  We hope that Dorothy & Theodore will eventually enable us to work around the school day to enable us to spend as much time with them as possible.  We are also determined to show our children that anything is possible if you really put your mind to it, and of course, we simply want to make them proud.

We hope that Dorothy & Theodore will become a market leader in the e-commerce industry and will gain a reputation for not only the quality and style of the products we represent but also our conduct as a company in terms of both business and customer relations.”

 

 

 

Pitching for Business Success

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Pitching for Business Success

Pitching for Business Success!

Advice from award winning mums…

For some mums, 2008 was an award winning year. But what does it take to win a business award? Members of the MumsClub forums in particular have found success by picking up some great business titles.

MumsClub ; the business club for mums, founded by mum-of-one Jane Hopkins, was awarded the title of UPS Local Business of the Year 2008 after impressing none other than Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den.

Melanie Riddell, a mum and scientist from the Scottish Highlands created Sizzling Science, to provide Fun and Interactive Hands-On Science Workshops for children. Her idea and future plans helped her to pick up the MumsClub New Business of the Year award.

Claire O’Conner creator of Baby Ballet, the pre-school dance franchise was crowned Mumpreneur of the year and appeared live on ITV’s this Morning along with runners up Sharon Ward, who started Teddy and Me; tiny clothes for premature babies, and Lynn Oakes and Pamela Lowes whose business Milky moo moo, provides Cool Creative Organic Clothing Shop for Babies, Kids & Adults with Attitude.

As all of these mums know, to win a business award is great as a PR tool; a winners badge looks impressive on a website!

But what makes a successful business win an award? 

What do you need to do, to say, to demonstrate?

Who better to ask than the ladies who have done it themselves?

Lynn Oakes took time out from Milky moo moo and with the kids running berserk in the background, gave us her insight into putting together the perfect pitch…

First and foremost what you’re pitching should be something you believe in and are passionate about. This is picked up on, and if you don’t believe in your product or idea yourself, who will?

You must be able to back up everything you say in your initial entry, so although you need to make your business sounds the bees knees, be careful not to get carried away and flower it up too much, as you will need to substantiate all claims if you are put through to a selection stage.

Preparing the pitch

Writing the actual pitch depends on the amount of time you are speaking for. We found that starting with a longer pitch but then chopping it down (condensing a 1 minute pitch into 30 seconds) enabled us to literally keep the key points!

If time is short you need to focus on the strongest aspects of your business that will engage your audience (whether that is a single person or a panel or millions of daytime TV viewers!) and make your product memorable to them!

Pitching to potential stockists, investors or panel of judges is entirely different to pitching to your buying public.  That is important to remember; when pitching to a supplier, investor or judging panel, you are selling your ‘unique selling point’ and telling them how well your product or service sells to a customer – with the customer you are selling your product and how it will benefit them! It’s worth thinking from both the customer and stockist’s perspectives prior to writing your pitch so you have two angles.

Anticipate questions

You must also prepare for questions that you may be asked about your business. Know your figures and try to anticipate everything they may ask you. You need to appear 100ti clued up about the in’s and out’s of your business; your accounts, where you are now, where you want to be and how you are going to get there.

Even if you are asked something unexpected that you can’t answer, as long as you’ve already demonstrated your knowledge and passion for your product, such curl balls may not always adversely affect your overall success on the day, so relax!

The last piece of advice I would recommend is to find out exactly who and what will be at your pitch:

Who are the people you will be pitching to? Research them so you know all about them. This may give you some indication as to how they may question you (if this is to happen) for example, if they run a marketing company they are likely to ask you how you market your company or propose to.

What if camera’s are going to be there? You need to prepare yourself for that as they will be in your face and you must practice talking to one (as silly as it may seem).

Practice, practice and practice your pitch until you know it inside and out and take any information or samples which will not only back up your claims but will impress your panel and give you the opportunity to show your product off. A cue card with pointers is also handy in case you panic or freeze!

Believe in yourself, be yourself and your enthusiasm will shine through!!

And the best of luck to you.

 

 

 

Name tags review

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in House & Home Reviews, Making Mum’s Life Easier, Review Zone | 0 comments

Name tags review

Well there’s nothing like being prepared and with the summer holidays fast approaching, it’ll be back to school and its associated panic of uniform buying and shoe-gate, trainer-gate and got to have the right school bag-gate.

Even though everything may well be named, the chances are you still won’t get your lost items back in a hurry – half way through his first year in secondary school my son lost his whole PE kit, yes the whole kit which was even, at the request of school, embroidered with his inititals in gold thread (all at extra cost), and all enclosed in a bright blue, named PE bag. My hope is that it will turn up at the end of the year to save me buying it all again. I’ll keep you posted. But we still must ensure everything is suitably named as best we can, to give our kids and their lost items a fighting chance to be reunited.

When I was a kid my mum had those groansome sew in labels, and 8 years ago when my son was in primary, I used them too, but my goodness things have changed and we love the idea of these three modern options to naming our kit from Nametags4u. We put our review panel to work to test them…

 

Scroll down for exclusive Nametags4u discount 

 

Sticky Photo SupaTags

Sticky SupaTags – £9.00 from PhotoSupaTags

Sticky labels are a lovely time effective solution to labelling shoes, bags, books and pens. They will also stick to care labels inside clothes and will succesfully survive the washing machine.  With the Sticky SuperTags, there’s a photo option where you can choose either a cartoon character or a photo, which my son absolutely loved.

It’s really designed for little ones to recognise thier own kit if they can’t yet read but even though my son is older and has mastered reading, having a photograph of himself on the name tag still created some excitement.  I was surprised by the clarity of the photograph which is superb. I went for black but you can also choose the colour of the print.

I love the idea that you can use these to label tricky items like shoes or pencil cases.  They fix on easily and are so quick to apply, I love that they are dishwasher and steriliser proof too.

I have tried them on labels of clothing and so far so good, so much easier than sewing in name tapes.  These get the big thumbs up from me and from my son!


Easyfix Clip on Labels

Pack of 50 Clip ons – £9.00 – from Easyfix clip on name labels

 

 

I found the Easy Fix clip on name tags to be really easy to use but even so, they came with instructions on how to use them. The clips are tiny little plastic pins with which you simply pierce the material that you intend to place the name tag on, and then on the other side there is a tiny little plastic cap that clips to the pin. You snap off the remaining spiky part of the plastic pin and Viola! New name tag in seconds. Impressive.

No writing, no ironing and definitely no sewing. These are great as so fast, and so convenient I wish I’d have found these a few years ago to save all the sewing that I’ve done in the past. I have found these to wash fine and I think they look good too. The printed nametags are a good quality with very clear text and ink. I had my phone number added which is great as it gives that option as this helps reunite lost items. Sometimes if it’s left at school the mums will text you to let you know that they have found your childs item. I have had lots of different tags in the past and found some to be really good and some to be terrible where the ink has washed off in the washing machine after sewing the tag in which is a nightmare and waste of time. I will be ordering some more of these in the future as great quality. I also like the look of the other items that they have especially the supertags so they come highly recommended by me as easy ,quality and time-saving name tags.


The StampaName

StampaName – £18.00 from Stampaname

 

I’d not heard of a stamp to name clothes before so I was really quite intruigued. You can have just your child’s name, or their name and a graphic which is particularly useful for younger children who are still learning thier name.

We went for just the name, said child is now secondary school, we have street cred to consider you know. It arrived really quickly and came in a simple little box, it’s quite the nifty little gadget instantly creating interest in my son. It’s a mechanical stamp that automatically re-inks itself after each stamp so you never have to worry about finding the ink.

Let’s have a go he said… He has a residential school trip coming up soon so as luck would have it we had quite a few new items to name, so he got to work on them! And I had a cuppa…

It’s incredibly quick and easy; you take it out the box and stamp away, that’s it!

I’ve since washed the clothes and the ink stayed on quite well, it’s a special textile ink which I’m sure in time will fade but after one wash I really couldn’t tell much difference. But the beauty of it, is that if it fades you just re-stamp it. So I keep the stamp with the iron and if one looks a little faded I just find a new empty space and stamp it. Even on dark clothes there’s always somewhere to put a stamp, on white fabric inside pockets or the washing instruction label.

It’s worked on pencil cases and bags too. Also school books – it’s just perfect. I’m really impressed, and delighted to have one. In fact I’m not sure how I managed before! And when I run out of ink, it’s only £5 for a replacement ink pad.

 


 

All the name labelling options are available singularly or in a number of cost saving combination packs for example a Stamp and 30 Easyfix Clip on labels or 50 Iron on labels for £22.

Enter code Mclub to receive a 10% discount.

Available until the end of the Summer holidays.

 

 

What I hope they will teach at school

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

What I hope they will teach at school

What I hope they’ll teach at school

When I was at school, I remember learning the basics; addition, subtraction, times tables, long division, how to read, and how to write. You know how it went…

It wasn’t until secondary school that we had a reason to doubt the relevance of what we were learning, and I’m specifically talking algebra here, which was a common topic of conversation but  looking back I have no real qualms over what I was taught.

On the positive side, we were taught home economics where both boys and girls would learn sewing and knitting and the like, and as well as the boys, us girls would do woodwork too, which I personally loved. This was a huge leap forward from the school days of my parents for whom such stereotypical subjects were segregated – boys didn’t cook and girls didn’t saw wood and hammer nails.

Back to the present, although we’ve seen further great progress with subjects becoming more gender neutral, there is still some way to go to really give kids a rounded education and prepare them for the real world.

Other than gaining an all round experience in such subjects as history and geography, my general expectation for my child leaving primary school was being able to read fluently, write in a readable style and make calculations in his head. For me, that’s pretty much it for the basics.

My son is now in big school so I’ve had to the full-on Primary school experience to reflect upon, and one thing I’ve wondered is whether my Primary aged child really needed to know the difference between a subordinating conjunction or a preposition. I don’t even know the difference!  I cant understand why we need to fill Primary age children’t heads with anything but the essentials-for-life. My hope for secondary school is different, I want to see my son prepared for life and as well as what I can show him at home, school could easily incorporate life lessons within other lessons. Finger’s crossed my evaluation in about 5 years time is a good one!

Here’s my top 5 wishes for kids in secondary school.

  1. Home economics & how to run household – Wouldn’t it be great for maths lessons to feature an an element of real life activities; knowing how much income you have verses your outgoings and what the consequences are of bad budgeting. Allowing for those unforeseen circumstances such as a flat tyre on the car, a broken window.
  1. Money management – how to plan for the bigger expenses and to compare the options available such as an overdraft or quick loans, and indeed how loans work. Working out pension options and savings rates. Comparing energy companies and switching, benefits and importance of insurance. All great life lessons that teach practical maths too.
  2. Maintenance & DIY – how to change a light bulb, how to fix a squeaky door, fix a bike chain, change a car tyre, assembling flat pack furniture, unblocking the toilet and drains. How to wire a plug, importance of removing the cardboard plug protector on a new plug! All such skills will be essential in later life and really ought to be addressed in secondary school.
  3. Cooking – do away with the fruit salad, hot chocolate and pizza making. Come on school, we can teach this at home, go on – push the kids and go with the more sophisticated recipes – if our kids can navigate their way around Minecraft, servers, coding and more then they’re perfectly capable of a made-from-scratch lasagne or paella.
  4. Life & Social skills. Giving practical teaching on bringing up a baby, I believe, would illustrate the reality of parenting, that it can be tough and how our environment and how we treat children affects our behaviour growing up. I’m sure it would help kids understand each other and ultimately make them behave more positively towards one another.