There’s a very specific episode from my daughter’s first year of school that will stay with me forever. I missed a note on Microsoft Teams and my daughter was the only one without supplies for a yoghurt-making session. She came home from school telling me how she was the only one “in the entire school” who had no supplies and, because of COVID, no one could share with her, even though all her friends wanted to. This is why I myself needed a back to school hacks list for a smooth year ahead.
It’s been over a year now, and she still reminds me of it every week or so.
Needless to say, I felt horrible. And a failure at this school mum thing. I spent the rest of the year stressing every day, checking Teams the night before and every morning, asking other parents if they knew of any upcoming activities, and sticking all her school notes on the fridge with the strongest magnets I could find.
Let’s just say I’m determined to not have a repeat of that episode. But, truth is, keeping track of everything is hard work, especially if you have more than one school-aged child. It requires a fool proof organisation method that I simply did not think of before experiencing her first school year.
So, to help you out as you prepare for the start of the academic year in Malta, the Island Bebe team sat down and jotted down some hacks that have worked for us and which we think would help you, too! Check them out here:
Our Back To School Hacks
1. Family Command Centre
The trick here is to see everything at a glance, while also having all that’s needed neatly stored yet readily available. All you’ll need is a wall-mounted document holder or a desktop paper holder. Dedicate one compartment for each child and this is where you can store the consent and activity forms the kids so often bring with them from school and after school activities. This can be hung or placed next to the front door, with everything ready to grab before you leave. A family calendar is also a must in this station for a quick overview of daily activities and what’s due that day, and what’s coming up.
2. School bottle holder
This one’s for you if you also hate having the kids’ school bottles running on the counter. Over the years, we’ve collected multiple reusable bottles, from the ones the kids take with them to school to others we use for activities or when we’re out and about during the weekend. A simple wine holder can double up as a bottle holder for a more organized look – they’re also super easy to grab on rushed mornings. You can also use this system hidden in a kitchen cupboard to avoid bottles toppling over and an overall messy shelf.
3. Homework caddy
Is my daughter the only one who misplaces stationery on a daily basis? I drive her to school only to come back home and see her pencil under a chair, or her sharpener in the fruit bowl. Since our instructions to place everything back in her pencil case never really registered with her we found an alternative that’s working so far: a homework caddy. This one is simple: just place a second set of pencils, rubber, ruler, glue, sharpener, colours, and a pair of scissors in a pencil case or a cute caddy such as this one and they can leave their school pencil case in their satchel.
4. Drawer organisation
You can either lay down all the kids’ uniforms the night before or organize your child’s wardrobe for morning success. Something as simple as dividing normal socks from the school socks, and having a specific shelf for uniforms will save you precious time in the morning. Drawer organisers can go a long way! And if you’d like to take it up a notch, this hack below is perfect for organising not only their uniform but also after school clothes, especially if your week is full with extracurriculars.
5. Have spares at hand
There’s nothing worse than having to run to the shops for stationery on a rainy day after school and homework, having to make dinner still, prepare for the next day and the hundred and one things we do on a daily basis. A drawer of spare school supplies is a god-sent, especially as kids lose things on a weekly basis and teachers do ask for some extra things throughout the year. While having supplies in the house is already helpful, it’s even more so if you keep the drawer organised in a way that it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. We’ve all scrambled out for supplies, only to realise we had that exact item at home.
We hope you find this list handy as you prepare for a fresh new school year. Do tag us on Instagram (@island_bebe_malta) if you try any of these! We’ll be here, smelling the new book pages (and the crayons).
For more parenting support visit our Island Parents section, here.