Starting a new school year can be chaotic, but it doesn't have to be. These tools will help you and your family get your schedules synced, carpool humming, and homework done before it's due. Plus, you probably already have one of these installed on your smartphone! These apps are all available for iOS and Android. Use them to save time, money and energy during the back-to-school season, so your kids can keep their attention on learning and you can find a minute or two to relax every day.
When it comes to managing your family during the busy back-to-school time, Cozi is a lifesaver. You can use it to manage everyone’s work, school and activity schedules all in one place. If you want more, you can also assign chores, share shopping lists, find recipes and plan meals. You can access Cozi through the app or website, making it easy for the entire family to see what’s happening on any given day and make updates on the go.
Price: Cozi app is free; basic account is free; Cozi Gold, the ad-free premium version, is $19.99/year. Go to cozi.com or download Cozi from your mobile app store.
When people think of Care.com, they usually think of it as a place to hire babysitters and nannies, but you can use it for much more than that. You can hire tutors, caregivers to drive your children to and from activities, and even housekeepers. You can book and pay the people you hire right through the app, which syncs up with the website.
Price: App is free, plans start at $39/month (Note: You can almost always find promotion codes and discounts online, usually for the 3-month option); caregivers are paid based on their rates
For parents who are involved in school activities, Signup.com makes organizing a breeze. You can use it to coordinate volunteer schedules, snack schedules, class field trips and parties, PTA events and fundraisers. You can even use it to easily collect money from a group for teacher gifts or activity fees. The app syncs with the website so you can access your events and schedules from any device. Automated reminders and calendar sync help parents keep their commitments.
Price: Signup.com is free with premium plans starting at $9.99/mo. Sign Up pro app is $1.99.
If your child’s teachers aren’t already using Remind, it’s worth recommending. It allows teachers to easily communicate with parents and students with things like reminders, notes and schedule changes. No more handouts for everything! Teachers can even use it to share photos and videos from events. Kids who don’t have smartphones can receive all of the messages via text.
Facebook is great for connecting with friends and family, but it’s also become a great community builder. If you aren’t part of any local groups, do a search for your town—you’ll likely be surprised by how many there are. Facebook groups are a great way to stay in the loop about school events, volunteer opportunities, and other community issues that affect your family.
Before you whip out the credit card to pay for school clothes and supplies, check Retail Me Not, which offers a comprehensive round-up of coupon codes and sales so you can score the best deals. You can access it on the web or through the app. With the app, you can scan coupons right at the register, save your favorite store, or search for deals based on your location.
The largest tutoring network, WyzAnt makes hiring and paying tutors an easy, affordable process. Whether you need a math tutor, help with test prep, or even private music lessons, you can find someone through the website or app. Payment is automatically processed after each session. Online tutoring is also available. You can book tutors and track progress through the app and the website.
Price: Service is free; app is free; tutors are paid based on their rates
Another app for teachers, Class Dojo focuses on community, positivity and happiness. It helps teachers, parents and students share classroom moments, through messages, photo and video sharing, and announcements. It can also translate messages in up to 35 languages, making communication between teachers and non-native speaking parents much easier. The app syncs with the website, making it easy to see class information on any device.