By Tamekia Reece
I make the same promise to myself at the beginning of every school year: I will keep all of my son’s paperwork from school well organized; I’ll remember who has to be where, when; and our meals will be planned out a week in advance so that I don’t have to scramble for something at the last minute. Basically, I tell myself that this will be the year that I finally get things to run smoothly.
Obviously not. By the second month of school, those pledges I made to myself are long forgotten.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I’m not the only parent who struggles to regain order after the long summer break. To help you (and me!), we’ve rounded up some cool apps that will help make life easier this school year.
School A to Z (free)
Has your child ever asked for homework help and you had none to offer because you were just as confused? Yeah, sixth grade math can seem extremely difficult all these years later! For those times when you don’t remember what an integer is or the difference between a transitive or intransitive verb, School A to Z, has tutorials and fun games to help teach you (and your child).
Cozi Family Organizer (free)
This app puts the whole family on the same schedule. A shared calendar, color-coded for each member of the family, allows you to see who needs to be where at what time. Add an appointment and share it with the entire family or members of your choosing. Because everyone’s calendar is synced, your husband can no longer say he forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, and your teenage son can’t use the “you didn’t remind me” excuse next time he doesn’t do mow the lawn. It’s right there on the calendar! And if needed, Cozi can even send out email and text notifications about upcoming events.
The Snack App (free)
If you struggle to come up with snack ideas, this one is for you. No longer will your child be stuck with orange or apple slices for lunch every day, and you don’t have to give him high-calorie potato chips or donuts. The Snack App lets you choose a craving category–sweet, salty, cheesy, crunchy, and more–and then gives you a list of snack ideas. Even better, the snacks are sorted by calorie count, so it’s easy to choose a snack that’s both tasty and healthy
Your to-do list can quickly become a “didn’t do” list if you misplace it. Rather than jotting your list down on scraps of paper (or a napkin), put your smartphone to use. Wunderlist can remind you of everything you need to do – whether it’s sending a note to your child’s science teacher, picking up a snack for the next PTA meeting, or taking the car in for a service. And you never have to worry about leaving your to-do list at work or at home. The app instantly syncs to your phone, desktop and on the web. So you can check it (and check off items) anywhere.
You Rule ($3.99)
If it’s the kids who have a problem tackling their to-do list, the You Rule chores app will give them a nudge. Using colorful characters, virtual rewards and real-world rewards, this app will (hopefully) entice kids to do chores by catering to their competitive sides. You assign the chores and then the kiddos complete them to earn virtual coins that they may use to toward rewards like family movie night, a trip to the park, or whatever you decide. To make it even more motivating, your kids can compete to see who can get the highest chore score each week.
This is a must-have if you’re looking for educational apps for kids ages 3-8. Instead of searching through hundreds of thousands of apps, KinderTown saves you time and aggravation by providing a huge variety of age-appropriate apps and games that are reviewed and approved by educators and parents.
Food on the Table (free)
It’s not uncommon for dinner plans to slip your mind until the last minute, especially for busy parents. To avoid the after-school meal madness, use this app to plan weekly menus, try out new recipes, and find out where to grocery shop in your neighborhood to save money.
Mom Maps ($2.99)
When your kids are going on and on about being bored after school or on the weekend, this nifty little app uses your phone’s location to help you locate nearby kid-friendly spots. You can quickly find the name, address, phone number, website and reviews of a variety of places–playgrounds, parks, restaurants, museums and indoor play centers.
This app will allow your student (and you) to keep track of his classes, tests, homework assignments, and projects. No more missed or late assignments!