Simplify Back to School With Tech

With school starting soon, now is the perfect time for parents to get their kids in back to school mode.

While it’s easy during the summer months to forget about fractions, sentence structures, or how photosynthesis works, in a short time your student’s teachers will expect them to jump right back in. So how can you make the transition from summer to school easier?

Lisa Stetz, a Verizon Wireless employee and mom of 5 boys, gave us some great tips. The first priority is to get them back on a schedule. “Between staying up later and irregular schedules, many kids have a hard time adjusting to early hours and the stress of studying if they haven’t practiced during the summer months.” She says, “In our house, we have a rule that all electronics must be shut off an hour before bed time.

This gives them the much needed time to relax and let their minds rest before bed.” Another great way to prepare your kids is with the technology they use. All her kids have access to a cell phone or tablet. During vacation, they are busy playing Minecraft or streaming movies. Take time to transition them to apps that are more educational focused, including:

  • Kindle: Great for kids to brush up on their vocabulary and grammar skills. Download books of all reading levels to encourage them to continuously improve.
  • Duolingo: One of the best language learning apps. It allows your students to learn Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese with interactive lesson plans. And the best time for them to learn a language is while they are young!
  • Khan Academy: This app is available not only on your phones and tablets, but also on your desktop computer. It's super user friendly and allows your kids to learn everything from history to coding.

All apps are free and available with Apple, Android and Windows devices. As classes start, Internet usage can increase due to homework and other school related projects.

Lisa says her oldest boys use Google Drive to complete assignments. With increase in tech comes an increase in the need to monitor what they have access to. Aside from using parental controls, another great tool is setting blocks on the types of apps that can be downloaded. This helps keep her kids safe and also helps monitor the data usage.

Finally, Lisa knows it can be a struggle for parents to make sure their kids aren’t using their smartphones during school hours or when they should be studying. The best way to control usage is through Verizon’s Family Base. With this app, parents can monitor their children’s text messages, calls and data usage. And parents can automatically lock the phones during school hours, study times and when they should be sleeping.

No matter if it’s trying to get their minds in back to school mode or if you want to get them back on a normal schedule, technology is there to make any parent’s job easier.