5 smart back-to-school hacks.
Friday, August 27, 2021
Most of us could use all the help we can get when back-to-school season heats up. With the right smart home technology, you can make mornings smoother and evenings calmer.
Get smart about … scheduling
This is an easy one, especially if you already use Alexa or Google Assistant. Use your voice assistant to set a series of timers to help everyone get out the door on time. It’s 7 a.m.? Wake up. 7:30? Come get your breakfast. 8:15? Time to catch the bus. Look into the Echo Dot Kid’s Edition for capabilities designed especially for the kiddos.
You can also create routines through your voice assistant, so one word and your smart home is seamlessly taking you through bedtime paces. “Alexa, time for bed” could dim the lights in your child’s room, turn on sleep sounds and turn off other technology that could interfere with their sleep patterns. (Keep reading for more sleep-friendly tech tips.)
As the day-to-day action picks up, use your voice assistant to remind you of important tasks. Sync it with your personal calendar and ask it to notify you of upcoming events like a soccer game, parent-teacher conferences or deadlines. You can also set one notification for recurring events, so each Tuesday, Alexa will remind your kids it’s time to take out the trash.
Get smart about … organization
If you need help keeping track of schedules and making sure you know how to reach everyone in the carpool, there’s an app for that. There are actually quite a few. Choose one that lets you share calendars and contacts with the whole family. If your kids have a smartphone, set them up with apps to help with homework – due-date reminders, language learning, math assistance, note-taking and even creating flashcards. And don’t forget parental control apps that limit their screen time. Check out Digital Trends’ recommendations.
Wonder of all wonders, your child remembered that they need posterboard for the science fair more than 24 hours in advance. Ask Alexa to add school supplies, food for lunches and more to your Amazon shopping list. If it’s something you use regularly and replenish often – maybe laundry detergent for all those sports jerseys and school uniforms – Alexa can reorder it automatically so you don’t even have to ask.
Get smart about … security
Schlage smart locks can’t improve your child’s grades, but they can do a lot of other really helpful things. When you create unique access codes for your kids, they no longer have to carry – and try not to lose – a spare key. Not only do you not have to worry about who found the spare, but you always know Bobby and Susie can get in the house when they return from school, football practice or band rehearsal. If they forget their code, you can always unlock the door from anywhere for them using a compatible app on your smartphone.
Need another benefit of a smart lock for back-to-school? When your Schlage lock is connected to your home network or smart hub, you can access an activity log on your phone. You’ll be able to see who used their code and when, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing your kids made it home from school on time.
Learn more about each of our smart locks – the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense® Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect® Smart Deadbolt – and try the Smart Lock Selector to see which one is best for your family.
Get smart about … sleep
Science has proved that kids learn better when they get a good night’s rest and smart technology can actually help kids sleep. This Wake Up Light simulates sunset and sunrise to ease your student in and out of sleep. Customize the start of the day by choosing between a range of light colors and brightness as well as different alarm sounds. Digital Trends has more suggestions for tech that creates white noise and sleep sounds to help your little one get to sleep faster.
If your kids are restless sleepers, it might be an air quality issue. An air purifier and humidifier can help remove air particles and allergens. The humidifier adds moisture to the room so they aren’t breathing stale, dry air. All of this together might help them breathe more easily, resulting in better rest. The Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool is on the pricier side, but we like its smart features – control it with an app or via Alexa and Apple Siri® – and quiet settings for night mode.
Get smart about … college
Help your older kids be smart on campus. The easiest way to turn a dorm into a smart home, even though it’s a temporary living situation, is by installing smart plugs or power strips. You get to skip the hardwiring, but they can still control lights, music and more. A multi-port USB charger is always helpful, too. No more fighting with the roommate for valuable outlets when everyone needs to charge their phone, tablet and other tech at the same time.
No matter where your college student lives – at home, in a dorm, in an off-campus apartment – get them a Bluetooth tracker for their valuables. Apple AirTag for iPhone users and Tile Mate for Android users are great ways to find laptops and other devices if someone tries to swipe them.
Back-to-school doesn’t have to be a stressful time. With smart technology, you can make it easier than geometry proofs and French verb conjugation. Find more ways to make the season a snap on the Schlage blog with our tips for creating a family command center, taking the perfect back-to-school photos and designing a homework station that will help them focus.