For parents, back-to-school season can be a welcome respite from keeping kids entertained day in and day out over the summer. But this time of year comes with its own set of stressors—like making sure your whole family has what they need to start the school year off on the right foot.
Smart home solutions can help set you up for success. Here are a few inventive ways to make the transition back to school more seamless.
Establish an out-the-door routine
Getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door just in time to catch the bus can be a touch-and-go process—especially if your little ones tend less toward "morning lark" and more toward "repeatedly tapping snooze."
Luckily, smart home technology can lend a helping hand when it comes to your whole family's morning routine. Smart alarm systems can help ease kids (and parents) out of slumberland gently, with customizable lighting that mimics the natural sunrise, ambient music that's less jarring than an alarm, or even blinds programmed to open at a set time. Programmable coffee makers ensure there's a fresh pot to help the grown-ups start the day on an upbeat note—or at least a sufficiently caffeinated one.
Finally, smart speakers that announce the weather each morning can help your middle-schoolers figure out that perfect #OOTD—that's "outfit of the day" for all you non-hashtag-savvy parents out there.
Set up a dedicated space for studying
Research suggests that environmental factors including lighting can impact focus and productivity—and for kids entering the more demanding stages of their K-12 journey, a dedicated area to study can make homework hour a little less onerous.
Consider outfitting such a space with smart home technology like a smart white noise machine, smart speakers, customizable lighting, and smart notebooks that will never let you forget about an upcoming test.
Ensure smooth study sessions with smart WiFi
You'll want to make sure your home WiFi has an A+ record—after all, "my WiFi wasn't working" is the new "my dog ate my homework."
For kids learning remotely or needing to access the internet to complete bandwidth-heavy assignments, watch school-related videos, or play educational online games, dependable WiFi is a must-have. Plume HomePass automatically adapts to your family's internet usage, needs, and patterns, so you never have to bother fiddling with the router again—and your kids will have to come up with a new go-to excuse.
Manage afternoons with ease
Say goodbye to the old "key under the doormat" cliché—a smart home security system that allows you to remotely lock or unlock doors means you don't need to be home to meet your high schoolers every afternoon. (Whose idea was it for the school day to end three hours before the workday, anyway?)
Smart home technology and parental controls also allow you to remotely monitor and set limits on your kids' gaming and TV usage—so you can gently encourage them to build the healthy habit of finishing homework before logging onto Animal Crossing.
Tackle bedtime the smart way
At the end of the day, a good night's sleep can do more for your kids' brainpower than almost anything else. When it comes to bedtime, smart home tech can help your whole family rest a little easier.
Schedule the lights, entertainment systems, and other distractions to turn off at a certain hour (or switch over to "sleep mode" at the tap of an app) with smart home automation solutions. Consider installing a smart home thermostat, so every family member can find their optimal temp for a good night's rest. You can even invest in a dedicated sleep-tracking system to determine the ideal mix of environmental factors and optimize your kids' sleep schedule.
Getting back into the swing of the school year can be a struggle, but it doesn't have to be. With a little help from technology, you can stride into school with confidence—and set the stage to help your kids work smarter, not harder.