Get ready for the academic year ahead with apps that can aid with homework, getting to school on time, packing lunches, and more.
There’s plenty to learn before your kids head back to school.
It’s that time of year again, when parents must begin helping with homework, packing lunches, meeting with tutors, and racing to get their kids to the bus. And you can add this to that list: dropping a pile of money on school supplies. The National Retail Federation predicts back to school sales will top $83 billion this year, up 10% from last year.
Here are six of the most helpful and cost-effective apps to help every parent and student with these issues and more.
Getting to the bus on time
If you’re not an early riser, you know that every minute of the morning counts. Here Comes The Bus lets you track the location of a school bus with GPS so you know exactly when your chariot to class will arrive. Say goodbye to missed pickups, delays and chilly pre-dawn waiting with this free app provided by various school districts across the nation.
Saving money on school supplies
Back to school shopping can cost a pretty penny, but using the free RetailMeNot app can help you save on items including backpacks, binders, blazers, boots and lunchboxes. With over 500,000 deals from more than 50,000 retailers, parents can hunt for secret savings codes. “Back to school shopping continues to be the second biggest retail holiday of the year, after the November/December season. Teachers and schools are asking students to buy everything from pens and pencils to earbuds and calculators and parents see learning devices such as ipads and tablets as investments for success,” says Sara Skirboll, the shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot.
Finding a tutor
Help your child stay on top of his studies, or get ahead with the help of Wyzant. Using a brief questionnaire, the app matches you with nearby tutors whose credentials and experience have been vetted. Meet online or in person for a one-on-one session, and if you don’t love the first lesson, the hour is free. Rates vary depending on each tutor, and a 7% service fee is charged after each lesson. For an additional $7.99 you can order a background check for peace of mind.
If you suffer from lunch packing fatigue after five straight days of cutting sandwiches into star shapes, meal-planning app Lala Lunchbox can help you plan bento-style sack lunches. You choose the number of fruit, veggie, protein and snack options and using nut butters, vegetarian options and a variety of healthy foods (plus containers to pack them in) kids can choose a menu they like and parents don’t have to think outside the lunchbox.
Helping with homework
Using Facebook Messenger as its platform for communication, Nerdy Bot is a free artificial intelligence app that provides real-time answers to homework-related questions. Use it on your computer, smartphone or wherever you’re logged into Facebook and ask for help solving equations, plotting graphs, looking up definitions or researching general information.
Organizing all those art projects
If the outside of your refrigerator looks like the inside of MoMa, Artkive is the answer to the flood of artistic creations that seem to follow your child home from school on a daily basis. Starting at $39, send your artwork to Artkive with a prepaid UPS shipping label and they’ll digitize each masterpiece and create a hardcover book with captions in about two weeks time.
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