You’ve likely finished up and returned home after your long-planned summer vacation, and the last thing you want to do is lose the relaxed and refreshed feeling you brought back with you. Back-to-school time seems to creep up on parents and students each year and staying on top of shopping and preparing can make it a smooth transition for everyone.
As we all learned last year, there’s no predicting how the school year will look until COVID-19 is a thing of the past. The majority of classroom learning this year is planned to be in-person and on-campus, but it’s important to stay prepared for remote learning as well.
First and Foremost
August 6-7 is Iowa’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday, also known as tax free weekend. Make sure to take advantage with any clothes shopping you have on the to-do list.
Helpful Back to School Apps for Parents and Students
- myHomework Student Planner
From middle school through college, keeping track of assignments has never been easier.
- The Homework App
Use tasks, color-coding, subtasks, and different calendar views to organize your schedule easily with The Homework App.
- LaLa Lunchbox
This app can help you plan better, while making lunches more fun for your children. LaLa Lunchbox includes a shopping list with large library of food items and syncs with other electronic devices.
Get up to 70% off at popular back-to-school department stores, and deals on back-to-school clothes and supplies from over 20,000 stores.
Zenly is an interactive online map of your family and friends that serves as a fun way to stay connected and safe while the kids are off at school.
Stay connected and stay safe with Life360 Family Locator. Ensure those who matter most are safe or know immediately if they need help.
- Cozi Family Organizer
Schedules, lists, calendars, and notes all in the same, easy-to-navigate app. Cozi is the perfect way to get your family organized for the school year.
TimeTree is an interactive calendar for friends and families to share. Keep track of homework assignments, group projects, and any other important events during the school year.
Tech Trends for Budget Shoppers
- Anker Portable Charger
Don’t let an uncharged phone or tablet stop an assignment from getting turned in on time. Make sure to stay plugged in and charged up with this sleek portable charger. Available for under $25.
- Looking for quality headphones on a budget? How about under $30!?
1.) JLab GO Air True Wireless Earbuds
2.) Tribit XFree Go Bluetooth Headphones
- Digipower Color Clip-On Selfie Ring Light
Brighten things up and stay prepared for the remote learning days and group project meetings with this ring light, which clips onto a phone, tablet, or computer and has 18 color modes to choose from – all for under $20.
- Lenovo Chromebook Flex-5
Laptop, tablet, or pyramid. Whatever your student prefers to work on, this Chromebook offers it all for under $350.
- Budget smartphones that don’t sacrifice quality:
1.) iPhone SE – An Apple iPhone for under $400.
2.) Google Pixel 4a – Quality Android phone (and insurance) for under $300
- USB Thumb Drive:
Probably on of the most useful tech gadgets for students to have during the school is also probably one of the cheapest. A standard USB thumb drive makes it easy to move files from one computer to another, allowing students to work on papers and projects at home and at school.
Last and certainly not least – make sure your Internet is ready for back-to-school! Home Internet has become an essential tool for today’s students, and Internet usage increases from grade to grade. So, as you shop for school supplies and new clothes for back to school this year, you may want to think about upgrading your Internet as well. The increased school-related usage, as well as the rest of your family’s Internet activities, could put a strain on your Internet connection. All of the connected devices fight for the available bandwidth, which can cause a slow connection for everyone. So don't let slow Internet speeds and buffering get in the way of your student's success and upgrade your speed today.