September 13, 2022
The best tech can make back to school easier and more fun for families.
When the kids head back to school, nothing beats sharpened pencils — and access to technology — to help ensure the year starts on a positive note.
Some of the best ways to set your whole family up for success are to plan ahead, communicate and stay organized. Fortunately, technology offers plenty of tools to help support students and their parents and make everyone's lives easier.
Here's how tech can help you stay on track throughout the school year — and have fun doing it.
Check your home Internet connection
In today's world, school success starts with your home tech. Did you know that there are several ways to optimize your in-home Wifi? It's also important to verify that you have the appropriate download and upload speed for your household and number of devices.
When choosing plans, note that 5G cell signals can power home internet, but fiber-based internet plans can deliver even faster speeds, plus technology like Cox Panoramic Wifi can help cover any gaps. Check out this guide for troubleshooting slow Internet speeds.
Plan for connecting on-the-go
When you're out and about, you can stay connected just as you would at home. Cox offers a network of some 4 million Wifi hotspots across the country. When you enter your user ID, you can connect up to three Wifi-enabled devices.
Pro tip: Before logging on, make sure that your firewall is turned on and your devices are protected by antivirus and anti-malware software.
Stay organized with a shared family calendar
Basketball on Saturdays, chess club on Tuesdays, and mom's graduate classes every other Wednesday — who can keep it all straight? Having a centralized calendar helps you avoid over-scheduling and build in some downtime to cut down on stress.
While some families prefer a paper or whiteboard calendar at home, a shared online calendar has its advantages, especially as kids get older and manage more of their own time. Google calendar is a popular free choice, but there are many specialized apps to choose from.
Track healthy habits and routines with handy apps
Do you want to get healthier as you jump back into the fall rush but don't know where to start? It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're trying to make a big change, but reframing your goal as a series of tiny habits and routines may help.
This is where a habit tracker app, such as Streaks, comes in. You choose a goal, like exercising for 15 minutes every day, and record your results. You may be surprised by the positive effects that accrue over time. Kids can get in on it, too — perhaps with a fun prize for a little extra motivation.
Build fun into every day, including family movie nights
Experts agree that kids (and their parents!) need unscheduled downtime to feel healthy and happy. You might even start a new family tradition, like family move night. Choose a movie for everyone, then pop some popcorn.
Stay connected with friends, community
Building real connections across your neighborhood and school can help foster invaluable friendships and contribute to your community. That might mean organizing school volunteers, planning a neighborhood cleanup or hosting a block party.
Take advantage of quality online tutors and classes
In recent years, many families have become much more comfortable with attending online classes. Even with most instruction happening in-person again, online courses and tutors can serve as a key supplement for kids and adults alike.
In addition to being super convenient and flexible, online courses give you a much wider range of subject matters you can easily study. Plus, you have access to the best tutors and educators from around the world.
If you're looking for a reliable home connection for online school or tutoring but have budget concerns, consider the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Let tech provide the support your family needs
Whether it's ensuring you have access to Wifi at home or on the go, enlisting tools to manage your family's schedule or providing downtime when needed, you can help set a positive tone for back to school and beyond.