A host of online solutions can help to bring balance to modern family life – and also offer unexpected opportunities for learning, doing, and staying safe.
The to-do list seems to grow over night. Sometimes we make lists reminding us to make lists! In addition to the mandatory bill-paying, grocery-buying, and kid-scheduling chores, modern life often throws in a few, shall we say “extras,” that aim to tip the precarious apple cart of daily living.
The nightly news warns of further budget cuts in local districts and shares stories far scarier than that. The school auction looms and volunteers seem discombobulated at best. The twelve-year old son is begging for the coolest new sneakers and the overflowing laundry sits unfolded on the kitchen floor.
Thankfully, the laptop is booted up and while it can’t unload the dishwasher, sites and apps designed to ease the stress and burden of caring for, educating, and protecting the people we love the most are launching every day.
Here’s some that might be new to you.
Cozi.com is an online tool for busy families that combines a multi-user calendar, meal planning tools, shopping lists and a family journal that’s accessible from any laptop, smart phone or tablet. The Family Journal, sort of like a family blog, allows parents and siblings to share big events and small moments on a private website or via Facebook.
Keep the house humming along -- and the laundry folded! -- with My Job Chart, an online chore chart and reward system for every member of the family. Once they’ve got a little money in their pockets, teach kids valuable lessons about financial literacy…
Ever considered the grocery store to be a classroom? You might after checking out The Mint.org. A charitable division of Northwestern Mutual partnered with the National Council of Economic Education, the site provides tools and tips to help families develop the building blocks for a stable and successful financial future. With games for kids and advice for tweens, as well as information for parents and teachers, the site teaches simple strategies for earning, managing, saving and even giving money.
Speaking of giving money, VolunteerSpot is a must for PTAs and volunteer groups of any kind. The site provides free signup sheets and volunteer scheduling and management software making it ideal for those organizing class parties, sporting tournaments, charity events, Scout campouts, and more. Keep participants on task with automatic reminders and communication tools and make it easier to make the world better!
Until the world is perfect, consider this newly released app: HERO is a geo-location, crowd-sourcing mobile application that provides streamed video, audio and GPS information to friends, family and others in times of trouble. Endorsed by Elizabeth Smart, the app is like a personal Amber Alert, offering added security for kids on the go.
Have any cool tools you would like to share?