Make your back-to-school routine better with these smart home tricks

Help with my assignment!
Amazon Alexa’s Routines, which play from devices like this Echo dot speaker, help my family get out of bed and stay on track in the mornings. | Image: Amazon

This week, my kids headed back to school. For most parents, that means a weekend spent buying composition notebooks and Ticonderoga pencils and unearthing moldy lunchboxes from last year’s book bag (just me?). In my household, it also means reenabling all my back-to-school smart home routines.

I’ve been using my smart home as an extra pair of parental eyes and ears for years now, and I think all parents need some home automation in their lives. The little things the smart home does well — lights that turn on when you walk into a room, a TV you can shut down with just your voice, a doorbell that shows you who’s there — are so much more useful when you are also juggling little people and their various demands.

(A caveat to all this: I use…

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