Wood ticks are a major plague in Minnesota, and I've been removing them for years from my hunting springer spaniels. Best thing I've used is a gadget called Pro-Tick Remedy ticklifter - a flat stainless probe with a narrow V-shaped slot in the end. You slide the slot between the tick and the skin, to the bottom of the V, and lift it off. Works extremely well with wood ticks, but unfortunately the lyme disease bearing deer ticks are too small and slip right through the slot.
You can check it out here: Protick remedy
Various home remedies have included coating the tick with nail polish, liquid soap, lighter fluid, etc., or burning it with a cigaret. None of these works very well. Using tweezers tends to tear off the tick's body and leave the head/mouth stuck in the skin, leading to infection.
I remove hundreds of ticks from my dog every year, and I still don't find 'em all until they swell up with blood and can be picked off with my fingers. Best solution for ticks is eternal vigilance and persistence. Examine yourself, your kids, your pets thoroughly after any outing in tick country.