This is how to treat a child with special needs | NPNparents.org

For 20 years I have been a parent of a child with special needs. You can imagine how often I have shopped for, and with, my child. Over the course of those years, I have encountered numerous vendors, proprietors and salespeople. There are retailers to whom I would never return and those who I frequent. There are common characteristics of those vendors, and quality of merchandise is not high on the list.

Foremost, both the sales personnel and the shop are inviting. When I walk into a store ...

Posted on November 14, 2016 at 9:46 AM by Kathryn Lavin

How to apply to a CPS school in 5 easy steps | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Bruno Girin/Flickr

CPS application season is well under way! The Chicago Public Schools application deadline for the 2017-2018 school year is Friday, December 9, 2016.  Students entering kindergarten through 8th grade may apply for open seats at schools across the city, with a limited number of pre-k options available as well (click here for the basics on CPS preschool). 

In CPS, there are two main types of schools to which you can apply:


Magnet schools and pr...

Posted on November 08, 2016 at 8:49 AM by Didi Lewis

You will find the right school for your child | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: crazybananas/Flickr

 

One of the things I both love and find infuriating about raising kids in the city of Chicago is school choice. I grew up in a small suburb outside of Boston and you simply went to the school that was assigned to your neighborhood—one of the three that were available. A few outliers went to one of the local Catholic schools, and even fewer attended the private boarding school down the road.

 

Raising, and educating, children in the city of Ch...

Posted on November 07, 2016 at 8:30 AM by Cate White

Make Halloween slightly less unhealthy | NPNparents.org

I know that Halloween is a favorite holiday for so many people. And I totally get the appeal—carving pumpkins, dressing up in cool costumes and getting free candy is pretty sweet. As a parent, I still love the holiday, but I’ve learned that I need to "tweak" my approach to the holiday to keep my kids from turning into little monsters.

For starters, the crowds in Chicago can be out of control, especially during the trick-or-treating hours hosted by neighborhood stores. It’s a far cry fr...

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM by Laura Hoover

Why prekindergarten is key for child development | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY SONNETS ACADEMY*
 

During years four and five, children thrive through creative exploration and the desire to gain new experiences. They are learning to be more self-reliant and are seeking independence. They approach each day with curiosity—looking to expand their understanding of the world around them. Their language and communication skills are expanding rapidly, and they find gratification in sharing their new thoughts and ideas with peers and adults.

Prekindergar...

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 9:29 AM

You went to NPN's School Fair. Now what? | NPNparents.org

 

You've had some time since the Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair to decompress. Now what? Your search most likey will not stop now. Here are some additional steps you should consider. 

 

Use NPN's school directory and create a My Directory in your NPN account. You can customize your search, narrow it down, save a list and even take a look at where the schools are located on a Google map. This is the only comprehensive school directory in Chicago. Use it! 
Weren...

Posted on October 17, 2016 at 8:00 AM

NPN Preschool & Elementary School Fair: Know before you go

The NPN Preschool & Elementary School Fair is just days away! Here are all of the details you need to help you prepare before you arrive on Sunday, Oct. 16, in order to have a great school search experience. (Haven't registered yet? There are still a few spots left! Register here.)

PREPARING FOR THE EVENT

Want to personalize your search criteria? You can do this with My Directory. Choose up to 30 schools, view them on a map, and save them to a custom PDF to print and bring wi...

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Laura Baginski

The top fall family activities in Chicago | NPNparents.org

It’s that time of year when there is pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING and the weather is absolutely perfect for exploring before old man winter comes and sends us all into a seasonal depression (c’mon, I know I’m not the only one who goes crazy being cooped up inside with energetic little ones, right?!?!).

So make the most out of fall in Chicagoland and create your own family fall bucket list. Need some inspiration? Here’s what is on ours—and be sure to keep up with our autumnal activities ...

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 9:41 AM by Amanda Simkin

A primer on elementary school terms | NPNparents.org

It’s your kids who are starting school, but for many parents searching for schools feels like being in the classroom all over again! You’re taking notes on various schools, coming across brand-new terms you’ve never seen before and—gasp!—maybe even compiling a spreadsheet to keep everything straight. 

It’s overwhelming, and the urge to play hooky to escape all this is tempting. But we at NPN are here to ease some of the anxiety that comes with finding the right school for your child wi...

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Laura Baginski

Child care during the CPS teachers' strike | NPNparents.org

Unless the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools come to a miraculous agreement, CPS teachers will strike on Tuesday, October 11. How long the strike will last is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure: If you're a working parent, you need to figure out where to send your child while school is not in session. UPDATE: CPS announced all schools will remain open if there's a strike, though it emphasizes that sending your child to school during the strike should be a last resort...

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 9:27 AM by Laura Baginski