Top 10 Tips to Start your School Search

With NPN's Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair taking place this weekend, we've compiled our top 10 tips to start your search:

 1 - Determine your family's school search criteria. Consider factors such as cost, location, public or private, schedule, afterschool programs, etc.

 2 - Go to the NPN School page. Check out School Fair details and RSVP, download your NPN School eDirectory, and search the NPN Online School Directory.

 3 - Dip into the NPN Discussion Forum. Ac...

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Help little ones discover their inner bookworm

Do your kids love reading? Do you wish they would read more? Do you want them to learn to love books? It’s time for a trip to Open Books!

Bring your little ones, bookworms and reluctant readers to our colorful and inviting bookstore to inspire and encourage their love for the written word.

Open Books is a nonprofit bookstore with a special mission to enrich lives through reading, writing and the awesome power of used books. Located in River North, the store has over 50...

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Curtis Flagg

Have School Search Questions? We've Got Your Answers!

Remember those early days making friends with other parents at the park? Chatting away cheerfully while pushing your infant in the baby swing. Then, all of a sudden, the conversation takes a turn. Schools...Which ones are you thinking about? Classical? Gifted? Magnet Cluster? Private? Charter?! A whatawhat?!  You smile while the panic sets in, realizing you have no idea what these terms mean. You clearly have fallen way behind all the other parents in Chicago. You rush home and spend the e...

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM by Crystal Yednak

The Great Kindergarten Search: Do your homework!

If your child will be five on or before September 1, 2012, it’s time to begin your elementary school search. With hundreds of public and private schools in Chicago, the search for the perfect school can seem daunting. So where do you begin your search for the best school for your child?

Your school search is a multi-step process:

Understand your child and the things he/she needs to be successful. You may not find a school that addresses all your needs, so you should determine y...

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 6:14 AM by Geri Redd

Oct 15 School Fair - Must-Have Details

The Saturday, Oct. 15 Annual Preschool & Elementry School Fair is just days away!  Here are all of the details you need to prepare, arrive, and have a great school search experience.  


Read School Fair 101 for a helpful School Fair Q&A.

Create a Must-See list.  Review the list of exhibitors on our School Fair Event page (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our list of 125 exhibitors)

Clean out your book shelves and bring a bag of ...

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Leslye Whittman

Playdate of the Month: October Mix It Up

Signs of Fall are here and the city is looking gorgeous.  The leaves are changing and mild yet brisk days are calling us to plan time outside!

Parks are perfect for Fall Playdates, and we are so fortunate to have incredible parks and tot lots in every neighborhood.  Here are some ways to plan a play date and Mix It Up this Fall.

1. Mix UP a FUN snack-

Last week I was inspired by the gorgeous trail mix bar at Lincoln Park Whole Foods.  We made a fun mix that had my so...

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM by Anne Book

Homework without Tears or Tantrums: One Month Later

One of the great things about being involved in NPN is the opportunity to seek experts to help address problems we are having at home.  The recent big one for our elementary school child was the nightly struggle over homework.  It seems that it is the last thing anyone wanted to do.  Fatigue.  Inattention.  Boredom.  Oh, and that's just me!

Last month's Nurturing Wisdom program "Homework without Tears of Tantrums" offered a lot of good tips on how to get homework done without a nightly...

Posted on October 07, 2011 at 9:00 AM by Bernadette Pawlik

October Fun: City Scarecrows to Ghouly Goodies

The weeks leading up to Halloween are full of outdoor adventures and easy ways to craft up a storm!  Here is our pre-Halloween plan.  Here's our plan - what's on your agenda???


Make some paper plate ghosts to ghoul up your entry way
Create your own Halloween wreath or hit up Paper Source to "make" your own (e.g., owl door wreath)
Pretzel fun - try these ghostly goodies for your next play group
Make some silly and sometimes creepy Halloween snacks!


Posted on October 06, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Get ready to shop & save big! Oct.14-15

Want to buy incredible items for your kids and only pay a small fraction of the original cost?  Then mark your calendar for the Babies, Tots n’ More Fall Consignment Event, October 14-15.  Our twice-yearly event features thousands of quality, gently-used or new kids’ and maternity items, including children’s clothing (through Youth size 16), shoes, toys, books, games, baby equipment, furniture, n’ more.

Babies, Tots n’ More is Chicago’s first and only seasonal consignment sale; we know...

Posted on October 05, 2011 at 7:49 AM by Kristin Myers

Fresh from the Forum: Lunch Box Ideas

NPN's discussion forums are chock-full of millions of posts on topics ranging from behavior challenges to snack ideas!

School is back in full swing, and many parents are looking for something other than peanut butter sandwiches to pack in their kids' lunches every day.

Recently one of our discussion board users was seeking some creative lunch options. Our members posted some fun and healthy lunch box ideas, including:


Pizzas with whole wheat pitas from Trad...

Posted on October 04, 2011 at 10:17 AM by Melanie Schlachter