You can stop asking your toddler this one question

We hear it all day long: at storytime, at the playground, at music class, at toddler birthday parties. It’s become so ubiquitous, you probably don’t even think twice about it.

I’m talking about “can you...?”. As in, “Can you put the bean bag back in the basket?” “Can you clean up that spill?” “Can you share a piece of your snack?” It’s parent-speak for many different situations and in almost all of them “can you” is the wrong phrase. It’s not what we mean and with toddlers, we need to ...

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 2:03 PM by Elizabeth Jones

CPS academic centers: How a mom counseled her son on whether to accept an offer

Years ago, when my oldest son entered kindergarten, I started thinking about where he’d go to high school. The lack of good public high schools in Chicago made me nervous. As a child of public school teachers and a product of public schools, I had little interest In private school. Did that mean we would have to move in a few years? Should we just move now instead? What were our options if we went to public high school in the city?

Flash forward to last year, as I was driving him home ...

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 12:43 PM by Amy Johnson

Cold-weather winter break destinations from Chicago

Photo: Quebec City, Canada courtesy Flickr/colros

As the days grow shorter and colder, the temptation to go south can be irresistible. But what if the winter season inspired your plans instead? Some of my family’s favorite vacations have been to northern destinations that delivered the perfect combination of festivity, coziness, and invigorating outdoor adventure.

This year, consider one of these escapes:

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Festive decorations and seasonal activities for fami...

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM by Amy Orzel

Tips for a stress-free school search [includes downloadable guide]

*SPONSORED POST BY GEMS WORLD ACADEMY CHICAGO*

For parents considering independent schools, open house season is well upon us. Whether you are looking for preschool for the very first time or for the perfect spot for your kids as they wrap up their last years before college, these next few months are an exciting time, to say the least. But, these next few months are also often filled with that little six-letter word that tends to loom large for us parents: stress. 

The biggest ques...

Posted on October 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM by GEMS World Academy Chicago

NPN members receive 15% off Earth to Kenzie at Lyric Opera Chicago

*PARENT PERK BY LYRIC OPERA*

This November, Lyric Opera of Chicago will present Earth to Kenzie, an intergalactic adventure told through opera for families with children ages 7–12, at the Vittum Theater. From video games filled with heroic missions and villainous space kitties to life lessons about making new friends and overcoming your fears in the classroom, Earth to Kenzie is the perfect production to introduce a young person in your life to the magic of music and theater!  

Abo...

Posted on October 15, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Childcare during the CPS teachers' strike

Unless the Chicago Teachers Union and the city come to an agreement, CPS teachers and support staff, who are on the picket lines now, will continue to strike into the week of Oct. 21. 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.

Here are some options for childcare during the strike. Check back often—we'll be updating this post as we get more informat...

Posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:27 AM by Laura Baginski

What exactly is an International Baccalaureate school? A primer.

By David Gregg

The Internation Baccalaureate is an internationally renowned continuum of educational programs based on best teaching practices and a commitment to developing internationally-minded global citizens. All IB programs help students see themselves as integrally linked to the world they are exploring through an inquiry-based curriculum that emphasizes real-world contexts for learning. 

In order to offer an IB Program, a school must complete an intensive 2-3 year applicatio...

Posted on October 10, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Can CBD ease anxiety in children?

*SPONSORED POST BY INNOVATIVE WELLNESS*

A new school, friend drama, sports pressure. There are countless things that can stress kids out. When coupled with schedules that are busier than ever, it’s no wonder that anxiety is on the rise in kids. As parents try to navigate their child’s moods and intense feelings, many have asked me about natural approaches to anxiety relief such as CBD. Does it work? Is it safe? Is it worth the hype? In short, yes, CBD can be effective for children, bu...

Posted on October 08, 2019 at 7:00 AM by Rahul Khare

Tips and tricks for a stress-free Halloween, from NPN staff

As parents of kids ranging from 2 months to twentysomethings, the NPN staff has survived a couple of decades of Halloweens in the city. Here’s our best advice.

“One year I bought LED fiber optic hair extension clips for my daughters’ butterfly costumes, and loved that it made them so easy to spot in the dark on a crowded sidewalk! Now we do those or something else that lights up every year.”— Elizabeth Knutson, NPN Executive Director

“For costume-shy toddlers, try at least one pract...

Posted on October 03, 2019 at 1:24 PM

The best neighborhoods in Chicago for trick-or-treating

We asked our members on the NPN Discussion Forum to spill the Halloween beans on the best Chicago neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. Here’s what we learned.

Burling St. between Fullerton and Wrightwood Aves.
“The entire block is closed to traffic, and virtually every house participates and kids from all over the city come. You can spend the whole night just doing both sides of the street and the candy is awesome (and usually there are people handing out other things like glowsticks)...

Posted on October 03, 2019 at 11:27 AM