Spooky, fun and socially distant: Creative Halloween ideas for kids during Covid

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative” – Judy Gold

Never has that been more true than now. So how do you embrace creativity and find a way to celebrate during these strange times?

Lights tour
When our children were babies we would stroll through the neighborhood on a night prior to Halloween, just enjoying the lights away from the crowds. This activity has now become a part of our annual tradition. We’re truly thankful that we c...

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 10:53 AM by Fiona Royer

How to apply for CPS preschools

Preschool in Chicago is not required, but many families consider enrolling their children into a local preschool option when their child is 3 years old. To attend a CPS-based preschool, however, requires understanding the differences between the options.

If you’re thinking about CPS magnet schools for preschool next fall, the time to look into those programs is…now! Because you apply one year before entry, this is the fall to apply if your child is 2 by this past Sept. 1st for programs...

Posted on September 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM by Chicago School GPS

What's up with Universal PreK? Here's what we know.

Public preschool admissions, procedures and offerings have been an ever-changing process year after year. This year is no exception as CPS is once again in the midst of changes to their Chicago Early Learning programs (formerly known as Ready to Learn, Preschool for All and others).  

The newest change is a Universal PreK (UPK) component, but CPS is rolling it out in phases, which further confuses and muddles the landscape.  

This latest initiative was announced by former Mayor Rahm...

Posted on September 16, 2020 at 9:54 AM by Chicago School GPS

How to apply to a CPS school in 5 easy steps

Photo credit: Bruno Girin/Flickr

It’s the time of year again! Chicago Public Schools (CPS) begins its applications for the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, October 12, and close on Friday, December 11, 2020. 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. Learn about Universal Pre-K status.

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

Magne...

Posted on September 16, 2020 at 8:49 AM by Chicago School GPS

NPN members get 12% off Brick Loot Box subscription

*PARENT PERK BY BRICK LOOT*

Join Brick Loot and get a monthly box filled with custom LEGO kits designed by famous LEGO designers, custom LEGO minfigures, as well as Brick Loot exclusives, accessories and more. Every month is a new theme with the hottest items you will not find anywhere else to add to your LEGO city.

Parents and grandparents love this one-of-a-kind box that was invented by a 9-year-old Chicago boy! Will you inspire your kids to think big?

NPN members get 12% off ...

Posted on September 15, 2020 at 7:00 AM

NPN members receive a free inspection with western suburb home purchase

*PARENT PERK BY NICHOLE VEIHMAN @ PROPERTIES*

Right now, an on-the-ground suburban agent who is in tune with the current market is crucial to navigating this unique and competitive housing market. 

Nichole Veihman, La Grange resident and past city resident, is passionate about helping people understand the Western Suburbs of Chicago. Tour attendees choose their own mix of neighborhoods, towns and tour topics:

La Grange, La Grange Park, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hil...

Posted on September 01, 2020 at 7:00 AM

How to handle remote learning while co-parenting

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Co-parenting is always a balancing act, but add your child's remote learning into the mix and you could have a real challenge on your hands.

As always, communication is key. Each parent should be informed on what the back to school process looks like and all available options, knowing that with COVID-19, recommendations and options are changing every day. Discuss with your co-parent the concerns you each have as it pertains to healthcare, y...

Posted on August 31, 2020 at 10:33 AM by Erin Wilson

NPN members get 50% off assessments at Black Bear Academy

*PARENT PERK BY BLACK BEAR ACADEMY*

Black Bear Academy is open for in-person learning! In light of Chicago Public Schools’ decision to begin the new school year remotely, we are happy to share that BBA will be offering supplemental, in-person learning this fall. 

Our programming can enhance any school-delivered curriculum and enrich the learning experience with structured approaches to reading and writing. We offer small-class settings with certified teachers and flexible schedulin...

Posted on August 25, 2020 at 7:00 AM

These thoughtful gifts prove that showing you care doesn't cost a thing

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

We’re all feeling the pinch. Whether you’re job searching or just unsure what the future holds, saving a few bucks here and there is very welcome these days. I like to advocate for recognizing folks with gifts, but those gifts don’t have to break the bank. These strange times have prompted me to think creatively and find a few zero-cost options to consider. 

[Related: How to celebrate kids' birthdays while social distancing]

Artwork 
The ...

Posted on August 20, 2020 at 3:21 PM by Fiona Royer

NPN members get 12% off Brick Loot Box subscription

*PARENT PERK BY BRICK LOOT*

Join Brick Loot and get a monthly box filled with custom LEGO kits designed by famous LEGO designers, custom LEGO minfigures, as well as Brick Loot exclusives, accessories and more. Every month is a new theme with the hottest items you will not find anywhere else to add to your LEGO city.

Parents and grandparents love this one-of-a-kind box that was invented by a 9-year-old Chicago boy! Will you inspire your kids to think big?

NPN members get 12% off ...

Posted on August 18, 2020 at 7:00 AM