These tips for getting off to a good start can boost children’s confidence, behavior and outlook socially and academically. The shift from summer to Fall can be a tough transition for both children and their parents, with greater structure, more activities and more stress. Help your children manage the changes by planning ahead and staying positive. Check out our tips to make it easier for the whole family.

Re-establish routines – take a week or two to gradually move up bedtime and wake-up time and let them practice getting up, dressed and eating breakfast earlier. Add in bedtime reading and chores if you didn’t do this during the summer. Talk to your child about the benefits of going to bed on time so they have energy the next day. Even preschoolers can learn to set an alarm clock to get up in the morning. Praise them for being a go-getter when they get up.

Create a launch-pad – a designated area for backpacks lunch boxes and important notices and homework papers to avoid last minute scrambles.

Set a time and a place for homework – avoid daily battles by setting up a time and place for homework. The best area is the kitchen or family room so they can be monitored and encouraged. Make sure there’s good lighting and room for books and resources. Plan ahead to be available during the homework hour to head off frustration and make sure the work gets done.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend “Meet the Teacher Night” – It is August 1 in Tempe, check your school website for other districts and attend to meet your child’s Teachers, the Principal and other staff. Arrange for a babysitter now, if necessary. Walk through the school if it is a younger child or a new school, and find their classroom, locate lockers, visit the lunchroom, and encourage your child to ask questions.

Here are the first days of school for some local districts:

Chandler – Monday July 21
Phoenix – Wednesday July 30

Tempe – Tuesday August 5

Gilbert – Wednesday August 6

Scottsdale – Wednesday August 6

Paradise Valley – Friday August 8

Glendale – Monday August 11

Clear your schedule for the first week of school and put off business trips, extra meetings and avoid bringing work home to you have time to help your child get used to the new  schedule. Have some planned frozen leftovers ready so dinnertime is easy.

With a few of these tips and strategies in place, your first days of school will create a good start to the school year and make for academic success all year.

If you need an extra hand, consider hiring an after school nanny. We’re currently recruiting candidates who will pick children up from school, fix a nutritious snack, help with homework, throw in a load of laundry, prep dinner, get the kids in the car with mouth guards, clean uniforms and socks, and drive them to sports practices or appointments. We take photocopies of their Driver’s Licenses, three year MVD Records and current Auto Insurance when they interview. When checking references, we ask prior families about their driving habits.They’re happy to grocery shop or pick up the gift for the weekend birthday party. Expect to pay $16-$18 per hour and we require a hour hour minimum per visit. Click here to fill out a Family Application. and Jenny, our Family Placement Counselor will give you a call to answer your questions.

Beth Weise

Read More

Scottsdale Insurance saw our campaign on Facebook and collected 17 backpacks from their small office!!!!
The children at Excellencia and Larkspur schools will be thrilled with their new backpacks! Thank you Scottsdale Insurance!

Our wonderful nannies helped also!!! Thank you Alison!!!

And leaving backpacks at our door!

Thank you to all of our awesome nannies and business community!

Read More

It’s that time of year again!  Summer has come to an end in the Valley and another school year has begun. Now that you’re into the fall schedule, and over the first two weeks, here are some tips I use at home.

If your busy household is anything like mine, back to school can mean frazzled, stressful days of preparation leading up to the first day, and then crazy, rushed mornings with the kids who are reluctant to get back into the daily grind of school.

Here are 5 helpful tips I use at my home with my 2nd grader and kindergartener to alleviate the chaos that often comes with back-to school preparations.

1. Beat the crowds at the stores by shopping for school supplies early in the morning when stores first open.  Or wait until just before the store closes.  Teachers often send home longs lists of required school supplies and if you go in the middle of the day when everyone else is shopping, you’ll be fighting over that last box of markers, and standing in long check out lines

2. Include the kids in choosing a few important school items but not all.  I suggest having a special shopping trip with the kids in which you allow them to pick out a new backpack, lunch box, and first day of school outfit.  Any other supplies needed are best to get when shopping without the kids. That helps eliminate battles over what the kids want to put in the cart and what the school supply list requires

3. Get organized the night before.  In my household, I have my 8 and 5 year old boys pick out their outfits and lay out their clothes and shoes for the next day.  Backpacks are packed and ready by the door.

4.Pack lunches the night before and plan breakfast for the next morning.  That way you are not scrambling eggs in a hurry while also trying to slap together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

5.Have a designated place in your home where everything goes.  Kids should know when they walk in the door after school where to hang their backpacks, put lunch boxes, set out homework, and so forth.  I have a bench by my front door with a cubby for shoes, a hook for back backs and then each child has a basket on the kitchen counter for important school papers and homework.
Organization is key for a stress-free school year.  Have a wonderful new school year!

Jenny Riojas

Read More