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Relocating? How to Find the Right School for Your Child

by Liz Yee, Director of Admissions, Lowell School

Relocation can be an exciting and, let’s face it, stressful experience. There are many reasons that you may be relocating—new job opportunities, family changes, or a new life adventure—but when this move involves children, it can be even more challenging. Looking for housing, securing a job, getting to know a new city or community, saying “goodbye” to family and friends—there is a lot to balance. And, one of the most important elements, of course, is finding a school for your child.

Whether you’re looking at private or public schools, it can be difficult to even know where to begin. If your housing has been confirmed, that can be helpful in determining the local public school option. It can also narrow down ideas about private schools in the area. Or maybe, you’re waiting to find the school and then finalize the community where you will live. It becomes somewhat of a juggling game for everything to fall into place. Where to start?

Tap Into Your Real Estate Agent

If you are working with a relocation services company or a real estate agent, you should have early conversations about school districts, local neighborhoods, and private school options. Your agent will be your “boots on the ground” and will be able to get you pointed in the right direction. They will likely have a list of school district boundaries, or even a basic idea of good schools in the area. Schools are an important consideration in the real estate market, so don’t be shy about getting up-to-date and accurate information from your agent.

Do Your Research

If you have not yet relocated, Google is your new best friend. And, the good news is there are a lot of available resources that you can tap into to get to know schools and start to get an idea of what your options might be. If you need a tool to keep your thoughts organized, download this handy excel spreadsheet to get you started.  READ MORE

Summertime Screentime

By Denise Lisi DeRosa, Founder Cyber Sensible, LLC

The lazy days of summer can be a much-needed break from the busy routine of the school year for kids. Unfortunately for parents, summer can become a battle to keep kids from getting swallowed up by their technology – Netflix, Xbox, Instagram, Snapchat, Pokémon Go and on and on. So, how can families balance tech use and keep free time from becoming nothing but screen time? Here’s my advice.

Be Practical

No one wants to see their kids do nothing but lounge inside binge-watching TV or spending hours on end playing Xbox but we also need to adjust our expectations for the summer. Think ahead to what your kids will be doing over these months with camps, travel, beach, or pool. They may still be pretty busy but for any free weeks you may want to allow them a little more leeway with their use of tech. Just don’t let it get out of hand. Loosen the reigns without breaking all the rules. Keep some limits in place without discussion, for example no devices at family meals and devices off for sleep.

Be Prepared

To avoid the constant nagging or heated argument, set some expectations upfront for screen time use. Decide on some guidelines and boundaries together. Really allow your kids to have some input in this process so they are invested in the agreement. Also, remind them that screen time limits will be updated again once the new school year starts.

Be Flexible

So you planned a great beach getaway but rain and thunderstorms have you stuck inside? Allow some extra Netflix or Xbox playing when the weather is not cooperating with best-laid plans. Have some fun indoor activities on hand as well such as board games, puzzles or some creative crafts to offer some choices away from screens. Make sure everyone (including parents) knows when the sun returns you expect them to head back outside to enjoy the weather and the devices will be left inside. READ MORE