The Ultimate Guide to Baby Shopping

I've always wanted to write the ultimate post about what you really need (and don't need) to buy when you have a baby. I was all excited, thinking about how smart and practical I would be. People would admire my sensibility and straightforward advice. I would cut to the chase, disparaging all the silly, useless baby products people tell you you need to register for, but you don't really. It would be great.

But while I was sitting around fantasizing about my great post, I stumbled across the one they've done at Rookie Moms and I realized that it was perfect. They had done it, created The Ultimate Shopping List: What to Register For and Buy, only with out the sanctimonious attitude I intended.

Of course, I could New York it up a little, but I'm too discouraged right now. Maybe when my wounded pride recovers I'll give it a try.

In the meantime, you can take advantage of the Spring Baby Sale at Amazon
or now that you know what to buy. No thanks to me.

Top Tier NYC Public Elementary School: PS 150

PS 150, The Tribeca Learning Center, is a small, choice public elementary school located in Tribeca, just two blocks north of PS 234. A choice school means that you do not have to live in a particular catchment to be able to attend. The school is required to give preference to people who live in the surrounding zones, however, and due to increasing popularity of PS 150 it may become much harder for children outside the Downtown Manhattan area to get in.

PS 150 has a reputation for it's small size, excellent test scores, and community of very involved parents. The PTA raises a very large amount of money from The Taste of Tribeca fundraiser, it's auction, and direct appeal from the parents, among other things. The PTA funds pay for many enrichment programs as well as classroom aides for the lower grades to make up for large class sizes. The school is also unique because it has an in-house cook who prepares all the meals which students eat in their classrooms and one of the rare full-day public pre-k programs in NYC.

Top Tier NYC Public Elementary Schools

Public or private. For many middle class parents in NYC this is a hand-wringing, heart-wrenching question. Every parent wants the best education for their child, but the skyrocketing cost of a private school education in New York, not to mention the highly competitive admissions process, has made private school difficult or impossible for so many middle class families.

The Guiltless Pleasure of Educational Computer Games

Online computer games are so prolific now they are getting harder and harder to avoid, especially with the cult status of Club Penguin for elementary school students. If allowed, children seem able to spend countless hours zoned out in front of the computer. At first, you may think that it's better than watching tv, computers being the future and all, but the games can be so mindless and their glazed-over looks tell a different tale.

There are, however, some really great educational games online that are just as fun. Kids can learn math skills, reading and writing, science, history...pretty much anything.

Mommy Poppins has dug up the following sites as some of the best educational games online, so parents can have a couple minutes of peace without feeling too guilty.

Hunter Curriculum Gathered

The whole school thing can be so mysterious. We read all we can, we go on tours, we listen to other parents, but in the end what do we really know about the different school choices we have for our children? We have a vague sense. Is that really how we want to make such a vital decision? It's frustrating and a little bit scary that we can't find out more specific information and have something a little bit more concrete to choose a school in NYC.

What do they really do at Hunter anyway? Is it really that different? Is it worth all the torture to get in? How about private schools? What do they do there that's worth $30,000 a year? Does a G&T class do anything different that an average class? Mommy Poppins is going to try to get to the heart of the matter.

We're starting out with Hunter. Below we have, described by a Hunter parent with the help of her child, exactly what they are doing this year in the second grade. We will be following up with curricula from some other schools too. Hopefully this will give parents some concrete information to make informed decisions. If you would like to submit information about your school please email Mommy Poppins.

Are Their Privates Still Top Tier If They Have VD?

For parents who are clawing to get their children admitted to NYC Top Tier private school Horace Mann, $300,000 (a conservative approximation of 12 years of tuition) is nothing compared to the value of providing their children with an elite education, safe from the baser elements they might face in NYC public schools. While these parents are imagining their children ensconced in the crГѓВЁme de la crГѓВЁme of New York, noses buried in Chaucer, happily dreaming of their Ivy League careers, they are blissfully unaware of the nightmare the parents of Horace Mann seniors are currently facing.

Useful links for school hunts

In NYC we suffer a wealth of choices when it comes to schools. Whether you're looking for a preschool or a high school for your kid, there are so many schools to choose from, just thinking about it will make your head spin. And where do you begin? How do you find that one school out there that is the perfect one for your child? Mommy Poppins has put together a list of useful resources to help you navigate the twisting and turning road of New York schools. We hope it's helpful. If you have one you'd like to add, leave a comment or let us know.

Are Parents Opting Out of Preschool?

The NY Sun illuminates a new twist to preschool admissions madness (via daddytypes) by pointing out the apparent trend to supply resumes and custom DVDs of your toddler with their preschool application. They then go on to destroy the tactic with several preschool personnel weighing in on how this would essentially get your application disqualified.

The article doesn't hold any big surprises. Any sane human being should be able to figure out that preschools are not looking for toddlers to have media kits and that this is precisely the type of showing off that turns people off. (see Are First Choice Letters Nuts?)

What was interesting was the proclamation that parents are skipping preschool all together just to avoid the madness of the application process:


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