Schools

10 Free Back-To-School Apps Every Parent Needs

Sending the kids back to school is akin to setting those New Year’s resolutions in January. It’s a clean slate and a period (however brief) of good intentions. Make the most of this optimism with these 10 smartphone and tablet apps to help you stay organized, help lend a hand with homework, and even help add some extra learning fun.  

We talked with teachers, principals and other educational experts about their favorite apps, and then we gave them a try to see how they worked. What follows is a list of our front runners, all designed to help you and your family get the school year off on the right foot. The best part? All of these apps are free. 

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BASIS Independent Manhattan to Open in Fall 2017

School searches can be fraught with stress, but searching for the right fit in Manhattan seems to multiply the tension tenfold...at least! Whether you're searching for a Pre-K program, elementary school, middle school or beyond, finding the right fit for your child is paramount. From public to private to charter, there are so many factors to consider and the landscape is ever- changing.

If you're a Manhattan-based family in the market for a school next year, you've got a great new option: BASIS Independent Schools is set to open its first Manhattan school on the Upper West Side in fall 2017. Serving kids in kindergarten through grade 8, the aim of BASIS Independent is to build well-rounded individuals who are challenged by the schools' accelerated liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

30 Fun Ways to Get NYC Kids Ready for Back to School

Summer is ending, and with school just around the corner, we can hear the kids' groans (and parents' cheers) already. But making that leap from summer funlike water slides to the classroom chair isn't always easy. All summer we've been sharing great ways to keep the kids engaged with brainy, but fun activities through our Summer Slide Busters guide. From storytime to science experiments, we've collected plenty of activities to keep little ones busy and learning. Need book suggestions for the rest of the summer? The NYPL even shared a host of summer reading book lists for all ages, including grown-ups. 

What else can you do to prepare your kids for school? Well now we're sharing 30 ideas for fun stuff to do around NYC with the rest of the summer that will get the kids' brains back in gear, from cool free drop-in classes to outdoor learning that will hardly feel like school even as they soak up a bit of biology. So read on to get started on one, five, or all of these 30 activity ideas.

Montessori Preschools In and Around Philadelphia

Montessori learning is a great way to foster independence and teach kids a love of learning. Montessori schooling encourages your child's sense of curiousity and adventure. If you're interested in starting your child on the Montessori path, check out one of these great preschools. If you're looking for something a little bit different, be sure to visit our Preschool Guide and our Directory to find more awesome preschools in your area. Whether your kid loves nature, wants to learn a new language, or just loves to play, Mommy Poppins has all the info you need to choose the right preschool.

End-of-Summer Programs to Help Kids Re-engage With School

While the past few months may have been filled with camp activities, vacations and carefree days, the lazy, hazy days of summer are coming to an end and that means the kiddies need to get used to school again. Beat summer brain drain with these educational and inspirational events and activities to help get those wheels turning again. Be sure to check out our Summer Guide for more warm weather ideas.

The Roosevelt Ride: Day Trip Celebrates FDR in Hudson Valley

FDR looms large in many Americans' minds as the man who led the country through the Great Depression and the only president to serve three terms. For New Yorkers, the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the nation's 32nd president, is perhaps even more pervasive.

He was born in Dutchess County's Hyde Park and his family was deeply connected to the Hudson Valley. He served in the New York State Senate and later as the governor of the state before ascending to the White House. Today, the area boasts several historic Roosevelt sites that help introduce visitors to our longest-serving president and First Lady Eleanor, including the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and the Franklin Roosevelt Park. Even a number of NYC sites carry his name. Time for a visit to Roosevelt Island?

A visit to Hyde Park, though, is a unique educational opportunity for children and parents—and don't count out a visit with young children. The shady grounds of the various Roosevelt sites offer plenty of room to romp in the fresh air. How to see it all, you ask? On the Roosevelt Ride, of course! This efficient shuttle takes visitors on a tour of the most important historic Roosevelt sites in and around Hyde Park—for FREE. We've got the scoop on catching the Roosevelt Ride as well as details on sites along the route, all adding up to a car-free, family-friendly day trip that’s heavy on history with a side helping of nature.

Nature Preschools and Kindergartens in Philadelphia

The newest movement in childhood education is headed outside. Nature preschools and outdoor education are getting some serious attention lately. The idea is that kids learn all or most of their lessons in the great outdoors-- no matter the weather. The lessons often incorporate the outdoors and there are plenty of adventurous activities involved like hiking, canoeing, climbing, and ropes courses. What's awesome about it is that your kids are spending tons of time outside instead of sitting in a classroom. It also teaches kids practical outdoor survival skills. Some of these forest schools even go all the way through 12th grade. While it's definitely a new phenomenon (and maybe not for the faint of heart), a handful have popped up in the Philadelphia area. 

Summer Reading Programs Around Fairfield County

Whether your child is in pre-school or high school, the final works from her teacher were probably instructions about making sure to read over the summer in order to avoid the dreaded summer slide. However, with the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved The BFG to the long awaited publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this summer books are cool again, and it's a fantastic time to get kids excited reading.  Nearly every public library in Fairfield County has some kind of summer reading program in which children can win prizes. Some of these programs require proof of residency in the form of a library card, but there are a wide variety of programs of available for the community at large in libraries and other locations. We've rounded up other educational programs happening over the summer to fight that summer slide but here are some of our favorites to help keep the kids reading:

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