Messy Kids, Clean Carpets

messy kidThere comes a time in the day when all the arts and crafts supplies need to be put away and stored in their respective drawers. Little hands (and faces) need to be washed, and the tablecloth needs to be stripped from the kitchen table and thrown into the wash with all the paint-stained clothes. Artwork gets hung up to dry, while children’s active imaginations must wait until tomorrow for their chance to be artistically expressed. Maybe it’s time for dinner or time for bed, but either way – it’s often on you to clean up after your kids make a mess learning and exploring.

If you’re anything like me, you take pride in your clean home. My friends always comment when they come over to visit that if it weren’t for the extensive collection of macaroni artwork on the fridge, you’d have no idea that four children live here. But they’re exaggerating; with our daily art activities, one can only keep the carpets so clean. When you homeschool kids who are around the house all day, either inside learning with messy materials, or playing outside in the muddy backyard, there’s only so much you can do to keep the carpets clean. I’m always quick to clean up accidental spills and stains, but my carpets nevertheless started to turn an unappealing shade of light brown.

A friend of mine suggested these local Henderson carpet cleaners. I wasn’t too sure about hiring a professional carpet cleaning company as I knew they often used toxic chemicals that could be left behind and dispersed into the air. I’ve got four kids and a dog who all like playing around and wrestling in the carpet – I’m not risking any contact with dangerous chemicals! So just to be safe, I gave Sahara Chem Dry a call and asked about what kind of chemicals they use in their cleaning products. They happily explained that they only use organic, non-toxic cleaning products that are 100% safe for my kids and my dog. I also learned that their specific cleaning method of hot water extraction is a lot less likely to leave behind any sticky residue than other methods. I told them to sign me up!

Just hours after they came by, the carpets were clean and dry – ready for my kids to go back to playing. Of course no shoes are allowed inside, but we won’t be stopping our daily arts and crafts time any day soon!

How to Choose the Right Preschool for your Child

preschoolIf you’re wondering if it’s time to enroll your child in preschool, it probably is. Many parents are getting their children’s names on long waiting lists as early as mid-pregnancy. Preschools with a reputation for excellence in educating and caring for young children are in high demand, so it’s best to start your search as soon as possible. But how do you determine what the “right” preschool is for your child? Here are some tips to get you started:

Make a list of what you’re looking for in a preschool.

Are you a working parent who needs a full-day program, or just a half day? What’s the farthest you’re willing to drive your child to school? What’s your budget for tuition? Do you want a year-round program, or one that offers summers off? Knowing the specifics of what you’re looking for will help to start your search.

Do your research.

After you compile your “bottom line” list, look around online for websites of preschools in your area and see if they meet your criteria. It’s also a good idea to check online reviews of these schools to see what other parents are saying about them. Do any of your friends have recommendations for you? If you need more information, give the school a call.

Set up a tour.

After you’ve narrowed down your prospects, call to set up an informational tour. If the school allows you to bring your child, bring them along! It’ll be beneficial to see how your child likes the environment. Be sure to make extensive observations — do the teachers look happy? Are they interacting respectfully to the children, or are they talking down to them? Does the school appear safe? What kind of activities are being offered?

Ask a lot of questions.

If you still have questions after a tour or interview, make a list and follow up with the school. This is an essential time in your child’s development, and it’s important to know that he or she will be in good hands while you’re away at work. A good school will not only challenge your child intellectually and academically, but it will also foster positive social development, creativity, and imagination. For example, this preschool that provides child care in Blue Springs, features a curriculum that focuses on education, enrichment, and exploration.

Whatever school you end up enrolling your child in, be sure to check in with your child often about how he or she is liking the school. Have conversations regularly with your child’s teacher, as well as the preschool director for insight on your child’s behavior and progress. Whether your child is enrolled in the local public preschool, or a prestigious private school, you want to be sure that he or she is thriving.