Top Questions to Ask on a Boarding School Tour

You have selected the top boarding schools for your child to attend. Once you schedule a tour, you need to think of some questions to ask while walking around the campus. While some may come during the tour, these questions can help you prepare ahead of time. The answers can help you narrow your choices down to pick the right one for your teen.

Boarding School

How Is This School Different?

While you may have read the website details, spoken with an admissions officer and read the brochure, the tour can allow you to find out more details on why the school is different. The best boarding schools for athletes balance academics with training. Many schools look and feel similar, so you want to know why your kid should go there.

How Many Grads Go to Top Colleges?

Thinking about your child’s future is one reason you chose to send them to a boarding school. Having an idea of how many of the school’s students attend a top university after graduating can help you choose the one that meets your expectations for their post-high school education. For those with athletic interests, how many of the students went to top-rated athletic colleges for their particular sport.

How Does the Admissions Process Work?

Every school operates slightly differently. You need to know what to expect when you apply for your child to attend. Do they conduct interviews for the student, the family or both? Some schools may want the child to take a placement exam in addition to seeing their academic performance from their prior schools. Some schools may include a section for alumnus children. An athlete may need to try out for the team before offered admission.

What Homework Provisions Are There?

Since you won’t be there, you need to know how homework will be handled. If your child often needs assistance, does the school provide that and how? Some kids may need a quiet space to complete work that may be more difficult to find in a boarding school environment. Make sure there are accommodations for the type of learning your child has outside the classroom.

What Are the Class Sizes?

One of the reasons many parents send their children to boarding schools are for smaller classes. Some children need more attention than others making small class sizes a huge help to their learning. A rich learning environment provides your child with the ability to speak up for themselves, participate in class discussions and receive any assistance they need to achieve their optimal learning objectives.

8 Ideas for a Perfect Family Sunday

You know how it is: all week, you dream about spending the perfect relaxing Sunday with your kids but when the weekend rolls around it’s chaos as usual and you spend the entire day picking up after your little ones as you distract them with a movie. Take charge of this weekend by making a plan to get out of the house – and sticking to it. Here are eight ideas for some Sunday fun that the whole family will enjoy.


Plan a picnic

This is definitely one for the warmer months, but a picnic is the perfect excuse for some family bonding. It requires a little forethought, but your food doesn’t need to be fancy for your family to have fun. Make sure to pack lots of fresh fruit – and a few treats, of course! You could also invite a couple of family friends along to really make a day of it.

Enjoy a pub lunch

The words “pub lunch” alone conjure up images of a wonderfully laid-back Sunday afternoon – and best of all, this option requires absolutely no preparation. Choose somewhere cozy and friendly with plenty of craft beer for you to sample, such as the Hole in the Wall pub in Chichester.

Visit a local museum

Visiting a local museum is a great way to keep your kids entertained and make sure they learn something new this weekend. Since many museums are free to visit, this could be a cost-effective way to spend your Sunday, too.

Fly kites

Flying a kite is a magical experience at any age and so it’s a great activity for all the family to enjoy. Make things even more fun with a selection of crazy and colorful kites.

Make a time capsule

If your kids are into arts and crafts, why not spend this Sunday making a time capsuletogether? Not only will it keep everybody entertained for hours, but it will be a lovely memento to dig up in a few years. You could include today’s newspapers, handwritten letters to their future selves, photographs and magazine clippings of their favorite cartoon characters or pop stars.

Plan a treasure hunt

Everybody loves a treasure hunt! All you need is a few pieces of card and some chocolate – of course. If you don’t fancy your home or garden being overturned in pursuit of treasure, you could always set it up at the local park instead for a little extra excitement.

Get baking

Not only is baking a lot of fun for everyone, but you get delicious treats at the end. Choose something simple like cookies or cupcakes and assign everybody a ‘clean up’ job before you begin to keep the kids mindful of the mess they’re making. To add a competitive element, you could always devise a ‘star baker’ prize.

Have a board game marathon

Crack out those dusty old board games from the back of the cupboard and have a family board game tournament. You could always get crafty and make a colorful scoreboard and crown for the ultimate victor, too.

How to Improve Your Child’s Dental Habits

Tooth decay is a serious issue, with nearly half of all children in the United States experiencing cavities by age five, however, in most cases, it’s completely preventable as long as the child is taking proper care of their teeth and going for regular dental examinations. As parents, we want what’s best for our children, so if you have any concerns, here are a few ways to improve your child’s dental habits.

dental habit

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Be a Good Role Model

As a parent, your child will look up to you and follow your lead, so for your kids to maintain good oral hygiene, you need to practice what you preach and show them how important it is to clean your teeth twice a day. If you aren’t setting a good example from the get-go, you will find it more difficult to convince your children to brush their teeth.

Encourage Healthy Eating

We’re all aware of how important healthy eating is. Following a balanced diet packed with fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and nutrients can help support your teeth and gums. We also know how much children love sweets and soda, so it’s important that you get a grasp on how many treats they’re consuming and then reduce or eliminate their intake. There are lots of things that you can do to aid healthy eating, such as prioritizing tooth-healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits, which you can pack in their school lunches.

Establish a Regular Schedule

The old advice still rings true: everyone (including children) should be brushing their teeth twice a day. For children, in particular, you need to make brushing a set part of their day to day schedule so make sure that they are brushing their teeth right after breakfast as well as before getting into bed at night. If you’re concerned that your children aren’t brushing correctly, you will need to step in as a parent and teach them how to reach every corner of their mouths.

Make It Fun

Maintaining good oral hygiene is a serious business, but that’s not to say you can’t have some fun along the way. Children like challenges and games, so why not use games, stories, or songs to help make brushing time more fun for your children. A tooth-brushing session should last around two minutes, so you can use a timer or a clock that plays a song to provide entertainment for the 120 seconds. Also, offering praise to your child once they’ve completed brushing, as well as giving simple rewards like a sticker can keep them on the right track.

Find a Good Dentist

There’s only so much you can do at home when it comes to helping your child with their oral hygiene, therefore, finding a good dentist who you trust can mean your kids are getting the best dental care possible. Elite Dentistry is a dentist in Simi Valleythat uses state-of-the-art technology and offers a wide range of services to keep you and your family’s teeth and gums healthy and clean. From an early age, it’s important that you drill your kids in the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. To avoid cavities and gum disease, make sure that your child is brushing twice a day, and visiting the dentist regularly.

How to Stay Fresh Faced During the Holiday Hype

The holidays seem to come around quicker and quicker every year. The stores get their Christmas displays out the second that Halloween has ended and the radio stations seem to play Mariah Carey nonstop from late September. What with gift giving, school carol concerts and planning the festive feasts, your mind is often too preoccupied to notice that your skin care has taken a back seat in all the holiday madness.

fresh looking

During winter, your skin is put through so much: the freezing winds followed by the fiery warmth causes chapping, the sugary hot toddies and eggnog cause break-outs and the stress of getting the whole family together for Christmas causes your cortisol levels to fluctuate which can lead to signs of premature aging.

Taking care of yourself and your skin should be high on your priority list this holiday season. Here are some tips on how to get you through the holiday hype with a fresh face:

1. Stay hydrated

Often, you can be tempted to swap out drinking water with tea or hot chocolate during the winter. While there is nothing wrong with those drinks in moderation, making a direct switch between water and tea is not doing your skin any favors. If you don’t fancy a cold drink on a freezing winter day, try hot water with a slice of lemon or fresh ginger instead.

2. Protect your skin

When you are battling the elements this winter, most of your skin will be covered with layers upon layers of warm clothing. However, even when you are wearing a scarf pulled up and a bobble hat, there are still parts of your face that are left exposed. Protect your face with sunscreen; winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun and more often than not you don’t use your sunscreen during the winter. There are plenty of sunscreen options that can be worn under your make up and are perfect for daily use.

3. Repair the damage

No matter how much you protect yourself again the holiday season this year, you cannot prepare yourself for the past. Previous holiday stresses might show on your skin but you can change that with modern technologies and at home procedures like the microcurrent facial.

4. Don’t over-indulge

Indulgence should now be considered a Christmas tradition. Of course you are going to have that extra glass of wine, it’s Christmas! Of course you are going to have that second mince pie, it’s Christmas! Indulgence is often the only way to keep sane during the holidays but there is a fine line between indulgence and over-indulgence and your skin will be able to tell the difference. With increased amounts of sugar and alcohol over the holiday season your skin will become prone to breakouts. Combat these by making sure you wash and tone your face every day.

Whichever way you choose to spend the holiday season, make sure that you put aside some time for yourself so that you and your skin can have some time to recoup from the holiday hype.

How to Care for a Senior Pet

As your best friend ages, you will probably be wondering what you can do to maximize his quality of life and keep him around for longer. Here are some helpful guidelines for caring for a senior pet.


When is your pet considered ‘senior’?

The size of your pet plays a huge role in determining when he or she is considered to be ‘senior’. For example, when it comes to dogs, smaller breeds will often only reach ‘senior’ age when they turn nine or 10, while larger breeds are usually considered ‘senior’ as early as when they are around five or six. Most cats are considered ‘senior’ when they are between seven and 10 years old.

Change his diet

Senior pets have different dietary requirements compared to puppies/kittens and adult dogs/cats. For instance, most seniors will become more sedentary as they age, and this means that they will need fewer calories per day. Many senior pets may also begin to suffer from bouts of constipation, which is often linked to reduced activity, hence the reason why a high-fiber diet is also important. Some senior pet food also contains richer and better quality sources of protein.

Watch out for changes in behavior

It is important to have a great vet, like Heart and Paw, on speed-dial as your pet gets older as this is the time when they are more likely to develop certain conditions. You will need to watch out for any symptoms or changes in their behavior, such as eating or drinking less frequently, changes in bowel movements, increased water consumption, and increased agitation or anxiety. The moment you notice any of these changes, consult with your vet for advice.

Visit your vet regularly

Along with seeing the vet when you suspect possible problems in your senior pet, you should also visit them for regular check-ups. That way, he or she will be able to work to prevent numerous conditions and ensure that your pet is not in any pain. These regular check-ups will also provide you with maximum peace of mind.


Your pet may feel less inclined to exercise now that he is older – but that doesn’t change the fact that it is still good for him! Play with your cat as often as you can and take your dog for frequent walks. However, it is essential that you keep an eye out for signs that your pet is experiencing any pain when exercising. Arthritis is an especially common concern in aging animals. In fact, one in every four dogs is diagnosed with some form of arthritis in his lifetime, and over half of all cats over the age of six have arthritis in at least one joint.

Symptoms of arthritis include the following:

  • Reduced activity
  • Limping
  • Problems sitting, standing, or climbing stairs

Special diets and anti-inflammatory medication can help to ease the pain and stiffness associated with the condition.

Make him comfortable

As your pet gets older, he may begin to feel various aches and pain that will reduce his comfort levels. You can counteract this by making your home ‘senior-friendly.’ Buy him an orthopedic bed, keep him warm with a blanket or a jacket, and ensure that he can access his food and water with ease. Follow these tips and your beloved pet is sure to enjoy golden, rather than gray, years ahead of him.

4 Ways You Can Be a Better Dog Owner

As a pet owner, you want to give your animal the best life possible. While we all might like to believe that wanting to be a good pet owner is as effective as being a good pet owner, it’s unfortunately not the case.  

It’s easy to make mistakes and not realize that we could be doing more for our pets. Unfortunately, some mistakes are bigger than others, and may ultimately end with hurting your pet.  

If you’re ready to learn how to make your relationship with your pets as solid as possible, then take a look at these tips. 

dog owner

Provide a Healthy Diet

Your dog depends on you for their nutritional needs. Diet is an important part of their health. Whether you’re buying them snacks or bags of food, it should be made of quality ingredients.  

Why settle for cheap food that will offer them the least amount of nutrients? Instead, opt for high quality that’s made for your dog’s specific dietary needs. If you want to really go above and beyond, you can consider making their food yourself. A combination of veggies, meat, and grains can make an affordable and nutritionally ideal meal for your pet.

Your pet’s life is directly affected by the quality of the food you provide your pooch with. Make it good!

Vaccinate Them

One of the basics of responsible dog parenthood is staying up to date with vaccinations. Your dog needs vaccinations to stay protected from all sorts of diseases. A simple visit to the vet can ensure your dog stays free of illness, which could otherwise be fatal.  

Some people stall on doing this because of the price. However, if you’re not ready to pay the costs involved with owning a pet, then it’s time to consider whether you’re not suited to own one. 

Train Them

Training your dog isn’t only for your benefit; it’s also for theirs. Dogs may not have the best habits by nature. It’s up to you to show them how to socialize successfully with other dogs and keep their cool around other humans.

A well-trained dog is less anxious, more physically stimulated, and happier overall. If you’re not sure how the basics of dog training work, then consider signing your dog up for an obedience class.

Dog-Proof Your House

It’s vital that your dog stays protected from getting into any dangerous chemicals or materials that could harm him. It’s crucial that you dog-proof your home so that they can’t eat or swallow anything they shouldn’t.

Dogs are naturally curious, so it’s important to protect them by keeping them away from situations and materials that could be potentially threatening to their life.

How Motherhood Affects Your Health

Beyond changing your life emotionally, motherhood can also change your health. The changes you will experience are not exclusive to the nine months that you carry the baby. In fact, the health changes that motherhood brings can remain for years down the road, and in some cases, even life.

If you’re a new mother and interested in learning what changes to anticipate in your body, take a look at some of the most common.


Increased Risk Of Obesity

Although it’s recommended for women to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, some women end up gaining much more. As a result, they carry excess weight around post-baby.  Although some women turn to procedures like liposuction or tummy tucks after birth, they may still have trouble achieving their pre-pregnancy shape. 

In addition to excess pregnancy weight lingering, they also experience lifestyle changes that can alter their metabolism. Young babies require a lot of time at home, which requires less movement. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding.

Although breastfeeding burns 300-500 calories a day, it also requires a considerable amount of sitting down. Therefore, many women experience a substantial dip in their ability to burn off food.

Lower Chances of Developing Cancer

Believe it or not, pregnancy lowers your chances of getting ovarian cancer. Audra E. Timmons, an OBGYN at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston, explains, “On a molecular level, each time ovulation occurs, the ovary undergoes repair. Shutting down ovulation decreases the number of times the ovaries are trying to repair their capsules, thus decreasing the opportunity for genetic ‘accidents’ to occur that could lead to cancer.” 

Increased Brain Activity

When you give birth, you may think only your heart grows. However, studies show that in addition to an emotional response, you also experience a brain boost.

When mothers give birth, brain scans show that mothers are so focused on taking care of their babies that they show a significant increase in brain activity.

Improved Endometriosis Symptoms

Women who have struggled in the past with endometriosis may find that their condition improves after giving birth. When there is a decrease in estrogen, endometriosis symptoms tend to improve.

Therefore, having children will not only decrease your chances of developing ovarian cancer but may also guard against endometriosis. 

Increased Risk of Incontinence

Unfortunately, wee problems are common for mothers following birth. The stress on the vagina during a traditional delivery causes women to have issues holding their pee in.

For many women, all it takes is a few coughs for an accident to happen. Unfortunately, women who have cesareans are not immune to incontinence either. The good news is that there are surgeries available that may help ease incontinence issues. If you develop a particularly bad case, you may want to discuss your options with your doctor.

5 Ways to Make Your Living Room Child-Friendly

When you are a parent, whether you are seasoned or new to the whole thing, the safety of your children always comes first before anything else. It is impossible to shield them from all the possible dangers in the outside world, but it is possible to protect them within your own home.There are lots of elements to a home that are potentially dangerous to young children, but most people don’t consider them because they simply don’t cross their minds, and this can be a risk.


To make your home as child-friendly as possible, you have to be prepared and make changes where need be.

1.    Comfortable Furniture

Everyone wants comfortable furniture, but most of all, children want them. When they are especially young, they’re sensitive to everything. An uncomfortable sofa is an unfamiliar sensation and could be enough to make them feel awkward or even upset. Soft cushions and sofas are the way to go. Investing in a pouf or ottoman may also be something to think about, as they’re much easier for children to climb onto!

2.   Deep Clean the Carpet

Carpets can harbor some nasty and dangerous germs if they aren’t cleaned properly, and kids can be particularly susceptible to them. Have your carpets professionally cleaned by carpet cleaners Wandsworth to remove any dirt or germs that pose a potential threat to children if they come in contact with them.Children are prime mess creators, so you will have to do a deep clean to rid the carpet of anybacteria they’ve brought in.

3.   Remove Small Ornaments

Children like to pick up everything. If you have small ornaments that could be a choking hazard, it’s best to put them completely out of reach. Even if you hide them or put them higher than you think the children can reach, if they can, they’ll climb to what they want. It’s best to remove them from the room completely for the time being.

4.   No Sharp Corners

Kids will run around at any speed they like without a care for what’s around them, and it’s your responsibility to make sure they don’t run into anything that could harm them. If you need a coffee table or storage space, make sure the corners are rounded. This way, if they do run into the furniture, it won’t hurt nearly as much as it would if they had sharp corners.

5.   Toy Storage Area

Toys get everywhere. It’s a fact of life. To keep your living room clutter-free, and therefore safer, make sure you have boxes or crates to store the toys in after playtime is over. It will also save time transferring them from your child’s bedroom to the living room every time they want to play in there. As a bonus, you can teach them some responsibility by having them put away their own toys. Childhood is about exploring, and getting hurt sometimes is a part of that, but your home should be a place of complete safety for your child.

5 Top Tips for Coping with a Fussy Eater

Having a child who is a fussy eater can be extremely frustrating; whether they have been particular when it comes to their food since day one of weaning, or they have suddenly developed an aversion to all foods that are not chicken nuggets or pizza, knowing how to overcome this can be tricky. Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to gradually reintroduce, or even introduce for the first time your child to different types of foods that they need to be healthy and thrive.


Starting with . . .

1.   Not Making A Fuss

Making your child’s mealtimes into a big song and dance in a desperate attempt to get them to try new foods or eat their dinner is a sure-fire way for them to start refusing food altogether.Instead, remain calm and in control and do not pressurize your child to eat something if they don’t want to. For younger children, it can also be helpful not to get worked up about any mess that they make when experimenting with food; baby weaning can be messy, but you can always hire rug cleaners to remove stains from your floor coverings.

2.   Ensure Your Child Is Hungry at Mealtimes

An easy mistake to make is offering your child too many snacks close to mealtime,which can result in them refusing to try new foods. Why? A hungry child is more likely to eat what you put in front of them, rather than a child who is just mildly peckish. Plus, if your child knows they are likely to be given a snack later in the evening, they will be less inclined to eat at dinner, safe in the knowledge that they won’t go hungry.

3.   Make Food Fun for Your Child

If eating seems like a chore, then your child is not going to look forward to mealtimes, so try to make food as fun as possible.This could include something simple, like making a smiley face out of raw vegetables, or making some tasty fruit kebabs for your child to enjoy. It is also important to involve your child in the food preparation process; you just need to ensure that the tasks you give your child are age-appropriate.

4.   Be Consistent in Offering New Foods

Although it is advised not to bombard your child with a whole plate of unknown foods, it is recommended to consistently offer at least one new food at each mealtime, so your child can experience a wide range of flavors and textures.Do not worry if they only take one bite of the new food; they have tried it, and that is what counts. Try to remember that it can take at least 6 weeks for a new habit to be built, so try not to feel disheartened if your child continuously refuses a particular food.

5.   Accept That There Will Be Certain Foods They Don’t Like

Just like adults do not like all foods, neither do children. You may become fixated on your child eating avocado, and yes, this fruit is nutritiously amazing (although high in fat), but if your child simply doesn’t like the taste or texture, then there is very little you can do to convince them otherwise.In other words, pick your battles. If your child is making progress and trying new foods, take that as a win. Do not become preoccupied with one specific ingredient.

This entry was posted in Family.

5 Signs You’re A Good Homeowner

If you’re like most homeowners, you strive to make the most of your humble abode.  You want to be a good homeowner, and you want to get as many years as possible out of the structure.  

Even if you plan to sell your home, you want prospective buyers to know that you’ve taken good care of the property.  Take a few minutes to look over a few clear signs that you’re a good homeowner, and take a personal inventory today.  

clean home

Your home has excellent curb appeal 

A home with a well managed yard and exterior will always make a good impression on the neighbors.  Keep your yard trimmed and fertilized.  

Plant a few trees, and spend time creating a cozy outdoor space for recreation.  Show that you take pride in your home, and when it’s time to sell the property, you’ll make a good impression on prospective buyers.  

Your home is pest free throughout 

No one enjoys living with bugs, and that is why they are referred to as “pests.”  Maintaining a home that is free of common household pests shows that you take pride in the comfort of your home.  

It’s not only a healthy thing to keep pests under control in your home, it is also beneficial to your pets.  When fleas get out of control in your home, it can be difficult to protect your pets and yourself from irritating bites. 

Your home has efficient windows and doors

If you really pay attention to the well-being of your house, then you’ll make certain that your windows and doors are not a major drag on the energy efficiency of your home.  

You will lower your energy bills and impress prospective buyers (in the future) by installing high quality windows and doors in your home.  

The work done on your home is not shoddy

There’s no doubt that you’ll have to have some work done on your home while you own it, and it’s important that you don’t just bandaid every issue that arises.  Bandaid quality work can lead to much bigger problems, and it doesn’t actually fix the issue.  

Pay the extra money to have repairs and improvements on your home done right.  You’ll recoup your investment in peaceful years. You will also boost your home’s equity, making quality improvements profitable in the long run.  

The HVAC unit is well-kempt 

You know you’re a great homeowner when your HVAC unit is regularly serviced.  Not many people truly understand how to properly maintain their heating and air unit.  

It pays to do the research and learn how to care for your HVAC unit.  You’ll also sit more comfortably in your home if your unit is functioning at top efficiency.

This entry was posted in Living.