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The little book with BIG resources!

Back To School Organizing

Family Schedule


During the back to school season, a family’s schedule fills up quickly with all sorts of activities. College Nannies & Tutors’ top three tips:

1)      Utilize a family calendar – have one family calendar that all events and activities are on.

2)      Protect family time – be sure to have some quality down time as a family to just have fun together. Plan it – put it on the calendar so it is a priority.

3)      Learn when to say “yes” and “no.” There are all sorts of good things to fill up our time – sometimes we have to say no to good things in order to make other important things a priority. When adding things to your family’s schedule, be sure and ask yourself if what you are adding is important enough to hold that spot on the calendar. This may look different for each family, so it is your job to decide what is best for your family and your kids.

After-School Activities


Piano lessons, football practice, volleyball practice, cheerleading, girl/boy scouts, you name it… there are many after-school activities to fill the time slot of 3-6pm. College Nannies & Tutors top three tips:

1)      Carpooling. Team up with other great parents and share the responsibility of transporting to and from practices and other activities. This will take the load off of you as a parent running around every day being a taxi driver, and also will give you the opportunity to get to know other parents and the children your kids are hanging out with.

2)      Not available when the school bell rings? Consider an after-school nanny. You can arrange for a fun role model to take great care of your kids after-school. An after-school nanny can pick them up from school, take to after-school activities, help with homework, and help get dinner started. When you get home from work, you can then just do what parents love to do – spend time with your family.

3)      Develop a routine. When kids come home from school, it is great for you and for them to have some sort of a routine – it provides a great start to a smooth evening. Again, this will look different for each family and depend on after-school activities. Consider a few of these ideas: snack/down time where you catch up with your children on the day’s happenings (take interest in your kids’ days – ask them how it went and what was their favorite part), homework time (and be available to help), free time/play time (and have some fun with them!), and help with preparations for dinner. Take advantage of the days when your children do not have activities. Plan some down time at home with a movie or games, or a fun outing just you and them. Dinner out, a trip to the park, or that special outing you know the kids always enjoy are just a few ideas.



With the start of a school year, comes the start of homework. College Nannies & Tutors top three tips:

1)      Set your expectations for when you want homework to be completed. If you specify that homework should be done before dinner, before play time, or whatever makes sense for your family, it will help the homework get completed with less struggle and procrastination.

2)      Be available to help. When your student knows you are available to them, it helps give them the confidence and motivation to get through the assignments. You also will then be able to lend an encouraging word and assist with any problems when needed.

3)      Know how they are doing. Only when you are tuned into how your student’s homework is going, can you know if they are struggling or doing well. If they need help beyond what you can offer, consider a professional tutor. You can get your student hooked up with a professional tutor who will provide customized, one-on-one homework help tutoring to help your child get ahead and succeed.

Whatever this time of year brings for you and your family, be available to make your family a priority, have fun, and be an encourager and advocate for education.

Amy Branton

College Nannies & Tutors

Building Stronger Families®



How to Get the Best Deals at Kids Consignment Sales

Consignment sales are a great way to save money on kids’ items.  You pay a fraction of retail for gently-used and new kids’ items.  Here We Grow Again Kids Consignment Sale offers thousands of great bargains on clothing, toys, shoes, games, books, baby equipment, furniture, nursery items, sports equipment and more in one convenient location.  With thousands of items in so many categories, how can you be sure you are getting the best bargains?  It is possible with a little planning and preparation.  Here are our top ten tips to help you get the best deals!

  1. Bring a list of your top wants/needs and start there.  Focusing on a couple must-have items will help you spend your bargain hunting time wisely.  All the other great deals you find along the way are a bonus.
  2. Get to the sale first!  Our shoppers typically line up early on opening day.  Standing in line for a consignment sale may not only bring back fond memories of standing in line for your favorite band’s concert tickets, it might also mean that you are the first to snag that perfect deal.  If there is a must-have item on your list, be sure to arrive early.
  3. Better yet, get to the sale before the general public.  We offer special pre-sale hours to our volunteers and consignors.  Signing up to work a shift during the sale will guarantee that you are the first to shop.  Our volunteers also get first chance to shop the 50% off pre-sale.  Be the first to get half-off those items you’ve been eyeing during your volunteer shifts.
  4. Consider shopping for the most popular items on your list first.  Our sales floor is clearly marked by department.  Things like bicycles, outdoor play items, furniture, electronics and toys are some of our most popular categories.  If you have one of these items on your wish list, be sure shop those sections first.
  5. Be hands-free.  Rummaging through racks of clothing and tables of toys is much easier when both hands are free.  Consider bringing shopping bags or laundry baskets to hold your items.  Take advantage of our “Hold” tables, too.  Hold tables, located throughout the sales floor, provide a place where you can tag and hold your larger items while you enjoy the rest of your shopping.
  6. If possible, leave the kids at home.  If you can’t leave the kids at home, make sure they have snacks and potty breaks before you hit the sales floor.  Nothing interrupts a bargain-hunt like a poorly-timed potty break or a hungry, unhappy child.
  7. If the kids aren’t with you, be sure to bring a list of your kids’ sizes – this includes clothing and shoes.   It’s not a good deal if it doesn’t fit.
  8. Check the racks with clothing above and below your child’s size.  Clothing brands can run large or small. You might find something in another size that is right for your child.
  9. Inspect each item carefully.  We do our best to screen our items for tears, stains and damage.  Still, we recommend you examine each item before purchasing.  Again, it’s not a good deal if you aren’t able to use it after you get home.  All sales are final.
  10. If you are planning to purchase furniture, you may want to write down measurements for the space in your home.  That perfect desk or bed will seem less perfect if it isn’t the right size for your space.  Also, be sure that you bring a vehicle large enough to transport the item and maybe a friend or family member to help you unload once you get home.

If you’d like to find out more, visit us at www.herewegrowagain.com or email info@herewegrowagain.com.  Make sure to shop our upcoming Kansas City-area sales!

September 14 – 17 – Eastern Jackson County
Sports City
425 NE Mock Avenue
Blue Springs, MO 64014

September 20 – 24 – Olathe/Overland Park
EPIC Indoor Sports (formerly Pepsi Ice Midwest)
135th and Quivira
12140 W. 135th Street
Overland Park, KS 66221

October 1 – 4 – Southland/Grandview
Crystal Ballroom at Rodeway Inn
71 Hwy and 155th Street

October 5 – 8 – Shawnee

Westbrooke I Shopping Center

75th Street & Quivira
7353 Quivira Rd.
Shawnee, KS 66216

October 13 – 16 – Northland/Gladstone
Former Deals space near Hobby Lobby & Price Chopper
6465 N. Prospect
Gladstone, MO 64119

Is Your Child Ready for the Next Transition?

Summertime is full of new transitions for kids of all ages. Whether it is moving from preschool to kindergarten, elementary school to middle school, college test prep, or simply moving from one grade to the next, kids are making transitions over the summer. Transitions come with a mix of emotions including excitement and anxiety, anticipation and reservations. Fortunately, summertime is the perfect time to prepare and equip children for the next step, whatever that may be. From preparing for the next grade level, catching up on that tricky math concept, to taking the first steps in college admissions, summer provides a laid back time for children to focus on that specific next step and get armed and ready to take it on!

Kindergarten Readiness: Kindergarten is THE transition year. The year that introduces kids to a classroom, peer relationships, and the world of academics. With increasing education standards, not all children are ready to tackle the expectations of school. Empowering your child with the right tools to start “ready” for kindergarten will set the stage for success!

Organization/Study Skills: Your student is smart, but he isn’t applying himself. He finishes his assignments, but forgets to hand them in. Sound familiar? Sometimes kids just need a little coaching on how to organize and apply themselves. This can make the difference to obtain that grade he’s been aiming for. Learning can be fun and easy with a  little organizing!

Subject Specific/Jump Start: If it’s math, it’s math. If it’s science, it’s science. Every child has different areas that are more challenging for him than others. Maybe it’s just that your child needs to catch up, catch on, or simply get ahead before starting the next school year. Being prepared and having a good jump start to a new grade level is a fantastic gift for a transitioning student and a great summer goal!

College Test Prep: College admission is competitive. With more students entering college, admission is tougher than ever. College entrance exams play a big role in getting into the school of choice and qualifying for scholarship dollars. Individualized attention, practice, and preparation will lead to individual success!

Take the next step to ensure your child is ready for the transition quickly approaching this summer. Take a summer challenge as a parent to be hands-on and involved with your child, engaging him in fun, educational activities. Arrange for a role model tutor to spend some time with your student to help prepare your child for the coming academic transitions. Whatever it looks like for you, take that step and have fun this summer! You will be building the bridge for your child’s success.

Amy Branton

College Nannies & Tutors®


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College Tutors® provides true one-on-one tutoring, individualized programs, and flexible scheduling.

10 weeks with a role model from College Tutors® ensures that your student will be more confident and proficient in their chosen area of study. They will be better prepared for school in the fall. Call now to reserve your summer tutoring sessions!

College Tutors® offers specialized instruction in:

  • Math (Basic, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus)
  • Science (Physical Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics)
  • Reading (critical reading, reading comprehension and fluency, literature)
  • Writing (essay writing, research papers, creative writing)
  • Study Skills (organization, test prep, effective study habits, note-taking)
  • College Test Prep (ACT, SAT, and PSAT)
  • College Admissions Coaching (school selection, application, essay, and interview assistance)

US Toy – Latest Toy Reviews!

US Toy Alphabet Mat


“I run a home daycare so having educational items that are also fun at the same time are a must for me. My children range from ages 1-5 and it is often times hard to find items that they can all play and learn from. The foam is a very durable quality and can withstand most about anything (trust me I know)! This “toy” can be used to play anything from alphabet hopscotch, alphabet carpet time to find the magic letter. At first the price may seem a little steep but for the amount of play and learning time your child(ren) will get out of this it is well worth the money. Kids love to figure out these letters and don’t even realize they are learning at the same time. If you are looking for a toy that will get your kids excited about the alphabet, from teacher to stay-at-home mom…THIS IS THE TOY FOR YOU.”

US Toy Match It Counting


“This is the perfect set to combine number recognition with counting. Since my children have outgrown small toys (15, 10, 8, 8, 6) all the small educational toys are for my home daycare. My daycare children love to do puzzle time and I have long searched for the perfect number puzzle. This puzzle is it! Without even realizing it they are counting! I even have my 2 year old recognizing numbers and pictures that go together. Before they all know it, they know numbers 1-20! This puzzle is a very thick cardboard material and can withstand a 1 year olds bite without even ripping!”


“Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity from US Toy & iFamilyKC!”

Rai-Shawn Moorehead, mom of 5

College Nannies & Tutors Grand Opening Celebration!

College Nannies and Tutors is hosting a Grand Opening on Sunday, April 17 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, to celebrate their recently opened new location at 14874 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66223.  Festivities at this free event will include a DJ, door prizes from area vendors, cotton candy, crafts and face painting for the kids,  tours of the new Learning Center, and more!

Winners of the College Nannies and Tutors Art Contest will also be announced at this event.

Entries are still being accepted for this contest, which is open to all students from preschool through grade 12.  There are 4 prize categories, and winners receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift certificate as well as a $100 donation to their school’s art program and recognition at their school.  Winners’ art will be displayed in College Nannies and Tutors’ Learning Center and online.  Contestants’ entries are being accepted through April 12.  More information and an entry form can be found at www.collegenannies.com/overlandpark.

As a part of the grand opening, there will also be a free ACT practice test offered at the facility on Saturday, April 16, from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  Pre-registration is required – email overlandparkks@collegetutors.com or call (913) 754-3633 to register today!

Come join the excitement at this celebration! It will be a fun time for all.

Keep up with College Nannies & Tutors on Facebook and become a fan!

Amy Branton

General Manager

College Nannies & Tutors – Overland Park

Tele 913.754.3633

Mobile 913.526.6081

If You’re Considering a Summer Nanny or Manny, You Need to Start Your Search Now

Summer is highly anticipated by parents and children alike, but many working parents also have concerns … how to keep their children actively engaged and safe during the months of summer fun.  A summer nanny can be the answer to this dilemma, but many parents are unsure of how to find quality care.

Parents need to start the planning process NOW to ensure they have top-quality childcare choices available. First, we recommend that families openly discuss their needs.  Depending upon the ages of your children, it’s a good idea to involve them in this discussion while making it clear that it is ultimately a parental decision.  We’ve found the following tips helpful in selecting the right childcare partner for your family.


College Nannies & Tutors Offers TOP 10 Tips for Finding the

Right Childcare Professional for Your Family


1)      Allow ample time to conduct a search.  It takes about 6-8 weeks to complete a quality nanny or manny search.  Individuals with the best credentials will be offered positions first, so don’t miss out on all that great talent by procrastinating!

2)      Think about your specific needs, including hours of coverage and responsibilities.  Do you have a male or female preference?  Also consider special requirements such as whether your nanny needs to drive or have any medical skills or water/pool training.

3)      After clarifying needs and preferences, prepare a detailed job description.  Then consider your budget, including pay, taxes and insurance.

4)      Determine if you will conduct your search or hire an expert/agency to assist.  Carefully consider if you have the time to search yourself as it can take anywhere from 40-120 hours to find a qualified nanny who also fits with your family.  Also, is it important or more convenient for you to have an agency cover payment, insurance, background checks and other administrative details?

5)      Advertise the position in your area including all on-line resources.  College campus programs, local newspapers and on-line postings are a great place to start.

6)      Pre-screen candidates based on position requirements, and conduct interviews using a list of pre-set, legally approved questions related to availability, pay requirements, past work experience, education and overall qualifications.  All candidates should be asked the same questions, giving you equal comparison data.

7)      Consider job “fit” along with qualifications.  Think about what type of personality will fit best with your family’s philosophy.  Review your family values, discipline and parenting style and ask questions to determine how the candidates will perform in those areas.

8)      Once you’ve selected a candidate, conduct reference and background checks to minimize risk.  This should include state and county criminal checks, national sexual offender and national criminal record searches along with a SSN trace.  Many companies offer these checks, but beware of running an Internet search as they are very basic and can miss important information.  Avoid the temptation to skip this step even if you know the person.

9)      Extend an offer to the final candidate that outlines salary, benefits, taxes, vacation, absences, mileage and other reimbursements.  Once you have mutually agreed on the terms, we recommend that you have a written letter that is signed by you and your new nanny.

10)   Be sure to start-off on the right foot, and the best way to accomplish this is to COMMUNICATE.  Provide guidelines and assistance with planning the daily activities.  Give the relationship time to develop, but have tools in place to promote communication between the family and nanny early and often.  This could be as simple as keeping a notebook of special notes and activities for the day.  Meet regularly with your nanny during the summer to review performance and to ensure all expectations are clear and being met by both sides.

If the process seems a bit overwhelming and time consuming, consider hiring a professional agency to assist and guide you.  College Nannies & Tutors offers many options to allow children to have a carefree yet enriching summer.   Fun, sun-filled days at the pool, an outing to the zoo, or a relaxing day hanging out with friends will help your children to have a great summer.  Knowing that a qualified, responsible role model is caring for them when you are not there will help make your summer more relaxed as well – at least when it comes to your children!

College Nannies & Tutors – Kansas City is located in Overland Park, Kansas and provides full-time, part-time, short-term, summer, after school, and/or occasional use nanny and manny (male nannies) services for families throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Families choose to work with College Nannies & Tutors because of its unique child developmental approach and its ability to provide strong and suitable role models for children.  For more information, please contact College Nannies and Tutors at 913-754-3633 or visit our website at www.collegenannies.com.

By Amy Branton

General Manager

College Nannies & Tutors – Overland Park

Tele 913.754.3633

Mobile 913.526.6081

Keeping Down the Cost of Growing Up!

As moms, we all like our kids to be well-dressed and looking cute.  We love it when they ask us to buy them a new toy and it becomes a favorite, occupying them for days.  We want to create bedrooms that will be special places they can escape to.

However, we also know that they’ll outgrow that perfect polka-dot dress they wore for their third birthday. They’ll grow bored with the space-themed Legos and era-dressed dolls we spent so long collecting.  And the teddy bear lamps and light switch covers that we adored when they were babies suddenly seem all wrong when they begin grade school.

Finding the time and money to keep up with the changes of growing-up can be time consuming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here We Grow Again Kids Consignment is keeping down the cost of growing up, and saving families’ time, by offering great deals on thousands of outgrown kids’ items in one location. Merchandise comes from hundreds of local consignors, parents just like you, who understand the value of caring for and reselling outgrown kids items.  Items include: clothing, shoes, toys, books, furniture, baby equipment, nursery items and décor, electronics, sports equipment, and more.  You shop for items in a clean and organized environment.  We do the work of inspecting items for tears, stains and damage, so you pay a fraction of retail for quality merchandise.

Admission to our event is always free and we feature discounts days where you can save 25% or 50% off most items.  Save even more when you register to become a consignor and earn money on your outgrown kids’ items.  Ready to keep down the cost of growing up? Find out more at www.herewegrowagain.com. We have several upcoming spring sales in the Kansas City area:

March 23-26 – Eastern Jackson County
Sports City
425 NE Mock Avenue
Blue Springs, MO 64014

March 29 – April 2 – Olathe
Former Dillons Grocery Store
588 E. Santa Fe
Olathe, KS 66062

April 7 – 10 – Shawnee
Merriam Village

I-35 & Johnson Drive
6030 Eby Avenue
Merriam, KS 66202

April 16-19 – Grandview
Crystal Ballroom at Rodeway Inn
71 Hwy and 155th Street

Thrifty Travel Tips!

The Cheap Diva's Guide to Frugas and Fabulous Living!

When traveling it’s easy to get so focused on the big  expenses like plane tickets and hotels that you overlook the small expenses, that is until the credit card bill comes.

One vacation my travel companions and I agreed that when we reserved a rental car we would pay extra for a car with a GPS system.  This additional cost was about $10.00 a day, but we thought the GPS system would ease the stress of driving in a strange city by preventing us from getting lost.  None of us use a GPS system in our own cars, but the device is designed to simplify getting around right?  How hard could it be?  A lot harder than we anticipated.  We tried to locate our destination using our hotel address as a starting point.  The GPS system insisted on having just the name of the street first.  When I typed in King Street it brought up several local King Streets preceded by north, south east or west as in East King Street or West King Street.  The problem was that our hotel was simply on King Street.  Not north, south, east or west King Street, just King Street.  After trying other features on the GPS system that might generate some sort of useful directions we gave up and reverted back to the printed map we had.  We eventually figured out where we were going and vowed to never pay for a GPS system again.

Food is a big expense while traveling.  If a free breakfast is included with your hotel stay and it consists of  something more appetizing than a stale donut and bitter coffee, then by all means take advantage of it.  For lunch and dinner you will probably have your choice of everything from sandwich shops to nicer restaurants.  Frequent the nicer restaurants during lunchtime when their menu will be cheaper and save the bargain sandwich shops for dinner meals.

Some tourist friendly travel destinations provide local buses, trolleys or even boats for getting around.  One way or another transportation is probably going to cost you money.  To save cash on transportation, cluster your activities around the same areas.  If you are interested in one attraction across town look into other attractions and restaurants in the same general area so you can hit them all at once and not have to pay for multiple rides going in opposite directions.

All that sightseeing can work up an appetite, but anything that comes out of a hotel vending machine can be ridiculously overpriced.  Ask the hotel desk clerk for the location of the nearest drug store or supermarket and stock up on your soda pop and snacks there.  If you want to be a truly thrifty traveler, bring your own energy snack bars such as Luna Bars and carry an empty water bottle with you that you can fill up whenever you come across a drinking fountain.

The desire to see new places, new faces and having experiences you simply can’t get at home is so strong it’s easy to get swept up in the adventure of travel and lose sight of the real cost involved,  but by planning ahead you can reduce the financial stress of traveling and focus on having fun!

Bio: Stephanie Ann is the author of The Cheap Diva’s Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Living: How to Shop Smart, Look Your Best, Decorate with Style and Have Fun for Less Money! and writer for thecheapdiva.com blog where she shares give budget friendly advice on fashion, beauty, home decor, entertaining and money saving strategies.

FREE ACT Practice Test for College Bound 11th Graders!

Help us spread the word, moms!  College Nannies & Tutors of Overland Park invites college-bound 11th graders to take a practice ACT test to gauge their current achievement level and readiness for college entrance exams.

Most colleges require every candidate to provide, along with an extensive application, results either on the ACT or SAT test.  The ACT is designed to provide college admissions officers with two things: an evaluation of readiness for academic success in college, and a common yardstick to use in comparing students from a wide range of educational backgrounds.

“Putting time into preparation for the ACT is valuable because it builds confidence, reduces test anxiety, and reveals the student’s strengths and areas of improvement from each practice test to the next,” says Heather Abello, Franchise Support Specialist with College Nannies & Tutors Development.  “College admissions tests should be taken seriously by students because they can bolster a college application.  In some cases, schools will offer scholarships for scores that are in the top five to ten percentile.”

The Free Practice ACT will be given November 20, 2010 and January 29, 2011 at the College Tutor’s Overland Park Learning Center, beginning at 8:45am.  The tests will start at 9am; the ACT will conclude at 12:15pm.  The College Tutors Overland Park Learning Center mimics the setting and timing of the actual ACT test.  Students will grade their own test immediately upon completion and will leave with their results.  Suggestions for study plans will also be provided to students interested in increasing their scores.  Parents are required to attend a 15-minute informational session, while their student grades their test, at 12:30pm.

“The value of knowing your benchmark score on an ACT– without having to take it under real testing conditions – is that it is a more accurate predictor of a student’s capability on this test than the PLAN,” says Heather.  The PLAN is a preliminary ACT given in the fall of 10th grade.

To register, please contact College Nannies & Tutors at the Overland Park Learning Center at (913)754-3633, or send an email to overlandparkks@collegetutors.com.  Registration closes by 3pm the Friday before each test.

Danger in a Spray Bottle


As a parent, we all know that we are encouraged to store toxic household cleaner in locked cabinets, out of the sight and out reach of children. This is of course good advice and while this advice may have helped considerably, with injury from cleaning products in children declining 46 percent since 1990, a new study by The Center for Injury Research and Policy published by the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrates that children under age 6 are still at high risk of poisoning and other injuries from cleaning products in the home. Spray bottles are the most common source of injury, especially those containing bleach-based products.  Despite our best efforts to keep these and other products locked away, US poison control centers still receive hundreds of thousands of calls each year because of unintentional poisonings from cleaning products. Each call is more than just a number; it can be a very scary moment in the life of a family.  Nearly 12,000 children

were sick enough to be treated in US hospital emergency departments in 2006 alone.

Is the old childproofing strategy out of date?   The answer to this question is yes. We haven’t seen much improvement in overall injury rates since 1996, and injuries from cleaners in spray bottles have actually increased.   With more effective non-toxic cleaning products now available that also get the job done, when it comes to childproofing, expectant mothers and parents of young children should also replace their toxic household cleaning products with non-toxic ones.  This not only reduces the risk of immediate injury and the exposure of ongoing toxins for children in the home but also for mothers who are using these toxic products.

Who is at risk?

The Center for Injury Research and Policy reviewed 17 years of emergency room data for children under age 6 to analyze the injuries from household cleaners:

· More than 80 percent of poisonings occur while at home

· Children age 1 to 3 account for 72 percent of injuries

· Boys (59 percent) are more likely affected than girls (41 percent)

· One-year-olds account for 46 percent of injuries

How are they injured?

· Poisoning is the most common (68 percent), followed by

chemical burns (16 percent), and other injuries to the skin or eyes

(10 percent)

· Spray bottles are the most common source (40 percent), followed

by regular containers (30 percent), kitchenware (14 percent), and

recently cleaned items (8 percent)

· Bleach is the most common product ingredient (37 percent),

followed by acids/alkalis, detergents, and


What’s the Solution?

An easy one: Effective, non-toxic cleaners are available for every common household cleaning job so it just makes sense to replace your toxic cleaners with those that are non-toxic.  Something to think about: You make sure your child is buckled up in the safest car seat on the market right?  So why not make the same choice to have a safer, toxin-free home.

We shop from a company that manufactures all household/personal care products that are safe and healthy.  I’d be happy to share the information with you.

Submitted by Gina Neef,