Are you prepared for an emergency while travelling?

My kids and I drove to San Diego from Phoenix last weekend for a family event. As any parent knows, it’s important to have water, snacks, games and extras of EVERYTHING in the car when travelling with kids. (Ever been caught without a diaper or baby wipes? Yea, been there. Done that. Won’t do it again.) Little did I realize how important those extras would be. I pulled into San Diego just in time for the large power outage (caused by human error in Arizona, no less). I knew something was amiss when I got off the freeway around 3:30 p.m....more

What time do your children finish their homework?

The homework routine has definitely changed in the Reese home this year. For the past few years, my kids have spent two to nearly three hours after school at their campus' after-hours program....more

Soccer, tutoring, chess, gymnastics: How much is too much?

With the start of the school year, my big kids (9 and 6) also add a few activities to the calendar. And I’m guessing I’m not alone. The kids have been in once-a-week gymnastics class since 2009. So that doesn’t change. Daily summer swim team is being replaced with karate once a week for the next few weeks. My son wants to continue weekly chess after school, but my daughter has decided to give that up....more

If You Could Go Part-Time, Would You?

“You look so much more relaxed,” my friend said to me after a cup of coffee last week. I didn’t think of it that way, but she’s right. After working full time with three kids for 10 months, I got the opportunity to make a (much needed) change. I thought about giving up my job, but I love to write. When I fall asleep at night, I’m often writing stories or blogs in my head. It’s not uncommon for me to arise, turn on the computer and pound out a few paragraphs. It’s what I’ve done for nearly 20 years as a journalist and an avid fan of words. ...more
As an employer of a part-time employee (4 years working 20 hours/week with benefits), I think ...more

Teacher departure creates a void

I picked up a recent agenda for a school board meeting and searched the list of resignations. There, I see it. My children’s music teacher is leaving. I’m pretty sure this teacher was in her first year at the school, and my kids loved her. She was creative, fun and inventive.If I’m right – and I’m pretty sure I am – she was the second one-year-only music teacher in a row. My son liked the one before her, too. Our school doesn’t have much turnover, so even one departure stands out....more

How much information should mom bloggers share?

I came across a blog last week written by the publisher of a local parenting magazine. She described a recent experience she had with an mom who asked for a story to be removed from the Web because it shared details about her son that he wished were not out there. Thing is, the story was written several years ago. And the mom, an author, also wrote a book about the issue. The blog brought some real questions to front about what parents share online – which of course happens all the time with blogging....more

How long should the school year be?

Arizona lawmakers are proposing a plan that would allow public districts and charter schools to shorten their school year. As I understand it, it would require them to increase the daily minutes of school to make up for the lost days. The idea was proposed to be a cost-saving mechanism because classrooms could be heated and cooled less and buses could have 10 fewer days on the road....more