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Moving with children

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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 3:57 pm

Spring is our busiest seasons in real estate. One of the top reasons is because parents often want to buy a new home and move after the kids are out of school and before they start the new school year. A question I hear often is, “How do I make this move easy on the kids?” Moving is stressful enough for adults, add in children who don’t understand the process, the reasons and all they know is it is going to be different, and it can make things a little more challenging. Here are some ways to relieve the stress, and dare I say, get them excited about the move.

1. Get the children involved in the housing choice.

When you have narrowed your options to the top picks, bring the kids along and get their opinions. I have heard some pretty insightful feedback from kids that may actually change your opinion of the house. Let them get excited about their possible room and the house overall, where they can play their games, have their toys and ride their bikes.

2. Find local attractions they can get excited about visiting.

Conduct a search on local parks, zoos, sports facilities, museums, and show the children how close they will live and they can visit these places often, even taking friends along. They will have something to look forward to and not be preoccupied thinking what they left behind.

3. Visit the new school during the summer.

If your child (children) will be going to a new school visit that school during the summer. Let them get a good feeling for the layout, meet the new teacher, show them where their classroom and activities will be. This way when the first day of school rolls around they won’t be nervous about just finding their way.

4. A family garage sale.

After you have decluttered, donated and thrown out, you may have enough good things to have a garage sale. Let the kids sell their things, keep the money and have them buy new things to decorate their new room. Let them get invested emotionally and financially in the process.

5. Be patient and open to hearing your child’s concerns and worries.

Let your child feel heard, pay attention to changes in behavior and attitude. Encourage the kids to discuss what is scaring them, how they feel and what they are most worried about. Often just letting them speak and feeling validated relieves a lot of the anxiety. A great point I learned from fellow Realtor Kim Espinoza, at United Brokers Group, is to be sure your children know the things they treasure most will be moving to the new house with them and that the new buyer will bring their own toys and games.

6. Above all, stay positive.

This, no doubt, will be a stressful process trying to clean, pack and organize. Be sure the kids see you positive about the move and all the new and exciting times that lie ahead of you. Stay patient with them and everyone else helping you along the way. We lead by example. This is a great time to teach your children good coping skills and how being positive is essential.

• Christie Ellis, of United Brokers Group, is a real estate broker specializing in the Ahwatukee area. She is the author of “Real Estate Agent CEMETERY: How to Survive the Fears, Challenges, and Mistakes That Can Kill Your Real Estate Career.” Reach her at (480) 201-3575 or

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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