Learning Through Play, Really?

by Dana Smith Bader
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I was first introduced to the concept of “learning through play” when my middle child entered KG2.  I had enrolled her in a British school, and they followed the EYFS curriculum.  Thus, the teachers assured me that my child would be learning through play.  At first I was sceptical.  I had just paid three post-dated checks to the school Accountant totalling more than AED 50,000.  If the school thought playing would get the job done, I could get a refund because we had plenty of play going on at home for free.  I wanted my child to learn how to read, to write her name and letters, and to be able to do some math.  I really did not believe that play was going to get the job done.

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Easing Separation Anxiety

by Dana Bader
Hits: 85

I still remember the first day I dropped my eldest daughter at nursery.  We had talked about her going to nursery for at least three weeks, we bought a new Barney bag just for the occasion, we toured the nursery, we met the teacher, we saw her prospective friends – we did everything suggested and then some.  Nevertheless, she cried, latched on to me for her dear life, and then started screeching when I tried to leave her.  Although I spent some time with her in the nursery on the first day, it didn’t help.  She did not want to be away from me, and, truth be told, I did not want to leave her.  Detaching her from me, handing her over to the teacher, and calmly exiting the nursery was one of the hardest things I had to do, so hard that I sat in my car outside the nursery and cried on and off for about 30 minutes, until I could call the nursery to ask how she was doing.  Over a two-week period, I repeated this routine on a daily basis, until one day, she smiled at me and waved bye-bye.  That day I still cried in my car, but for an entirely different reason.  My baby was no longer my baby.  She had grown into a big girl and could now manage to be away from me for at least 5 hours.

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From My Home to Yours

by Dana S. Bader
Hits: 116

There are only three or four more days before Eid al Fitr, or as my children like to say, “Only three more iftars to go!”  With increased personal worship goals for the last ten days of Ramadan, last-minute iftar invites, and school exams kicking off or winding down (depending on the school), it is hard to believe that Eid is almost here.  It is even more difficult to plan for a fully engaging day of worship, family fun, and special Eid treats to keep the whole family, especially the children entertained.

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