Q. Why is play-based learning so powerful?
A. Play-based learning stems from a joyful learning experience that is packed with stimulation, tenacity, engagement, and meaning. An authentic play-based environment is also an academic environment. Schools that incorporate play-based learning encourage children to engage with peers in stimulating opportunities of imagination and creativity, which encourages children to think abstractly and uniquely. Children use the art of playing to connect with experiences that are meaningful in the context of their world. When children participate in unstructured play where they use multiple methods to seek solutions, they develop tenacity, perseverance and problem-solving abilities. It also develops their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical abilities, which are all attributes that make up the foundations for future success. Play-based learning can be a transformative experience because, at the end of the day, play is their work.
Julie Grebe, Director | Parker-Chase Preschool – Carrollton Campus | parker-chase.com
Q. Each school year brings issues I don’t always know how to address as a parent. What help should I expect from my local church?
A. You’re right; parenting in our rapidly shifting culture is a tough job! Somewhere along the line churches got labeled as irrelevant by many, and that is a shame. Throughout the Metroplex there are solid churches that want to partner with you as the parent in equipping your student to not only survive, but thrive, both in school and well into adulthood. Look for a church with an intentional spiritual development strategy that expresses a desire to partner with you as the parent, and with leaders who are well equipped to connect with and to invest in your kids. Praying an awesome school year ahead for you and your family!
Eric Estes, Community Pastor | 121 Community Church | www.121cc.com
Q. What should I do to make sure my child is nutritionally prepared for school?
A. Research shows breaking an overnight fast with a balanced meal can make a major difference in overall health and well-being, especially for children and teens. Eating a smart breakfast can help improve behavior and school performance. On the other hand, skipping breakfast is a no-brainer, quite literally. When children skip breakfast, their brains and bodies suffer all day long. Get your kids started on the nutrition fast track to a high-energy, health-smart day with tasty, filling breakfast options.
Visit www.EatRight.org for more information
Q. My son, Nick loved his teacher and class last year, but hasn’t connected this year.
A. For our kids, having a new teacher (or teachers) every fall is similar to us getting a new boss and being on a new team once a year. The most helpful thing you, as Nick’s mom, can do is listen to his concerns and respond empathetically. “She’s not funny like Ms. Crystal.” (You miss laughing.) “There’s no comfortable place for reading.” (Those soft couches were nice.) Ray sits on the other side of the room. (It’s hard to be separated.) “Recess is after lunch.” (That’s a bummer, you like a break in the morning.) “There are too many rules” (It’s hard to know what to do all the time.) Empathy goes a long way in Nick feeling understood by you, especially because you can’t change his class.
JoAnn Schauf | yourtweenandyou.com