Author - Annette Gendler

Annette gendler

Annette Gendler is a nonfiction writer and lives in Hyde Park with her husband and three children. Visit her at

Play all day? That's exactly what your preschooler should be doing

“Play is often talked about is if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” —Fred Rogers

As a parent, I always thought play is play. Sure, I knew kids learn through play—after all, that’s pretty much what preschoolers do all day—but it looked to me as if they were simply imitating what they saw adults doing, often turning recent experiences into play. When I was a child and my whole family got very ill wit...

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 1:31 PM by Annette Gendler

A Preschool Teacher’s Tips for Easing Separation Anxiety

“Fake it until you make it,” Kelli Harris, preschool teacher at Akiba-Schechter, advises parents leaving their two-year-olds at preschool for the first time. “If you’re uneasy about leaving your child, don’t show it,” she said. “Cry in the hallway. Kids know when their parents feel unsure, and that makes them feel unsure themselves.”

Harris says easing separation anxiety boils down to 3 Cs:

Cooperation. Trust your child’s teacher and rely on her experience. Most likely, she’s been ...

Posted on September 03, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Annette Gendler

Teachers' Tips to Ease the Transition to First Grade

The beginning of the school year is exciting and daunting for every child, especially first graders. But Akiba-Schechter Kindergarten teacher Mara Katz reminds us that “so much about school is being comfortable.” Thankfully, you can ease the transition:

Make the Unfamiliar Familiar

Plan a play date with a classmate. If your child is new, knowing someone before that first day is even more important.

Visit the school. Check out the building and the neighborhood so your chil...

Posted on October 03, 2011 at 10:10 AM by Annette Gendler