8th June 2017

Why we’ve finally taken out a RSA Home Insurance Policy…

10392193_304633675606_5994875_nIt was 2008 and I was living in Blackheath, London with my then-boyfriend and our dog, when he suddenly dropped the bombshell that he had been offered a position in Dubai. He told me that he was only going to stay 6 months, so I decided to move back into my parent’s house with the dog – and fly out to Dubai regularly for holidays. But 6 months turned into 18 months – and after getting married on a snowy day in Greenwich in December 2010, I thought I better commit to the Dubai thing (given we were married now and all).

So I flew out with a couple of suitcases in January 2011 – and our life as a married couple began in the desert. We rented a flat, bought the bare necessities in furniture from IKEA, and set up utility accounts and phone numbers. But the one thing we never did back then – nor for the 6 years afterwards – is think about taking out home insurance.

And we aren’t alone. Apparently only 6% of UAE residents are estimated to have home contents insurance (source here) – and whilst it’s shocking that the other 94% would have zero to fall back on if disaster struck at home, I am really not surprised.

Because just like us, they probably see Dubai as transient. Arriving with a suitcase, buying second-hand or very cheap furniture, renting places to live rather than buying, and never knowing when expat life will be over and it’ll be time to head back home.

So why did we take out a policy?

After I heard that statistic, it got me thinking. And I looked around our villa at the things we had accrued over the years. The pictures on the walls, the TV, the computers, the cameras, the iPads, the children’s toys, the stacks of books in the bookcase, the growing collection of furniture, rugs, and kitchen equipment. And then upstairs, the clothes in our wardrobes, the shoes, the jewellery, the accessories, the bed linen, the towels… The list went on in my mind – and if, god forbid, we had a theft, a flood or a fire, a lot of it may be gone.

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But RSA Home Insurance is about more than that too – it’s about being covered for emergency accommodation while you get things sorted, if belongings are damaged in transit when moving house, if your door keys are stolen and you need the locks changed, if your deep freezer breaks and you lose everything inside, and much more.

 The extras

You can also add things onto the policy – I added the replacement of lost documents, as I know how expensive it is to replace them (my husband accidently throwing away Mabel’s birth certificate is testament to that).

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And that’s not all, as you can also choose to add the belongings of your domestic staff or additional tenants to the policy too.

And it’s not just at home that your belongings are protected, but those you choose to take out of the house too. So if I took my laptop out with me one day and managed to lose it (even the thought gives me the chills), I would now be covered on our home insurance policy.

How much?

It’s really easy and quick to get a quote. Just head to www.rsadirect.ae/home-insurance and click on ‘Start your home insurance quote’. It took me a few minutes to get my quote, agree to the terms, and click through to pay for it. An email then quickly pinged into my inbox with our policy documents, where they can be filed away safely for if we ever need them.

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Our policy cost 1,035 AED for an annual policy, which I think is fantastic value for the level of cover we have – and really not much when you consider what a godsend it could be, if we had a disaster. Policies start at just a few hundred dirhams, making it really very affordable.

The funny thing is that after 6 years of not thinking we need home insurance, I feel really relieved that we have it sorted!

Head over to www.rsadirect.ae/home-insurance now to get your quote.

In collaboration with RSA Insurance

 



6th June 2017

ORDER YOUR KIDORE FUN FLIGHT PACKS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL THIS SUMMER!

graphic with text inside-finalThere aren’t many areas of parenting where I’d claim to be an expert – but travelling with kids is probably one I’d put my hand up to… After all, since becoming a Mum just five years ago, I have travelled back and forth from the UK to Dubai (and the odd far-flung trip in between) with a frequency that would probably bring most non-expat mums out in a cold sweat. In fact, when we fly back to the UK for our summer holiday in July, it will be Stanley’s 31st long-haul flight, Wilfred’s 16th, and Mabel’s 5th.

I’m quite relaxed about flying in general – but over the years, I have done one thing to prepare – and that is put together activity packs to keep the children entertained when we buckle up in our airplane seats. I’ve spent hours trawling the malls for the perfect additions for these kits in the past – and it’s not only been expensive, but hugely time consuming too.

So when the brilliant online kid’s store Kidore.com asked if I’d like to help collate a selection of Flight Packs for different ages – all at the amazing price of 100 AED all in – I jumped at the chance.

After all, they’d save me time and money as Mum – and they’d save all of you time and money too. So that’s a parenting win in my book…

Each item has been picked for being small and lightweight, meaning the packs are easy to transport in hand luggage – and they are also individually packaged, so Mummy can pull them out one-by-one throughout the journey.

So without further ado, here are the 7 different Fun Flight Packs you can buy for your kids at Kidore.com from today – at just 100 AED. There is a link below each set to click through and order.

Happy flying!

The Baby (0-15 months) – Travel Pack

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Contains: Hard Back “Who Am I?” Book, Pixie Rattle, Mini Wire Beads, Wooden ‘My First Book’, and Small Wooden Car.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Active Baby (15 months – 2 years) – Travel Pack

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Contains: Hard Back “Who Am I?” Book, Mini Wire Beads, Wooden ‘My First Book’, and Small Wooden Car, Handy Block Puzzle.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Toddler – Travel Pack

 The Toddler

Contains: Hard Board Book about a Pilot, Small Magnetic Bead Trace, Crayola Jumbo Crayons, Wooden Maze, Eye Spy, and Small Wooden Car.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Kid – Travel Pack

The Kid

Contains: Crayola Colour by Numbers Book, “The Elves And The Shoemaker” Story Book, Eye Spy, Minions Pairs & Donkey Game, Bendy Pencil and Mega Activities Assorted Puzzles & Colouring Book.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Arty Princess – Travel Pack

The Arty Princess

Contains: How’s it different ‘Spot the difference’ game, Disney Happy Families Card Game, Princess Craft Egg (contains 4 markers, 4 crayons, 2 ink pads, 2 finger pots and 10 colouring sheets), Bendy Pencil, and Magnetic Scribbler.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Arty Superhero – Travel Pack

 Arty Superhero

Contains: How’s it different ‘Spot the difference’ game, Minions Happy Families Card Game, Finding Dory Craft Egg (contains 4 markers, 4 crayons, 2 ink pads, 2 finger pots and 10 colouring sheets), Bendy Pencil, and Magnetic Scribbler.

100 AED

Click here to order

The Tween Swag

Tween Swag

Contains: ‘Wonders of the World’ Book, Origami Paper Folding Book, Hugga A6 Notebook, Bendy Pencil, and Shuffle Pictureka.

100 AED

Click here to order

  

To view the full range, click here

 

 



28th May 2017

6 to try this Ramadan…

Ramadan Kareem everyone!

I’ve been invited to try a few different Iftars and Ramadan offerings over the past few weeks, so I thought I’d round them up in a blog post – with a couple more I plan to try over the coming weeks. They are all quite different, so there should be something for everyone – and whether you are Muslim and fasting or a non-Muslim here in Dubai during the Holy Month, I hope you have a great few weeks ahead!

1. Al Hadeerah Iftar Tent at Bab Al Shams

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I’m a big fan of this hotel, which is located in the desert close to Al Qudra – and the Iftar was very special. Imagine walking along a path lit by lanterns through desert dunes at sunset, to discover a big desert camp, complete with a varied, bustling Iftar buffet – and a giant air conditioned tent to dine in. Not forgetting the entertainment, which is just brilliant (expect dancing, music, camels and horses). We tried it out last week and I was reminded how magical this hotel and restaurant are – you must try it.

From sunset until 10.30pm, throughout Ramadan

250 AED per person  (Sunday to Wednesday)

270 AED per person (Thursday to Saturday)

Visit website here

2. Iftar Menu at Burger & Lobster, DIFC

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At the polar opposite, is the Iftar menu at Burger & Lobster – which offers a very non-traditional (but delicious) Iftar set menu for small groups or larger families. While you enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of this popular restaurant after dark, you can tuck into cheese burgers, mini lobster rolls, soup of the day, grilled lobster and chips, and your choice of milkshakes (and much more). I am booked in to try this Iftar later this week, so keep an eye on my Instagram page for more details!

Until midnight (Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat) and until 2am (Thurs and Fri), throughout Ramadan

From 119 AED per person

Visit website here

3. Suq Restaurant and Tent at Four Seasons Resort Dubai

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If you haven’t yet visited Four Seasons on Jumeirah Beach Road, this Ramadan gives you the perfect opportunity. The hotel itself is grand and luxurious, with Suq being the perfect restaurant to book for Iftar. Imagine a big buffet of mezze, Arabic fare, Italian dishes, a live barbecue, fresh sushi and Indian dishes. We tried it last month were suitably impressed. Just wait until you try the Kanafeh for desert – I’ve never tasted anything like it and have been thinking about it ever since!

From 7pm to 9pm, throughout Ramadan

245 AED per person

Visit website here

4. Arboretum Iftar at Jumeirah Al Qasr

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This Iftar has a bit of everything – a stunning setting overlooking the waterways and sea, a large and varied Iftar buffet of traditional and international cuisine, and lots of extra touches (make sure you catch the henna lady, who draws the most beautiful, intricate designs in what seems like seconds). It’s a grand setting and feels very special – but works equally well for couples and big groups. My sister and I tried it out together a few weeks ago and we spent hours at the table chatting, heading to and from the buffet bar. Recommended!

From sunset, throughout Ramadan

195 AED per person

Visit website here

5. Arrows & Sparrows

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This Iftar sounds amazing – and I will be trying it out very soon (keep an eye on my Insta-Stories). Located in The Greens, this popular bright and airy café has transformed into a traditional and intimate Sicilian restaurant for the whole of Ramadan, complete with a typical Sicilian menu. Mozzarella and Courgette Salad with Brioche, a Sicilian Charcuterie Board, Black Squid Ink Seafood Pasta, Raspberry Cheesecake, Traditional Caprese Salad, plus many other dishes, including a signature creation from the Executive Chef; Crispy Kunafa Burrata with Pistachio Crumbs (it sounds insane – in a very good way!) As a BIG fan of Italian food, I can not wait to try it!

From sunset, throughout Ramadan

Al la Carte prices

Visit website here

And now for something completely different….

6. Ramadan Treats at Softouch Spa, Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates

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I haven’t been to a spa since Mabel was born and I was very much craving some ‘me time’ and pampering – so when I heard that the 24-hour Softouch Spa at Kempinski Hotel was offering some amazing rates throughout Ramadan, I knew I had to try it. I had an Aromatherapy Massage, which lasts for 60 minutes and costs just 250 AED throughout Ramadan – and believe me, it was wonderful (both the luxurious setting, the brilliant therapist, and the fact I could go any time of the day or night). I’ve listed the deals below, which all come highly recommended by me.

60-minute Aromatherapy Massage – only 250 AED

Book any 90-minute treatment – and get a free mini facial

Spend 650 AED in the spa and enjoy treatments worth up to 1,000 AED (including a full body massage, full body scrub, and either an express manicure or an express pedicure).

(all offers must be booked separately, you can’t tag one onto the other).

Throughout Ramadan, 24 hours a day

Visit website here



19th May 2017

Our family photo shoot with Lidiya Kalichuk Photography…

I have been meaning to share this blog post for a few weeks now, but I wanted time to look through every single photo and choose my very favourite to share with you. Tonight, I finally had that time – and it has been such a joy looking through these photos of my family again.

It was photographer Lidiya’s idea that there should be two halves to this photo shoot. The first at home, late afternoon, with documentary style photographs. And the second in the desert, as the boys ran up and down the sand dunes, just as the sun started to set.

This is the second time Lidiya has photographed our family (for the first shoot, click here). I was so happy with the photos she took in December 2015 that I have them framed all over my house. I really feel like Lidiya can capture the personality of children in photographs – and I was keen to have some updated shots of the boys, but with little sister involved too.

So without further ado, here are my favourite photographs that Lidiya took that day – and to say I love them is an understatement. Now I just have the difficult task of choosing which to frame… Scroll to the bottom for a link to her website.

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Visit www.lidiyakalichuk.com



8th May 2017

Living with Infertility…

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When I posted about infertility a few weeks ago in collaboration with Bourne Hall Fertility, I was amazed by the stories and responses that came back. I’m happy to admit that I shed a few tears too, reading stories that could so easily have been mind if I was walking in different shoes. And having received dozens of private messages too, I already know for a fact that your stories and words of advice have had such an impact on those going through treatment now. I think it’s so important to keep that rapport open, so I’ve been racking my brain about what else might be helpful – and came up with the idea to speak to a specialist at Bourne Hall Fertility to answer questions that those currently going through infertility may have in their mind. You will find those questions below, answered by Medical Director and Consultant in Reproductive Medicine – Dr. David Robertson. And if you want to go and see a specialist at the clinic yourself, simply mention ‘Mum of Boys & Mabel’ and you will get that first consultation completely for free. Call +971 4 705 5055 to make an appointment.

1. When should I seek treatment?

Most doctors would advise a couple to seek advice if they have been actively trying to conceive for more than a year. If there are any specific problems, such as irregular periods, or if the woman is older, more than 35, they should seek advice earlier.

2.      What specific tests would you recommend to diagnose infertility?

Firstly, the couple should be aware of the woman’s menstrual cycle – is it regular, what is the fertile time of the month. They can test for this using ovulation kits that are widely available in pharmacies and supermarkets. Once they see a fertility specialist, there are some basic tests that will be done first:

  • A sperm count (semen analysis) for the man
  • Blood tests for the woman, to check her hormone levels
  • An ultrasound scan of the woman’s uterus and ovaries, and a check of her fallopian tubes, to see if there is any anatomical problem
  • Other tests may be needed in particular circumstances

3.       What are my ‘ovarian reserves’ and how does this determine my fertility? What tests can I do to measure this?

Women are born with a finite supply of eggs and, as they get older, the supply gradually reduces. Usually, the supply doesn’t finish until she is well into her forties but sometimes this happens earlier than expected. The doctor can check the egg supply, or ovarian reserve, by measuring a hormone known as AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone) and by performing an ultrasound scan of the ovaries during a period, to check the number of small egg-containing follicles that are present (antral follicle count).

4.       Does smoking, drinking or other lifestyle related factors affect my fertility?

Undoubtedly. Women who smoke regularly have a reduced ovarian reserve and their eggs tend to be of poorer quality than those from women who have never smoked. This is also true for regular heavy consumption of alcohol. These women, if they do get pregnant, also have more complicated pregnancies and their babies are less healthy with lower birth weights.

5.       Should I consider genetic testing?

Genetic testing of embryos during IVF treatment is certainly of benefit if there is a specific disease that runs in the family and it is known that a couple have an increased risk. Many diseases can be detected this way, but not all. There are many conditions where genetic diagnosis is not possible, so it is important to discuss this issue with your doctor.

Some couples would like to be reassured that their baby will be healthy and genetic testing of an embryo may help with this. For example, older women, more than 35 are more likely to deliver babies with genetic problems such as Down Syndrome, and this can be picked up by genetic testing, so that the problem is avoided. It may also be useful for women who have previously experienced a number of miscarriages and increase their chance of having a successful pregnancy.

www.bournhall-clinic.ae

Image credit – http://www.lidiyakalichuk.com/



4th May 2017

Capturing memories with Pretty Paper Studio UAE

18280860_10158663916535607_2110324407_nRewind to the 80’s and 90’s. Remember that feeling of excitement as you picked up a thick wallet of photographs from the printer? The fun of ripping it open and flicking through those photos for the first time? And then the joy of choosing which photos went into albums, taking time to stick them in, and then spending time looking through the pages to remember every moment?

I remember all that – and as much as I love the convenience of the digital age, I miss it. I miss the physical photos and the albums to flick through. I miss grabbing a cup of coffee, choosing an album, and taking a trip down memory lane. So when the lovely team at Pretty Paper Studio UAE(an online store packed full of amazing craft supplies, paper, and stationary) asked if I’d like help creating a photo album of Mabel’s first days in this world, I jumped at the chance.

Fast-forward to yesterday, when I arranged to meet Pretty Paper Studio for a crafty morning. I’d prepared in advance, by choosing the photos I wanted to include in my album – and I decided on capturing those first two precious weeks of Mabel’s life. I really enjoyed the process of sorting through the photos and what I’d like to include – and I definitely enjoyed the moment of being handed the wallet of photos from the printer and flicking through. Even the smell of the photos took me back to my childhood and teenage years!

I met Neelu at Pretty Paper Studio over coffee at Fortnum & Mason (very civilised I know!) – and when she arrived, she came armed with the most exciting crafty bits. I’m a creative person by nature, but I simply never have time anymore to do it – so this was a real treat.

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Most of the items came from a company called ‘Project Life’ – I had never heard of it before, but since posting on my Insta-Stories yesterday, I have found out it has a big fan base (several of my followers were very excited to hear it is now available in the UAE). The premise is really simple too.. You buy an album with clear pockets – and then you choose your accessories. From printed cards that fit into the different pocket sizes, to stickers printed with phrases and motifs, to cardboard inserts that you can write on or use to decorate. It’s like scrap-booking, but a lot easier.

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So then it was time to get crafty – and I had a lovely morning slotting in photographs, embellishing them, and adding hand-written details (with the odd sip of coffee too!) Below are some photos of what I created on the morning – and make sure that you scroll to the bottom for a link through to the online store, where you will find all of this (and a lot, lot more) to start getting crafty and capture your own memories.

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Thank you Pretty Paper Studio for helping me to do this! It was just the prompt I needed to get creative and capture some memories of those precious early days!

Visit www.ppsuae.com to shop  the ‘Project Life’ range yourself.

In collaboration with Pretty Paper Studio UAE



18th April 2017

My final thoughts on classes at Heguru Centre Dubai

18009230_10158589291200607_1312326789_nIf you didn’t catch my first post about the classes we have been attending at the Heguru Centre Dubai, you can find it here – and it’s well worth a read to understand the concept of these ‘Right-Brain Education’ classes, which take place in Motor City.

Wilfred has been attending the classes every week on his morning off nursery – and we’ve now got to the end of the six-week trial, so it’s time for an update.

And honestly? I am so amazed by these classes and the ways they can clearly help children visualise and think, that I have decided we are going to continue with the classes (despite my collaboration with Heguru Dubai coming to an end). With such a busy work and family schedule, that’s quite rare – but it’s testament to the fact that I really believe in what it’s doing…

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So why am I impressed?  

So let’s rewind to late 2016, when Heguru asked if I’d like to trial the classes with Wilfred. I had a look into Heguru and was fascinated by the science behind ‘Right-Brain Training’ – but I have to be honest, I was kind of unconvinced it would work. Especially with my wild child, who would much rather spend his time dashing around the garden or a giant soft play.

In early 2017, I went to a taster session at the centre – and it was my first glimpse of Heguru in action. Seeing flashcards flashed for a split second, the teachers talking incredibly quickly, the kids only getting 60 or so seconds for every task…. I was once again intrigued, but baffled – but I told myself that I would give it a chance anyway, bring Wilfred for six weeks, and then we could return to the soft play areas instead.

So imagine my surprise when we started the classes and we both started to really enjoy it. It was fast-paced and a bit comical at times – but as the weeks ticked on, I found myself looking forward to it each week. Parking the car outside, walking in the sunshine to class, and then spending an hour with Wilfred as he took part.

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I started to see some changes in Wilfred after about class 3 – so the mid point in our trial. He started to recognise the tasks that were about to take place – and he was quicker at completing them. He loved the physical challenges the best, like fitting wooden shapes into spaces on paper, tracing letters, and matching colours to a diagram on the wall. But I also noticed him paying attention more as the weeks went on – sat listening intently to a song about a fresh water salmon, trying to sing along to a Chinese song he remembered, and watching the flash cards in silence.

But the real clues that it was working came outside the lessons… When we were in the car and he suddenly blurted out ‘NO U-TURN’ when he saw the sign he remembered from class. When he looked at the pieces of apple on his lunch tray and suddenly stacked them so they looked like three Burj al Arabs… When he was eating a pancake one afternoon, then ripped it up into pieces, laid them on the table, and then blurted out ‘Eurasia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America, Antartica.’ I was truly staggered.

It was like he was getting triggers visually as he went about his day – triggers to remember things, create things, and learn things. The right side of his brain was obviously waking up – and it was really fascinating to see.

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So what happens now?

Well, I’ve decided we are going to continue and see where it takes us. But not only that, Stanley is going to come along too. Stanley (my eldest child) is quite academic and keen to learn anyway – so I am expecting to see results even quicker.

I’ll be updating you all on how we are getting on every now and again – so keep an eye on my social channels. And in the meantime, head over to the company’s website here – http://hegurudxb.ae/ 

 

In collaboration with Heguru Dubai



22nd March 2017

Why we love Baby Sensory Classes…

17440175_10158447600015607_651619191_nRewind to January 2013, when my first baby was 9 months old. I was looking for something to do with him – to entertain him and to get myself out the house – and I stumbled on Baby Sensory, which had just arrived in the UAE. I’d done a few trial lessons when I was back in the UK when he was a smaller baby and we’d both loved it – it appealed to my own love of textures and colours and he had loved the bubbles, balls, toys and music. We carried on every week until he was 13 months old.

When I had my second baby, I never got round to attending classes. It crossed my mind several times, but I had nobody to look after his big brother – now a toddler – while I was attending. I felt quite sad about that and vowed to head back to classes if I went on to have a third baby.

So when Mabel arrived – now with her older brothers at nursery and school in the morning –Baby Sensory was back on my weekly calendar. We’ve now been attending for a whole term (in the 0-6 month age group) and her face lights up as soon as we step into the room. Just like her older brother did, she loves the familiar songs, the fun props, the lights and the bubbles.

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I’ve reviewed lots of baby classes in Dubai, but this is the one that I love the most. I just love the way that every lesson is different and so carefully planned out – baby mountains created from mounds of different fabrics with interesting textures for them to crawl over, space-themes with a darkened room and hundreds of twinkly lights for them to watch and hold, underwater themes complete with bubbles, fish and swathes of blue fabric to recreate the water… For me, it beats baby classes where every class follows the same formula – as if I’m bored, I’m less likely to take her every week. And Baby Sensory is anything but boring.

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Baby Sensory UAE hold classes all over the city for babies under 13 months old – and when they get older, they can join Toddler Sense Classes, which are very similar but include more physical activities.

More details and a weekly calendar is online here –  www.babysensory.ae – and the classes definitely come with the Mum of Boys & Mabel approval!



18th March 2017

Is a UK Boarding School The Right Option for Your Expat Child?

reasonswhyschoolfriendsarefriendsforlife2_1430990228When the UK agency ‘Boarding Schools and Colleges’ got in touch with me (an agency providing advice on UK boarding schools to families living overseas), I knew it would be of interest to a fair number of my readers. After all, educating our children is a hot topic in expat circles – and I know the Dubai/UK secondary school debate is always in my mind, even though it’s a way off for my family (Stanley is about to turn 5).

I’m a big believer in the value of a UK education – especially when it comes to getting into the top universities around the world – and whilst we personally have no intention of still being expats when our kids reach secondary age, I have very close family members who attended boarding school from a young age (aged 8, if my memory is correct) and I therefore I have a very open mind towards this kind of education 

How can the agency help you?

If your family is getting close to secondary age education and you have considered boarding school in the UK, this agency can advise and help you.

The agency know boarding schools in the UK very, very well – and they can make recommendations, offer guidance on the whole process, and advise based on their own visits and experiences.

Considering a UK boarding school for your children?

You won’t be the first, as 27,000 students travel to the UK to study at independent schools every year. It’s a safe, secure environment for your children, which ensures an excellent education for your children.

It isn’t just the quality of the education either, but the excellent pastoral care and extra curricular activities that your child will have access to. I personally love the idea of my kids being able to play outside throughout the entire year, rather than enduring the scorching summer heat throughout their teenage years – and the thought of them playing cricket, rugby, and football all through the year is definitely appealing.

That’s not to mention the extremely strong friendships that boarding school environments offer – friendships that usually last lifetimes.

UK boarding schools are steeped in history and tradition – and I grew up hearing about “old boy” and ‘old girl’ societies that become a real help with our children head out into the job place too.

It is a huge step – and as a mother, I understand that wholeheartedly – but seeing the results of a boarding school education for myself in my cousins (and they will love me saying this), I know it’s a safe, nurturing environment that excellently cares, educates, and prepares them for adult life.

If you are considering it for your own children, head over to www.boardingschoolsandcolleges.com  for more information.

 In collaboration with Boarding Schools and Colleges



15th March 2017

Wilfred tries: Classes at Heguru Centre Dubai

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 14.05.55If you follow me on social media, you will be aware that Wilfred (my middle child; aged three) has started weekly classes at the Heguru Centre Dubai (located in Apex Atrium Building in Motor City – very close to Extreme Fun, for those that have visited there).

We go together once a week, on his morning off from nursery – and after only 4 weeks of attendance, I’m starting to see a big difference in his concentration, enjoyment, and participation. And to be totally honest, I was a bit sceptic at first – but I am now seeing the benefits, so it’s time to tell you about it!

So what is it all about?

Let me explain. In the 1960’s, Dr Roger Sperry performed split-brain learning studies revealing distinct differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. His findings inspired new techniques for enhancing learning by tapping into both sides of the brain. With these scientific principles in mind, Heguru created their own teaching concept for Right Brain Education which enhances learning ability so that children are able to absorb new information quickly and easily.

Now spread internationally, Heguru classes are suitable for kids below the age of 6 – generally those in nursery, pre-school (KG or FS in Dubai), or home school. The methodologies have now won praise globally – and come to Dubai as a tried and tested formula. It is worth noting that the Heguru Centre Dubai is KDHA approved too.

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What happens?

The best way I can describe it is that it’s like a lesson – but at a very high speed. The teachers talk fast, the flash cards are shown for a split second, and the kids get very short periods of time to complete tasks. In the first lesson – of course – the kids are a bit perplexed and barely even start their tasks before it’s time to move onto the next.

As a parent, I found it all quite funny and didn’t think Wilfred would manage to keep up for a second – but as the weeks went on, I noticed his concentrating increasing, his tasks speeding up, and his understanding of the flash cards sinking in.

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Take one particular task, for example, where the kids are shown a pattern of colours for a few seconds and then asked to shut their eyes and visualise it in their minds. After a few more flashes of the pattern on the screen, they are then given a colouring sheet and pencils and asked to mark the colours on each section with a tick (using just the image in their mind, as it is now gone from the screen).  On the first week, Wilfred just wanted to colour the pattern red (his favourite colour). On the second week, he started to understand but still only managed one section. By the third and fourth week, he understood what he was supposed to do and is starting to tick the correct colours. It’s really quite fascinating to see.

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In another task, the children are flashed a number of road signs. One of them is ‘No U-Turn’. Wilfred just stares at the teacher and I have no idea if it’s going in – but in the car last week, he suddenly piped up ‘Look Mummy! No U-Turn! Like in class!’ – so it must be going somewhere!

Let’s keep things real though, as it’s definitely a work in progress. Sometimes he fancies lying down in the classroom and ignoring what’s going on, sometimes he refuses to get up and dance, and sometimes he refuses to do the tasks and colours in rainbow colours instead. But that’s OK, as all the kids in the class are the same – but little by little, I’m seeing him get more involved and get more enjoyment from it too.

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When does it take place?

There are classes throughout the week, both in the morning, afternoon, and at the weekend – and your child will be grouped with children the same age to keep the tasks relevant to age.

If you want to find out any more details – or chat to the team behind Heguru Dubai in person, they will be at the School and Nursery Show this weekend (free to attend). You can find out details about that event here – https://www.theschoolshow.ae/

For all further details, head over to the company’s website here – http://hegurudxb.ae/ – and I will be reporting back after we’ve completed six full weeks with my final thoughts

 

In collaboration with Heguru Dubai