I’m not sure how all this happened? Not how I ended up in an effort to bring recess back to the children of my daughter’s school, the children in her district, perhaps even the children in her state and nation.
For many years now, schools and school districts have been doing away with recess for the purpose of “improving test scores.” I call MALARKY!
(photo from www.kurtbruner.net)
I, literally, spent hours looking for research that proved adding class time and reducing/eliminating recess improved test scores/student performance. I could not find it! There wasn’t ANY that I could find.
As a health coach, I am sincerely concerned with the future of our children and their health. I am concerned with “The Weight of the Nation” to coin the phrase from HBO’s informational series that I offer as a class. We are seeing increasing numbers of obese children, sick children and children unable to focus in the classroom. Children who are struggling to pay attention in the classroom, to retain the lessons being taught, and trying to hold back the urge and need to MOVE.
Our school systems have basically told our young children, “You have not earned recess due to your test scores, so we are taking away recess.” Our legislatures are so worried about test scores that they are failing. Failing to give our kids what it takes to excel, failing to pay attention to the masses of research out there that tells us how IMPORTANT RECESS BREAKS are for our kids, and FAILING TO READ. (Ironic, since that is one of the reasons they have yanked “playtime,” so the children can focus on reading skills.)
Perhaps our legislature should go back to reading class and be assigned scientific based studies relating to how children learn and retain information.
Recess: Is it needed in the 21st Century?
The Recess Debate
The Benefits of Recess in Primary School
Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess
The Role of Schools in Obesity Prevention
The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Body Mass Trajectory
So, what are the problems being created by eliminating recess?
- Children have difficulties focusing, especially later in the day
- Teaching our children a sedentary lifestyle and perpetuating our current health care crisis
- Children are unable to retain the material being taught in the classroom due to prolonged, concurrent information sessions
- Children develop stress over their performance on tests and school work since everything focuses on “lessons” and there are no breaks – developing chronic stress at an early age
- Long periods of sitting is causing an epidemic of “Sitting Disease”
(source is from The Role of School Physical Activity Programs in Child Body Mass Trajectory)
What is the cure?
- A 20 minute recess 5 days a week guaranteed to each student to allow the student to relax, absorb what has been taught, move, communicate, and enjoy a break to allow them to return to the classroom with a renewed focus and ability to “get to work”
Please, talk to your legislatures. Encourage them to READ for 90 minutes a day. Encourage them to READ science based research BEFORE inflicting harmful legislation and recommendation to our already taxed teachers and schools!
If you live in Lee County Florida, please take a moment to visit my page with the virtual petition to bring Recess BACK to our Lee County schools before next Tuesday!