Friday, April 22, 2016

Why the World Needs More Recess


It’s safe to say my family survived spring break this year, though if you’d asked me at the time, I wasn’t so sure.

It wasn’t the fact that we didn’t jet off to a tropical location – we never do. It wasn’t because we had a houseful of kids – that’s pretty typical. You’re my neighbor, so you already know what the trouble was this year. It was the weather. Snow and biting temps kept us cooped up while outside, birds chirped their lament and daffodils begged for redemption.

We tried all the tricks – the library, Netflix, board games, special snacks. In the end, the only thing that worked was the discovery that nylon bean bags could be ridden down the basement stairs, rodeo-style.

A pattern emerged. The kids would enjoy twenty minutes or so of this revolutionary enchantment then emerge ready to focus on something a bit less eardrum-rattling. Though I didn’t necessarily understand the appeal and grew weary of tending to the results of underdeveloped navigational skills, I saw value in letting them get loud and rowdy at regular intervals. When all was said and done, imagination and play is what saved us...

I wrote a piece for my local newspaper about why recess matters. Click here to continue reading. 

7 comments:

  1. Read "Free to Learn" by Peter Gray. It will fuel your fire.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great article, you've written. I seriously could not agree more with you. Just last week I was soap-boxing about this. Like, COME ON! We NEED to reevaluate the way our children learn, the amount of activity and breaks they get and even the way they eat. We know so much more now than we used to and it's time to act on it so we can raise the most wonderful generation of children. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just toured the elementary school where we're moving and was appalled to find that they only get 30 minutes of recess a day, broken into 2 15-minute increments. AND they only get the first 15 minutes IF they arrive to school early enough. I said, "Isn't that a lot to expect of a 6-year old, for them to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day?" She said, "Well they get up to walk to specials, so that's really more than enough." Um, no. No, it's not.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 35 years, a veteran teacher, as well as a mom and Nana...GET THEM OUTSIDE. They eat a better lunch, have a heightened interest, and stay alert longer into the afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a homeschool mom, I can say without reservation our day goes more smoothly when we all have time outside, myself included. We take several breaks from work time throughout our day. Sometimes we even practice our memory work on the trampoline. Kids brains are designed to learn through play and exploration. I dare say adult brains are too.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm getting a chance to catch up on your blog this morning. Beautifully written and so true! As a former teacher and now thinking through A House in Austin, I believe, more than ever, in the power of imaginative play for children especially in school. My son has a hard time sitting still, and I know more recess time and play is needed! Thanks for sharing! Warmly, Erica Hilgart ( A House in Austin)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am fond of this post very much, special thanks for distributing me a nice kinds of post. It is also very informatively and appealing post for me. Thank you so much for this striking post and blogs. AJ Styles Hoodie

    ReplyDelete