Why School RECESS Really Matters

Parenting School Years Magazine
November 2010

We’ve all heard of “the three R’s”: reading, writing, and arithmetic. The latest issue of Parenting School Years magazine is making a case for a fourth: School RECESS! No, your kid didn’t put anyone up to it. More and more educators and their higher-ups are coming around to the idea of bringing school recess back in a big way.

According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, young kiddos can only focus and absorb information for 30 minutes–maximum. The center recently did a study of more than 11,000 children between the ages of 8 and 9, showing that when kids receive even just 15 minutes of school recess each day, their behavior in the classroom improves. Can I get an “A-men!”? Being a former teacher, I can attest to this firsthand.

The educational system requires kids to sit for increments of 60 to even 90 minutes at a time. I challenge any adult to sit that long without squirming. Kids need an outlet for all that pent-up energy, and if your kid’s not getting that outlet, you may be getting a call from the school. The reason? “Behavior.” Not that it’s entirely the school’s fault. In fact, the faculty and administration are just trying to keep up with national standards.

Unfortunately, gone are most of the fun moments in school, as educators are forced to “teach to The Test,” whatever standardized version your state takes. And while national standards and accountability are necessary, can we please find some balance already?

Parenting School Years magazine’s very own “Mom Congress” is fighting back, offering parents the encouragement they need to help reinstate “midday play.” Become a “recess advocate” and look for more information at Peacefulplaygrounds.com. One parent suggests to the magazine, “Make yourselves a nuisance if necessary,” even if that means going to the school board. What can I say? The squeaky wheel really does get the oil. That’s never been truer than in public education. Parenting School Years Magazine Makes the Case for School-Day Recess

 

The Recess Advocacy Toolkit includes: parent letters, a powerpoint presentation, a meeting agenda, and advocacy guide for Saving School Recess.  It can be download here :  http://peacefulplaygrounds.com/right-to-recess-campaign/