The Case for Recess
A friend of mine mentioned that her daughter's class wasn't going out to recess and when she has asked her teacher about it, the teacher made a lot of excuses. We moved from Utah about 10 years ago. My 2 oldest children were in 7th and 9th grade when we moved. In Utah they had 2 or 3 recess's a day. Here in Georgia my youngest child had one right after lunch if there was time and here and there if the teacher felt like it.
More and more the trend has been to get rid of recess. With "No Child Left Behind" there is so much emphasis on learning to pass the test that many teachers and administrators feel there isn't time for recess. Or recess becomes a motivator..a reward for good behavior or something to take away when you misbehave. Sadly the children who probably need recess the most are the ones getting it the least.
Most research clearly shows that recess helps kids academically. Our brains can only handle so much information and then we need a break. Also recess helps kids learn social skills. Another big factor is kids are getting obese! With more and more media choices, and less neighborhood 'kick the can' games, our kids are not getting exercise. Recess is a time to just run around and play..no structure-just having fun.
We freak out that kids are getting more obese...but we take away their recess.
My son has ADHD. In kindergarten he had a hard time finishing his work even though he caused no disruptions in the classroom. The teacher wouldn't let him go out for recess because he hadn't finished his work. At the time I thought he was learning to follow through but years later I regret that I let that teacher get away with that. My son had a learning disability that he was punished for. Out of all kids he probably needed that recess most.
I just read that in some Chicago schools it has been 3 years since the kids had recess but they are reintroducing it. But the kids don't know how to play, so they have instructors. Goodness. We want our kids to work hard but in a society that is obese and stressed maybe one easy solution is recess. The research shows it efinately doesn't hurt.
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I am a mother of 3. I have a passion for helping kids feel comfortable in their 'own skin'.