I could write a book about why recess in the fresh air is good for kids. There are now so many studies which show that fresh ait is really beneficial for children (and adults!) that it surprises me that there is no concerted effort to change the present system. As a punishment, recess is often curtailed or even suspended. Why not have:
- longer and more frequent recess
- changes in semesters
- encourage more outdoor actvities during recess
- shorter school day to give kids more free time
The American Academy of Pediatrics is in no doubt at all about the essential role that recess can play in a child’s development: “Recess offers cognitive, social, emotional and physical benefits that maynot be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it”. Recess for kids in the fresh air is an even more important need as I will show you from the example below
I have just been reading an article about a US family who moved to Norway. They were really brave in that they left their ADD son’s medication behind. They felt there would be no need. The good news is that the child who had lots of problems in the US school started to thrive in Norway.
- 3 recesses instead of 1
- much less technology in the classroom
- teacher gives undivided attention to the pupils
- the school day is one hour shorter – gives the kids more free time
- child has two hours of playtime which is four times the US average
- a half day field trip is obligatory every week.
- extra curricular activities encourage students to cook and do other manual tasks
- in Finland, every hour lesson has a fifteen minute break which must be taken in the fresh air, whatever the weather! Finland has one of the lowest rates of attention deficit disorder in the western world. With a record like that, there is no need to rely totally on ADHD meds.
- we need to give our kids more time in the fresh air
- there is a need to reduce screen time
- we must look at natural remedies for ADHD rather than relying on amphetamine meds
- we should organize our homes to be more ADHD friendly for kids
- we need to read more about ADHD
Misbehaviors Driving You Crazy
From Parenting Expert Amy McCready
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