A common mistake…

According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past thirty years. A lot of people want to blame this on a number of things, video games being number one, followed shortly after sugary foods and drinks. I, however,  think there might be another problem lurking behind the scenes. Something even Michelle Obama might not be aware of. Lack of recess.

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When I was in school, not that many moons ago, we had two recesses. One in the morning and one after lunch. Yes it was as smaller school, yes it was awhile ago, no I don’t think any of those facts matter. My graduating class spent less time in the classroom, never heard of the common core, and we sure didn’t start doing homework like thisdownload (9),

until much later then third grade. What do we have to show from it? Doctor’s, teachers, government workers, police officers, military, artists, chefs, men and women of religion, comedians, business people, volunteers. We have mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and friends. And not one of us, spent anytime doing common core math. We all had two recesses, we all had gym class. There was not a push to get kids to get better test scores.

So okay…times change, we need kids to be more focused. (read: start over medicating the little monsters) We needs kid to perform well so we can look good. (read: get higher test scores then the other schools) Fine…I’ll roll with it(because I can opt out of testing)…but not when you take away the only break my son and his friends have during the day. That is when I go all Mama Bear. mama-bear

See my kid goes to school for about 7 hours. Of those 7 hours, he gets an 1 hour. 1/2 to scarf down a lunch and 1/2 for recess. The rest of the time (and this was said to us at open house AND during his parent/teacher conference), he and the rest of the kids are expected to sit. No fidgeting, no talking, no moving, just sit and work. Sit and listen. Sit and read or write. Sit. Sit. SIT. For close to 6 hours. Yes they get up to go to the other classes, but then they are in a quiet line, moving quietly throughout the school. Only to sit again. Sit Sit SIT.

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They all look forward to recess. I know I did as a kid, and we were not forced to sit sit SIT. Even as boring, and pointless as indoor recess in his school is, they look forward to any break. A fire drill sends them over the moon, pathetic right? So what happens if little Johnny forgets to do his math homework? What happens if half the class isn’t done their assignments? What happens if Peter and Parker were goofing off a few minutes before the next lesson? Want to know?snape-pwns-harry-and-ron-o

They miss recess. Yep. They get their recess taken away from them. If a child is goofing off in class, he needs recess. I know I sound like one of those parents who thinks her kid is king, but I am not. If Cody misbehaves I am all for punishment. I don’t think recess should be used as a punishment. Recess should be MANDATORY for all kids. Recess should be outside whenever possible. I think PE should be every day too, but our school feels like 90 minutes a week is adequate. So if they are only getting 90 minutes of PE, it is dark when some of these kids get home in the winter, oh lest we forget the hour it takes to do common core homework, required minimum of 20 minutes reading, practice vocabulary…eat dinner…yes when are they supposed to exercise? hmm? Recess. That is where. By taking that away you are only contributing to the obesity issue, (way to go healthy habits school), you are also messing with socializing and slew of other benefits.

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I have an office job, a really nice place to work, (when researching labor laws I realized how nice it actually is). Anyway, no one sits at their desk all day. No one. I am not saying our jobs don’t get done, they do, and amazingly. We have a bunch of really creative, hardworking people working at my job. None of them are lazy. Do we roll over and chat with our co-worker? Yes. Do we get up and stretch? Yes. Do we take bathroom breaks when the need arises? You betcha. 14-Office-Space-quotes

Do our children get to? No. They don’t get any of that. They are expected to sit. Furthermore, on more than one occasion, my son has been denied access to the bathroom. When researching if that was even legal I found this site, (Teacher advice to top kids from using the bathroom ), so I guess it is legal and even encouraged. I understand that some kids might abuse it, but my kid comes home with stomach cramps and accidents because of this. Emails have resulted in them calling me (I feel, although I can’t be sure, that they don’t want anything in writing that can be used against them…call me paranoid), and telling me that “oh if its an emergency…but you know kids they just like to get out class” No…yeah no…not when your kids is tears. I would say that is an emergency.0511-0908-0513-4034

We haven’t had any issues of late…I am hoping we won’t. There shouldn’t have been any to begin with.

So what do we have here? We have recess being taken away for numerous reasons, we have limited PE classes, we have a generation of children that are expected to do nothing but sit and work, and are denied the basic human right of using the bathroom. Know what we are going to see in 20 years?33881383-outline-cartoon-of-bored-young-african-man-at-laptop

Less…less actors, less athletes, less thinkers, less inventors, less artists, less..

When you stifle the children’s creativity and love for learning, you make a huge mistake at what amazing things can be found from them.

einstein

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2 comments

  1. WriteForAbsolution · January 10, 2015

    Legit. Like, this is exactly EXACTLY how I feel about school nowadays. We are breeding a culture of sheep. Of programmed robots. Imagine Dragons has a perfect lyric in “Radioactive” they say “We’re painted red to fit right in” and it’s so true. Red of course implying Communist but it’s the same idea. We are forcing the children (and the adults too!) to fit into the same boxes. Kids have to be smart, have to be good, have to sit down and shut up and do your work. Adults have to be successful, work hard, be healthy, own a home, have the latest iMabobber, have 2.5 kids… It’s ridiculous. We are being too controled, too stifled.
    And it’s not just now, it’s often been this way, anyone who thought outside the box (Galielo, Einstein, Michaelangelo) were seen as heretics and their eccentricities were hardly appreciated and not until much later.

    I am so tired of being controled and have our youth corrupted by group think and RULES I am so tired of rules. Pointless rules. Childhood is for fun. Childhood is for exploring. Childhood is for growing. Childhood is for seeking knowledge and finding it in unlikely places. Honestly all kids should be curious George. If my kid build trees for pigeons, or learned how to make bowling pins out of ice, or built a mock dam in a pond, THATS where they are learning science, THATS when they learn math and ratios, THATS when they have /fun/ and channel their creativity. THATS when they find their passions. I don’t remember doing homework as a child. Not til 6th or so grade. And if we did it took two seconds. I remember riding my bike, I remember running around the house annoying our parents, I remember yes playing video games, but I also remember dad having to find us at dinner time because we were exploring in the woods. I remember exploring my town, learning the streets and the beauty of it. School didn’t frustrate me (at least not daily). I remember wanting to do after school activities because I had time and they were FUN. And they encouraged activity and play.

    Children today are missing out on being kids. And it hurts me.

    I am honestly not sure if I will have kids if I can’t find a way to home school them. Because I have no faith in the education system at this time.

    As someone who checked all the boxes, aced test scores, went to college, graduated with honors it really means a load of nothing to me now. Life isn’t about test scores.

  2. Pingback: Our Children deserve better | The Road so far

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