Monday, July 18, 2011

Physical Education Needed in the School Day

From TODAYonline:

Too little time to play in school

Letter from Ho Kong Loon

Play as a form of exercise, relaxation, character building and camaraderie trumps almost any other educational or social activity.

Children are bursting with energy. They should be given the time, the space and opportunity to stretch their limbs, strengthen their bodies, toughen their minds, acquire good social skills and build sound character traits.

In some schools, children are directed to the school hall the moment they set foot in the school compound. Sitting cross-legged and packed like sardines in the school hall, the pupils spend time before class doing silent reading.

Recess time should be at least 30 minutes long, to allow children to do what they inherently love to do: Play. However, the present recess period of 20 minutes is often curtailed for various reasons. Often children have to gobble their food and gulp down their drinks in great haste, before they are corralled, five minutes before the end of recess, back to the classroom.

The abundant reservoir of pent-up energy is often negatively discharged in restlessness and hyperactivity during lessons.

When my sons were in school in the '70s and '80s, I allowed, in fact encouraged them to have three hours of outdoor fun and engage in activities in the company of their friends, from 4pm to 7pm.

The three hours of unsupervised playtime was on condition that they completed their schoolwork satisfactorily.

To see them trudging home weary but contented and happy was very heart-warming indeed.

Many professionals have been writing about and doing research on the very same topic:  Children must move to develop academicaly, socially, psychologically, etc.
These are some of my favorite books to learn more about how and why children should be moving.  With budget cuts, many schools are cutting out daily physical education along with their fine arts programs.  It is these very
programs that help develop children's minds to problem solve, adapt, and mature. 
Talk to your schools, find out what you can do to add
physical education back into the school day, along with
 at least 15-20 minute recess times throughout the school
day.  Develop our students' minds...
                                                                                                    S'cool Moves for Learning (book)

No comments:

Post a Comment