Did anyone else read Michael O’Shea in Sunday’s Parade this weekend? Only one state, Illinois, has PE mandatory in K – 12 and 40% of our elementary schools throughout the nation no longer set aside time for recess. See or
Is it me or is there a reason students are heavier, and is there a reason 1/4 of students attending American schools take some form of mood altering medication?
My happy, busy 2nd grade son, who loves school and gets along well with his peers, has been the subject of well meaning teachers requesting an ADHD evaluation. Are we treating kids so they can survive an 8 hour day without activity? Is this in the best interest of our children or to accommodate the “union approved schedule”?
My son has P.E. three times a week and recess for 25 minutes in an 8 hour day 4 days a week. He is 8. I take more breaks from work than he does. We (the nation) really don’t get it. I look at the people I currently know who are successful as adults and not many of them sat still for 8 hours a day without activity, creativity, and pure frustration from adults around them nor were they medicated or prevented from physical activity due to budget cuts and testing. I can include in this list

  • my physician husband, (76 stitches by the time he was 10),
  • my cardiac surgeon brother-in-law, (who was told by teachers over and over he would never succeed because he never sat still as is his the same with his son),
  • my lawyer cousin who was always fighting those in authority (as is his son).

Not one of these adults were medicated as children but everyone of their children have been asked to be evaluated for ADHD. I don’t disapprove of meds to help a real problem and I have seen the devastation of mental illness in my own family but students that love school, and have positive relationships at school, do we do them a disservice by turning to meds first?
We should let them move first then see what happens. I don’t encourage hostile, ill behaved students but are we encouraging growth, creativity within unique students that succeed by eliminating movement? We need to let kids move so they can concentrate.
Let’s keep Madison kids moving so they can think.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Amen, Mary! I commented on this somewhat on an earlier item, when wondering out loud how much we are medicating (or even treating with behavioral therapy) the creativity, action, and lateral (not linear) thinking out of our kids who seem “odd” in any way. I also do not advocate tolerating bad behavior. But there is a difference that seems obvious to me, between bad behavior and restlessness due to too much stress and too little physical activity. Some kids can sit and read for hours at a time. Really. But many cannot. My son can, my youngest daughter cannot.
    There is also a difference, in my opinion, between kids acting out due to just not considering the effects of their actions (after all, that is a logic they have to learn as they are developmentally able to do so), and kids acting out to be mean, nasty, or purposefully disrespectful.

  2. I agree with Mary and Millie that we do ask alot of our students to sit all day. I think that given the lack of movement in the day exacerbates restlessness and disruptive behaviour. I also the extended bus rides that many of these students have in the morning and evening play into this problem.

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