As many of you already know, I grew up in a small neighborhood in Burlington, Vermont. As an elementary and middle school student, I walked to and from the local school no matter the weather, and some of my fondest memories include waiting up for my friends at the end of the street so we could giggle our way to school together. Most days after school included time outside climbing maple trees, jumping rope, playing a game called “spud” or going from house to house searching to see whose mom had purchased the best after-school snacks.
My own children have not enjoyed the same freedoms that I once had, and yet my husband and I have tried to prioritize free time, physical exercise and unstructured play with friends. For a variety of reasons, though, it is more of a struggle for our parenting generation to find time for our children to simply “go outside and play,” an admonishment I heard countless times from my mother when I was growing up.
The article linked below has created a bit of a firestorm since its release. The author asserts that we are doing our children a disservice if the only time they get to run and jump and play is 20 minutes during school recess. As Trinity parents, you can be comforted to know that your children are blessed with more recess, PE and intentional movement in classrooms than the vast majority of their peers in other schools, and even so, research is suggesting that our children are not getting enough time to roll down hills, hang upside down, and generally goof off in a physical manner. Interestingly, all this lack of extended play may be impacting their ability to learn. It’s fascinating food-for-thought, and something the faculty will be discussing, because although I believe we already do a stellar job at creating dynamic learning environments, there is always room for reflection and improvement. As parents, I thought you might enjoy reflecting on it as well.
As spring approaches (and the pollen goes away!), I hope we each can take advantage of more leisure time outside, and while I will not be rolling down hills or hanging upside down from the monkey bars, perhaps I’ll get to enjoy watching your children do just that!
Have a lovely weekend,
GOT A MINUTE TO READ MORE?
Here’s the article referenced above.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Week of April 16-20: Senior Theses presentations. Parents welcome! Schedule here.
April 21: Spring Fling/5K! Flyer here.
April 23-27: ERB testing week! Testing will take place in the mornings that week for grade levels 2-8.