Playing, and a high level of physical activity, are believed to be essential for children to release extra energy, and allow them to be able to focus more on other less gripping tasks. Several schools in Texas have taken this into consideration and implemented additional recess time, allowing two fifteen-minute play intervals in both the morning and the afternoon sessions. Even though there was originally resistance to this idea, as teachers believed that more playtime would make it difficult to stick to lesson plans, the feedback has been extremely positive and students’ academic performance is improving.
In addition, there has been an overall decrease in bad behavior and widespread hyperactivity. The program’s success can also be attributed to the fact that it breaks up the monotony of the school day. Students can burn their extra energy in a healthy manner, while resting their logical minds in preparation for the next learning session. Recreational activity continues to play a key role in children’s development, and caregivers are hoping that this increase in recess time will expand to schools in other parts of the country sooner rather than later.
The American educational system is centered around academics, and this places additional pressure upon children to perform well within a competitive environment. The length of time that young ones are expected to remain seated is being constantly increased, and there is a focus on learning through dictation and retaining, instead of creativity and interaction. In addition, many schools are gradually replacing the arts, music and physical education with increased lesson time.
These conditions at school, as well as others within the children’s environment, are responsible for the increase in the number of them that are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Instead of being treated by increasing stimulation, the majority of children are being medicated in hopes of calming them down. Many of these prescribed drugs have adverse side effects, however, and schools are beginning to divert from this method to more natural means of helping children progress.
Meditation has been beneficial in increasing the periods that children can concentrate for, as well as helping to decrease the incidents of violence in schools. Many of the youngsters also have a diet which consists of an excess of sugar, and this leads to hyperactivity. Schools have begun giving children healthier meal options, as well as encouraging parents to ensure that they get the recommended amount of sleep for their age. This stimulates brain activity and increases the ability to retain information.