Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Called Moving

I am embarrassed. Not because of anything I've done, but I am embarrassed because of how things have become. My kids told me this morning they may not be able to go outside for recess at school because they have PE today. I thought, "Well, that doesn't sound too bad." Then they informed me that in PE they were doing Cup Stacking.


What? This is their PE topic. PE - PHYSICAL EDUCATION. Cup Stacking. And, because of Cup Stacking, my kids may not get to go outside and have recess. Does this sound right to anyone? Our country has lost its way. There was a time when kids were athletic. And those athletic kids grew to be athletic, healthy adults. Now, thankfully, our kids will know how to stack cups and take them down again. Now we can be sure that their hearts are healthy and strong and that their bones and muscles can withstand the rigors of life.

In case you are a cup stacking enthusiast, I understand the argument is that cup stacking helps learning. BALONEY. You want to know what helps learning? It's called moving. Moving, the way we were designed, is what helps with learning. Do you know why? Moving nourishes the brain. It builds and shapes new neural connections. It literally feeds the brain and KEEPS the brain healthy. Moving makes smarter, more capable kids. Not cup stacking. Cup stacking further compounds the art of not moving. We don't need more of that in our schools. 

Schools - the learning institutes - are doing all they can to stifle real learning = the ability to think, by not allowing quality moving in the day for our kids. This is upside down! It gets worse, too. Where I live, dodge ball and kick ball are banned. Why? Because someone is a target. They are getting singled out and someone is trying to hit them with a ball. So, we ban dodge ball. That seems logical: we take away the ability to judge speed and distance, the ability to avoid collision, the ability to anticipate movement - we take away fun - all because we are concerned for safety and self-esteem. Again, moving, learning to be athletic, builds self-esteem. Not cup stacking. 

We really need to wake up here people. If you love your kids, if you love your grandkids, we have to get back to our roots. We need to move. We need to play. We need to get "exercise" and sunlight. We need to experience the thrill or potential thrill of falling off a monkey bar set. Heck we might even need to climb something one day. Wouldn't it be nice if we knew how? 

Anyway, I could talk about this 50 pages from now. Wake up.



Jim Mara said...

Great post!! I couldn't agree more! People fail to realize that in order to maximize cognitive development you need to move and physically develop the body! These two concepts are inextricably linked.

Tim Anderson said...

Thanks Jim. I appreciate you reading!