Why boys need to move

Why boys need to move

I feel like one of those old people crabbing about the way things were “back in the good ole’ days”.  For years, I’ve stood on my soap box proclaiming that learning disabilities are on the rise, and a huge reason for this is because we’ve lost our “sand box” kindergartens where children painted, marched, sang songs, and learned to read at their own pace.  In essence, they (gasp) moved, got out of their seats, exercised, and here’s the best part: were happy!

Today, young learners, both male and female, are forced to digest a sour bowl of academic mush every school day.  They rarely leave their seats, and those who need the most exercise, boys, generally miss recess for incomplete work or as punishment for impulsive “boy” behavior.

I’ve also been shouting to anyone who listens that schools are trying to turn our boys into girls, complacent little darlings who sit with their ankles crossed, raising their hands in delight at the possibility of answering a question correctly.

Imagine my delight when I found out there is research to back up my claims!

Researchers at the University of Finland analyzed measurements of physical activity and sedentary time of students ages 6 to 8.  The studies used heart-rate and movement sensors as these kids were given standardized tests in reading and math.

“We found that lower levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity, higher levels of sedentary time, and particularly, their combination, were related to poorer reading skills in boys,” the study stated.

This study says it loud and clear.  Boys performed poorly in reading with limited or no physical activity. But, what does this mean for those of us who knew this all along, who have little boys who have been or still are forced to sit when their bodies are telling them they need movement, crave it to keep their brains stimulated?  Should we put them on harsh medication to keep them down and easy to handle?

Or, should we all take the higher road and let boys be boys?

To your child’s success,

Lisa

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