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Boys Who Sit Still Have a Harder Time Learning to Read

Time – Belinda Luscomb

“Anybody who has watched little boys for even five seconds knows that they are exhausting. At school, they tear around the playground, bolt through corridors and ricochet off classroom walls. According to a new Finnish study, this is all helping them to be better at reading. The study, released Nov. 30 in the Journal of Medicine and Sport, found that the more time kids in Grade 1 spent sitting and the less time they spent being physically active, the fewer gains they made in reading in the two following years. In first grade, a lot of sedentary time and no running around also had a negative impact on their ability to do math.”(more)

Sedentary lifestyle may impair academic performance in boys

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A sedentary lifestyle is linked to poorer reading skills in the first three school years in 6-8 year old boys, according to a new study from Finland. The study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Cambridge was recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. “Low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and high levels of sedentary time in Grade 1 were related to better reading skills in Grades 1-3 among boys. We also observed that boys who had a combination of low levels of physical activity and high levels of sedentary time had the poorest reading skills through Grades 1-3,” explains Eero Haapala, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.”(more)

‘Lets face it, keeping children sedentary for most of their waking hours is causing harm’

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“In 2015, the New York Times reported that over a four-year period, the number of students in New York City public schools being referred for occupational therapy rose by 30 percent and that similar increases were reported in other cities. One of the reasons offered was the increase in the number of autistic students who had been mainstreamed into regular classrooms. Another reason was the increased emphasis on academics in early-childhood education, which has led to a lessening of physical activity.”(more)

Giving Kids The Confidence To Learn Through Play

The Huffington Post – Blake Swensen

“I am the father of twins. One is an excellent student and the other has learning disabilities. He’s a high-functioning, high-IQ kid with ADHD. For most of his elementary school years, his teachers were unable connect with him, either from a lack of skill or a lack of will, and he constantly received the message that he was bad because he “just didn’t try.” Teacher conferences were spent listening to comments like, “He’s not making an effort to sit at his desk,” “He’s just not trying to complete his classwork,” or “He doesn’t participate appropriately.” They failed to recognize his strengths and failed to understand his needs.”(more)

America’s kids aren’t getting enough play time

The Week – Todd Oppenheimer

“Several years ago, Janice O’Donnell, the director of the Providence Children’s Museum, conducted a survey of public school superintendents in her community to see how much recess time was available to students. Virtually everyone who responded said they considered recess important, but only a tiny percentage of the schools actually offered it anymore. When O’Donnell started looking into why this was happening, not only in Rhode Island but elsewhere in the country, she was stunned by what she learned. Over the last 10 to 15 years, many teachers felt their students no longer had time for recess. With the increased emphasis put on standardized testing, their primary job now was to make sure students got high scores. Playtime could be handled after school. At other schools, especially those in crowded inner city neighborhoods, there was no longer any space for playgrounds, or even a basketball hoop..”(more)

Kids Should Play In The Dirt To Improve Their Health

Education News – Kristen Decarr

“Authors of a new book suggest that children need to be allowed to get dirty in order to gain access to certain microbes that they say are necessary to develop a healthy immune system. Authors B. Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta argue in their new book “Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World” that allowing children to get dirty will expose them to healthy germs that will actually help them in the long-run.”(more)