Wednesday, April 4, 2012

School Daze

I have some fond memories of elementary school. I had a rad Garfield lunchbox. My jelly bracelet collection was long enough to jump rope with. And I could have kicked your butt on the handball court.

I remember being very active. It seems like we were outside a lot. And I'm pretty sure we had p.e. every day. As well as multiple recesses.

Times they are a'changin'. (Isn't that a song? My spell check is not liking it.)

My kids go to an awesome school. We are in one of the best school districts in the state. But it is sad to me how NOT active they are in school. They have a great p.e. teacher--stereotypically, he makes up nicknames for all the students. Unfortunately, they only have p.e. for one week out of every five. My second grade twins get 2 short recesses; my fifth grader only gets one--although he can choose to do alternate activities that aren't necessarily physical in nature. The worst are days like yesterday. SNOW DAY. They watched movies instead of going out to recess. So from approximately 8:30 am to 3:30 pm they were sitting around. I don't like it. I especially don't like it when they get home and are bouncing off the walls.

I get that academics are muy importante. I am all in favor of education, don't get me wrong. But I think that kids need to move!! They need to be physically active! They also need to know it is important and create good habits early on. There are funding and space problems throughout the nation, but I think we are causing serious problems for our own children by not offering them the chance to exercise. Daily.

Check out these stats from a USA Today article:

Health experts recommend 30 minutes of daily physical education for elementary school students, and 45 minutes for those in junior high and high school.

But in a recent CDC study, less than 4% of elementary schools, less than 8% of middle schools and just over 2% of high schools required daily PE for all students for the entire school year.

It's sad!! What do you guys think? Do you remember things being different? Or am I just remembering my childhood in the 80's with rose colored glasses?

Sooo...can you figure out which one is me??
p.s. My memories of p.e. in junior high and high school are far less positive. Anytime you require tweens to change clothes in front of each other--it's just not nice.


  1. I remember having 3 recesses--morning, afternoon and lunch, plus P.E. (although that wasn't every day). I can hardly believe it when Maren tells me she only gets one recess--lunch recess! Occasionally, they get an extra recess in the afternoon but it's right before the end of school--they literally come in, grab their backpacks and then the bell rings. What on earth is the point of that?

    I would think that the teachers would be desperate to get a break from the kids more than just a few minutes at lunchtime!

    Today our kids had a huge assembly about Diabetes and how to prevent it by being healthy and they're doing some kind of JDRF fundraiser walk later this month. Hmm--maybe they should get the kids moving more EVERY SINGLE DAY instead of just one day per school year!

  2. Our elementary kids have PE four days a week~down from five days a week when we moved here. They also have a fifteen minute recess. Middle school, PE every other day for 90 minutes.

    There is, however, a lot of movie watching going on. Blah.

  3. My kids have PE twice a week for 30 minutes, then they have 1 - 30 minute recess and 2 - 15 minute recesses a day. Our elementary does a 4 day week, so I'm glad they get the extra "play" time, since they're in school from 7:30-4. I'm amazed that your kids have so little time to run around and release some energy. No wonder they come home and are bouncing off the walls!

    Great picture! I think we're a lot alike: an uncanny resemblance to Ramona Quimby in elementary school. ;)

  4. In the top picture, you're the one on the front row, far right. In the bottom picture you're the girl in the middle, plaid shirt... am I right? :)

    I also have issues with all the movie watching going on at school. Kids need a physical outlet and they just don't get it enough, especially on those bad weather days. I grew up in Washington state, where it was pretty much always raining, and we always had outside recess. There were lots of covered play areas, but still, we were outside playing. Lots of kickball, basketball and soccer for me.

  5. Good job, Jen!! I don't think I look anything like I used to...maybe it's the red hair.


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