Another article on “Shady Oak Best Practices,” our favorite approaches to education and why they work. If friends ask why you send your kids to Shady Oak instead of a “regular” school, refer them to this series—and the science backing us up—for starters.
“Physical education” or gym class was a routine part of school days for decades, but the current generation of educators has let it fall into neglect. The usual excuse is that students need all their time for academic work if they’re to achieve maximum potential: but scientific research has shown this approach actually has the opposite effect.
Students who regularly engage in vigorous physical activity are not only healthier overall, with less absenteeism and less restlessness in class: they make higher grades than students with low or moderate daily-activity levels.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Everyone, regardless of age or vocation, needs occasional recharge time during a busy day. Sitting for hours on end is bad not only for physical health, but for concentration, motivation, and memory. Rather than learning the habit of being chained to a desk, children need to be encouraged to make the most of their natural energy levels.
Here are a few guidelines for making organized physical activities an effective part of your curricula:
At Shady Oak, we emphasize daily physical activity because it keeps kids healthy, sharpens their minds, and increases their overall enthusiasm for school.