July 1, 2020 – Sitting Still is NOT Normal Behavior for Children.

I see so many people struggling with new school rules, unknown school policies, and difficult schedules for the fall. People are considering homeschooling at an astounding rate. Questions abound.

The first thing you need to understand is that “school” does not equal “education”. Educating children can look like so much more than sitting at a desk all day.

In fact, I would argue that sitting at a desk all day is harmful to childhood development.

Here is a statement directly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

“The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children aged 6 – 17 years do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Children aged 3 through 5 years should be physically active throughout the day for growth and development.”

Children Kindergarten and younger should be PHYSICALLY ACTIVE THROUGHOUT THE DAY. They should NOT be sitting in a desk coloring or listening or reading. They should be actively playing.

Play is the work of childhood. Audiobooks or parents reading aloud while children play are such a treasure of growth and knowledge. Counting and skip counting while swinging, drawing letters with chalk on the sidewalk or carport, measuring ingredients while cooking, observing birds at a bird bath or bird feeder, trips to the zoo, grocery store trips to find items on a list, and reading signs are all educational activities that require absolutely zero sitting.

Hands-on learning is the best kind, especially for young children. Obesity is rising, and I must associate that with expecting children to sit constantly.

Children should be exploring, playing, observing, climbing, swinging, chasing, listening, pretending, and simply being children. It’s a recent issue that children are expected to sit still for extended periods of time. And it’s causing our children to become overweight and underachieving people.

So if you are considering homeschooling, but are worried about where and how you will get your child to sit at a desk all day, please CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!

Educating your child at home can look like anything you want it to look like. My youngest has never been to school because she would immediately be put on medication so that she can sit in a desk all day. At home, she starts the day at the barn. Then we do some school work, then she jumps on the trampoline. We do some more schoolwork, then she rides her horse or rides her bike, or crochets on the swing outside. We garden, we farm, we help others, we sew, we cook, and we learn together.

We read books or play games together over lunch. Then she has more outdoor time. She has silks hanging in the barn to do aerial gymnastics. She scores amazingly well on standardized tests even though she has never learned to sit in a desk for 7 hours a day. Her brain is amazing, and I fully expect her to be an ER doctor or veterinarian because she is so good at thinking on her feet and going constantly at a rapid pace WHILE learning and doing.

So please don’t hesitate to provide your active child with exactly what he or she needs. Constant activity is good for the body and soul. Your child can learn to sit and pay attention when necessary, but that should not be all day every day.

GO PLAY AND LEARN!

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