Move - 07/14/14
Children really need to move. That's what they were designed to do. It's how they develop balance, core strength, muscle tone, and coordination. It's also what helps them pay attention and focus when we need them to.
The Centers for Disease Control is out with some new numbers showing we have more kids than ever diagnosed with ADHD from nearly 8% in 2003... up to 11 percent in 2011 (the most recent year for which figures are available.)
There's an interesting observation by a pediatric occupational therapist. She connects the ADHD rates to sedentary kids, who are forced to sit still in class for unnaturally, long periods of time even in kindergarten to meet the new and harder rubric. In her professional opinion, their little bodies aren't ready to do that yet (especially boys,) and she thinks some children are being medicated unnecessarily... when more movement and time would take care of the issue. Here's a link to her article:
Let Kids Move to Fix ADHD
In my unscientific and humble opinion... I have to say I agree. We had the option to send our son to kindergarten a year before we did. He has an early birthday and could have gone. However, we had just been through kindergarten with our daughter and we found out really quickly that what we think of as first grade is the new kindergarten for today's kids. There were a lot of demands, a lot of sitting and well... acting like a first or second grader ... when they've been five for all of five minutes. Luckily, for us... our daughter had a late birthday so she was nearly six when she started kindergarten. For this reason, we never had any attention or focus issues. She thrived in kindergarten and was ready to sit for those longer periods of time when some of her classmates were having serious issues. I'm talking going to the principal's office, etc.... Moving their star multiple times a day. Some were held back. When she would come home and tell me these stories, it was always the really young ones who just couldn't quite hang. So, when it became time to send our son... we wanted him to have the same advantage our daughter had... a little extra time. We red shirted him and he too has had no focus or attention issues and is a tremendous student. I honestly, do not believe he could have ever sat for the periods of time and focused the way our school system would have wanted him to as an early five year old. Yes, sure... if kindergarten was what it used to be (when I was a kid,) sure he could have. We worked a little ~ played a little. Life was good. However, it is not anything like that anymore. It is rigorous and kids have to meet the standard.
Heck, they come out of kindergarten knowing how to read. I told my kids I only learned my ABC's in kindergarten and didn't learn to read until the end of first grade and beginning of second. We had lots of recess and game time and by all accounts were healthier mentally and physically back then than some of our children today.