With the coming of the winter weather, I had a pretty disturbing discussion with our kids regarding what happens at school on wet weather days. All I could really glean from the discussion that there was lots of screen time in various formats.
Obviously, this does not strike me as an optimum use of their time or a healthy way to spend their recreation hours - matters I will take up with the school of course but it also got me wondering as to whether the climate in general would affect their school performance - I mean, I know that I'm not nearly as productive on dreary days when my body is not a comfortable temperature so why would the kids be any different.
I then found an article by Brendon Hyndman, an academic in Health and Physical Education at Southern Cross University which was interesting. It spoke a lot about weather affecting students through school closures but also stated what I had been thinking.
Even if the weather isn’t bad enough to spark closures, it can still disrupt the school day. Wet weather, in particular, means that students are less likely to take part in or enjoy, physical education and recess time activities, for example.
If such weather occurs on a regular basis, it makes it harder for school students to meet the national physical activity guidelines, which are designed to ensure kids are keeping sufficiently active.
It’s important, then, for the schools to cater for these situations and provide spacious, well equipped indoor school spaces to ensure kids can still take part in physical education and recess time activities.
Not exactly rocket science but extremely important. If you have kids, you know that they need to move.
All the time.
So what is happening if they are not letting those muscles expend their energy at recess and lunchtime? All I can picture is some very fidgety classrooms and not a lot of concentration.
Now of course, teachers and schools can only do so much - teachers need breaks too and supervising children in a wet play environment must be pretty stressful/
So my solution is that I have to step up as a parent. I need to make sure that the kids and I get out and walk the dog every morning before school and we hit the park or do something outdoors after school.
After all, it's only a bit of water.
So we will continue to don our wellies and wet weather gear every day it looks like they'll be stuck inside at school and hopefully, their bodies will refrain from distracting their brains too much.