Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's pie day!

No, it's Pi day.  For the occasion the family made a maple sugar apple pie (in addition to some other homemade goodies).  For my part, allow me to link to a post by the esteemed Cracked Magazine* which sometimes seems to notice what our most brilliant leaders miss by a mile.  In this case, the observation is that all we have in our modern schools may not be brilliant and golden.  My favorite: we need more recesses.  Duh.  My wife and I noticed that with our kids.

At first we thought we were being a couple old cranks.  There's no school like our school!  But when we stopped to put it together, we had to say our kids were missing something.  From Kindergarten to fourth grade, they had about a half hour recess a day, and gym I think once a week.  In fifth and sixth grades, they had fifteen minutes of recess, and one quarter in the year, had gym every day for an hour.

When I was in school, we had gym three times a week.  In sixth grade, it moved to twice a week and then once a week with the girls.  Recesses were three: an early morning recess shortly after school began, about ten minutes.  Then the big one, after lunch, usually finishing off the 'lunch hour.'  Since we could scarf down our food pretty quickly, that usually left us around 30 or 40 minutes of recess.  Then we had a fifteen or twenty minute recess in the afternoon.

So on any given day, we had at least an hour and ten minutes of so of physical activity.  On gym days, we had over two hours.  In today's 'our kids are fat and we're going to die!' hysteria, what do they do?  Slash and hack away our kids' physical activities   In fact, my sons' intermediate school (that's fifth and sixth grade) only had fifteen minutes a day, and that in a former parking lot with two basketball hoops, all in a space no larger than a smallish gymnasium on asphalt.  Really?

That's the brilliance of our education system.  One of its biggest problems is the ideas promoted by people who just don't seem to have common sense.  Which is one reason we pulled our kids from the schools. We were tired of the system looking the problems straight in the eye, and then turning to go the opposite direction of a solution.  The other points in Cracked's observations are no less true.

*Please be aware that the article contains some pretty strong language.  

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