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Benefits of Recess During the School Day

Recess:  is it a waste of time, kids goofing around when they should be learning, or is it a useful break in the day that yields benefits academic and otherwise?  Both anecdotal evidence and authoritative studies have shown that there are many benefits to well-timed and well-supervised recess during the school day.  These benefits include:

*a break from academics that allows kids to return to academics refreshed and ready to learn . . . rather than burning straight through their academics, and burning them out in the process.  Young children often do not have the attention span sufficient for long periods of uninterrupted lecture and study.

* an opportunity to burn off energy that subsequently allows kids to maintain their focus on academics in the classroom . . . rather than allowing kids no opportunity to burn off their energy, thus resulting in kids who are distracted and fidgety in the classroom.

* an opportunity for peer-level social bonding and social and emotional learning which can increases kids’ self-esteem and sense of well-being.  Life skills such as controlling one’s temper, negotiating differences, sharing, and playing as a team member can be learned and practiced in recess.

For the reasons above, recess is an important part of the school day for young children.  Recess is not merely a non-productive waste of school time: it is an enhancement to learning, both academic and social.

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