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Recommendations for breaks vary greatly from state to state

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Recommendations for breaks vary greatly from state to state

Editor’s Note: This story was a special edition of the Early Childhood Newsletter, which is delivered free of charge to the subscribers ’inbox every other Wednesday with trends and top stories about early learning. Subscribe today!

Ask any young child what time of the school day he loved and you will probably hear that it is a break. Often a break is the only time children can play on busy school days, and it is short: the average length of a break is 25 minutes a day. This time can benefit children and their teachers, research shows: more children attentiveproductive and better recognizable after a break. Primary school principals reported this rest has a positive effect on students ’ability to focus. The American Academy of Pediatrics even took a stand on recreation in 2013, calling it “an important and necessary component child development ”and stating that this should not be abandoned.

However, even a short break is far from guaranteed in schools across the country, as I reported in a post posted last week on practice of holding a break. On any given day, young children are taken a break for study or behavior and they should stay inside, walk in circles or sit on the sidewalk and watch their friends play. This is a long-standing and common punishment in schools. Yes 86 percent of teachers refused or reduced rest time as punishment for conduct. While in the short term this may work to force some students to comply quickly, experts say such practices can be harmful in the long run and possibly worsen behavior.

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