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Kindergarten has changed a lot over the last decade.Once a place for socialization and play, kindergartens now emphasize the importance of learning to read, to count, to sit still and to listen to the teachers.Over Christmas, I started listening to an audio book about the effect of exercise on the brain, and particularly the brains of children.
And they complete their work much more quickly than before, often finishing it up about the same time that they finished their homework before Christmas — which proves that starting their homework before playing really wasn’t the best strategy.
I’m lucky to have my kids at schools that understand the value of unstructured play, offering my kids several recesses a day to play 4-square or Ga Ga Ball with their friends.
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Instead of immediately pressing the kids to complete it, I started letting them play outside for half an hour when they got home.
They have snacks outside and ride their bikes or play hopscotch, visibly letting off steam and unwinding from the stress of the school day.
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At the beginning of the school year, I set a routine for my kids when they came home from school.
They were to get a snack, then immediately sit down at the kitchen table to complete their homework before playing outside.