It's time for us all to become familiar with the work of Michael Hynes, superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District on Long Island and passionate promoter of PEAS: the physical, emotional, academic and social growth of kids, not just their test scores.
Hynes put his district where his mouth is, doubling recess. Kids at his schools get 40 minutes for lunch AND 40 minutes of recess -- "The one block of time when they can actually make decisions for themselves." And wouldn't you know it -- the problems at Hynes' schools went DOWN, even as attendance went UP, with more free time.
Here is Hynes discussing his initiatives and philosophy, including his core idea that kids are so scheduled and supervised that they need some free time to learn how to get along with others, and "to think things through and think for themselves."
And here's another wonderful Hynes video where he talks about how he grew to hate school in his middle and high school years, and how he is so grateful he had ONE THING that kept him from dropping out.
Teachers, principals, superintendents: If you would like to hear about some free play/childhood independence initiatives Free-Range Kids is developing in conjunction with Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! - L