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What Subjects/Activies Do You Think Are Essential to Learning That Public Schools Are Moving Away From?

Elementary School That Banned Coloring Is Hurting Kids More Than Helping Them

by Jeanne Sager

crayonsWhen I was a kid -- way back in the stone ages when we walked 20 miles uphill to get to school -- you did a whole lot of coloring in school. In fact, come to think of it, that may have been all we did for one straight year. Picked our noses, took naps, and colored. You too? Yup, seems like we all did, but in news that will make you feel like grabbing a can of Metamucil, it seems those days are over for kids.

First cursive got kicked out, now it's the crayons? Yes, indeedy do, schools are dropping coloring from the curriculum!

At least, one school is. The Southside Primary School in Cleveland, Texas, announced it would be yanking the crayons and the coloring sheets in response to low performing test scores at the third- and fourth-grade level. The district announced it needs to focus more on "academics" for younger kids to prep them for the all-important tests in the higher grades.

Ah yes, the old "academics" line. 

Because what parent is going to argue with an increased focus on academics?

Well, this one.

Don't get me wrong! I'm a whole-hearted supporter of academics. Why else would I send my kid to school? Anything that can be done to improve the focus on academics should be considered by school districts, and successes at one school should be studied by others for possible adoption.

But the last time I checked, coloring is a piece of the academic puzzle, and it's one we can't afford to lose. This is NOT a trend that should spread.

See, coloring isn't just coloring. That's the way we sell little kids -- as fun time to be artsy -- but in truth coloring is really about training youngsters' little muscles and their brains. It's helping them develop their fine motor skills. It's a lesson in discipline and concentration and a means to introduce logic, not to mention a way to cement a child's grasp on color recognition.

As much as we love to poke fun at the old ways of doing things way back when we were kids, we need to remember that not everything old is outdated. Some methods that had merit then still apply today -- among them getting youngsters started with some crayons and a blank sheet of paper.

Those tests will be long forgotten by the time those kids grow up, but the abilities they gain from coloring the outline of a pumpkin or Abraham Lincoln's hat will stay with them forever.

What subjects/activities do you think are essential to learning that public schools are moving away from?

Do you think coloring is an essential part of learning?

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Replies (11-16):
Mweddle
by Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I agree with EVERYTHING you said!

A NAP!  yes!  My daughter (in K) got IN TROUBLE nearly everyday for being cranky, sucking her thumb, or rubbing her eyes because she needed a nap.   She got notes home and I always felt like it was them telling me to make her get more sleep.  (she went to bed at 7!!! so about 12 hours of sleep a night)  I literally texted my mom the other day and said, "Perk 1 of homeschooling: my daughter can take a nap without fear of either of us being reprimanded!"  

Also I think a lot of the learning they do at my dd's school was memorization.  She didn't learn concepts or phonics.  It was all memorization.  That works for some kids maybe but not her AT ALL.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yes coloring is important.

Recess, naptime (for younger grades), writing in cursive, art, music, playing with language, playing period.  There are so many things that the PSs are moving away from that are absolutely essential to learning and also the down time to allow their brains to rest long enough to o back to learning.


paganbaby
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yes coloring is important.

Recess, naptime (for younger grades), writing in cursive, art, music, playing with language, playing period.  There are so many things that the PSs are moving away from that are absolutely essential to learning and also the down time to allow their brains to rest long enough to o back to learning.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this

 In kindergarten my oldest used to pee his pants on the busride home.  It was an hour long and he would fall so deeply asleep he would not even notice that he had peed.  It was so frustrating for him and it could have all been avoided by letting him take a 20 minute catnap after lunch.

Quoting Mweddle:

I agree with EVERYTHING you said!

A NAP!  yes!  My daughter (in K) got IN TROUBLE nearly everyday for being cranky, sucking her thumb, or rubbing her eyes because she needed a nap.   She got notes home and I always felt like it was them telling me to make her get more sleep.  (she went to bed at 7!!! so about 12 hours of sleep a night)  I literally texted my mom the other day and said, "Perk 1 of homeschooling: my daughter can take a nap without fear of either of us being reprimanded!"  

Also I think a lot of the learning they do at my dd's school was memorization.  She didn't learn concepts or phonics.  It was all memorization.  That works for some kids maybe but not her AT ALL.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yes coloring is important.

Recess, naptime (for younger grades), writing in cursive, art, music, playing with language, playing period.  There are so many things that the PSs are moving away from that are absolutely essential to learning and also the down time to allow their brains to rest long enough to o back to learning.


 

usmom3
by BJ on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:13 PM

 Art & music are more important in my book then sports teams! Not that physical activity is not important but the schools make the teams priorities more important them all the rest of the school! At lest that is what it is like here in Texas where they think Football, Basketball & Baseball are the most important thing ever!

debramommyof4
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:31 PM
I agree with everyone else. Coloring is important, though some schools use it way to much. Writing in cursive is important also. You should know how to sign your name and read things in cursive. I feel public schools should offer languages earlier and recess is a must. Kids should be outside in kindergarten a couple hours a day. If they are half day they should be out at least an hour. And it should get shorter by a little. We had recess up until middle school and 15 min. Breaks in high school. I believe it was helpful. I also do not understand dropping art and music.
elizabooks
by Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM

The arts.

One can incorporate a lot of information into art classes. I can recall history lessons where we make replicas of the lighthouses and diarams of the pirate battles, and even a recreation of the lost colony for a NC history parade in the 3rd grade.

I remember having roving language students from the local HS and college come in to teach us the basics of the language so we could put on a play.  3rd grade was Spanish and we did a circus demo. I still remember my line : Soy una cuerda floja andador.  Though mostly I remember it because I fell off the balance beam while saying it :) One year we did dishes from around the world and we either had to pick the country from our background or from a hat and then make a costume, give a brief speech about the country and a cook a simple dish to share (I made canollis).

We had ballroom dancing (for those who couldn't play sports) and music appreciation.

Heck we even had a woman come in and show us caligraphy. We were not allowed to do that unless we perfected our cursive, but that was a great motivator.

Even in 7th grade we were allowed to write fiction stories involving our science lessons and one teacher in Jr High had us rewrite parts of the biology text book to show where our interests lay. (Mine had a whole chapter on deepsea diving and mythical sea monsters and how unexplored caverns might contain them . And we had to use facts to support our reasonings.)

With out the arts, most of these classes would have been as dull as dish water.

I think cursive needs to be taught to help children gain patience and improve hand eye coordination.

I also think we should have mandatory study periods in the day. Why? Everyone needs to recharge, so if the kid studies, finishes homework, plays a game of cards, doodles, or naps it will be fine. I also think that the kids need to have some duties. Be it hall monitors, reading announcements, litter pick up, cafeteria duty, washing the buses or even mural paintings (we had seven large boulders to paint) there has to be something to have the students involved with the school iteslf.

I also think that world history is being sanitized. They need to see events from other culture's eyes to get a better view of the situations. The internet should make this easier to do. Not sure why it is not being utalized.


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