Do Your Kids Walk to School?
Every parent wakes up thinking about their child each morning before they send them off to school.
Ever thought about living closer to your child's school so they can walk there? It may be more important that you first thought...
Walking is known to improve academic performance. Children arrive brighter and more alert for their first morning class. Nine out of ten teachers said their students are much more ready to learn if they’ve walked to school. Walking reduces stress and increases creativity, both of which will help a child’s performance at school.
Walking gives children good life experience. It’s an opportunity for them to be independent, think responsibly, and make decisions for themselves. Some children feel less anxiety about being at school when they know how to get home; it’s much harder to learn that route from the perspective of a car. If a child is still young or immature, then walking in groups with friends or siblings is a good option, as is the “walking school bus.” Parents take turns collecting children from houses in the neighborhood and accompany them to school.
Walking gets children outdoors – and, according to Richard Louv, who wrote Last Child in the Woods, kids certainly aren’t spending enough time outside these days. Those few minutes of walking can provide inspiration. One child, interviewed for a study by the University of Toronto, described his daily commute: “There’s this pathway I go by, and it’s actually in this puny, puny forest. So it has big tall trees around it. Yeah, it’s just spectacular.” Children pay attention to and revel in their surroundings in a way that adults don’t.
Walking provides daily exercise for children. Obesity rates have skyrocketed in North America, so incorporating physical activity into a child’s daily routine is a good place to start fighting it. As physical fitness improves, so does academic performance
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