Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solves Attention Deficit Disorder

Public education is more stressful than ever for our children, as standardized testing requirements increase and programs like art, music and physical education are being phased out. The result of this type of environment is predictable, and the medical establishment and big pharma are making a killing by drugging active children with ADHD medications …

Source: Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solves Attention Deficit Disorder

Is it just me, or is this one of those “duh!” moments…? Children are actually allowed to do what children are biologically and evolutionarily intended to do, which is have a decent amount of time to play outside, and their attention span when they return to their lessons increases? Wow, y’don’t say! *shakes head* So, what does this have to do with traditionalism?

Well, in the words of Maria Montessori, founder of Montessori education, “Play is the work of the child.” Through nearly all of human evolution, play was how children developed their minds and bodies, and how (along with helping their parents and older siblings, and listening to the adults tell stories around the campfire) they learned what they needed to learn to survive, and help their tribe or folk survive. Play is a manifestly and supremely traditional art form! We forget that at our peril — and that of our children, and therefore, our future.

From the linked article:

“Students don’t have to be drugged to do well. Meditation in schools is highly effective at reducing school violence and increasing concentration for learning. Higher quality nutritious and organic foods, rather than processed snack foods and fast foods, when served in school cafeterias are another part of creating an environment more conducive to the needs of children.

“The most common sense, natural solution to inattentive behavior in school children, however, may be the basic idea of giving children more time to free play and to engage their bodies in physical activity. It’s such a simple notion in such unusual times that it actually sounds revolutionary, and several schools in Texas are being hailed for trying a new program which solves behavioral problems by doing nothing more than allowing children to play outside more often during the school day.”

See also Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv, for more on the many benefits to children of unstructured outdoor play and interaction with the natural world. It may not be the cure-all in each and every case, but (especially if combined with the aforementioned high-quality, nutrient-dense, natural / organic foods), can only help the situation.

While I appreciate the benefits of modern, allopathic medicine — I might not be alive without it — I am also more than a little suspicious of both the motivations and the outcomes of “big pharma” and our pharmaceutical culture. If we actively promote the idea that there is a pill for every problem, and medication is our go-to for all behavior problems from childhood on, can we really be surprised that so many people select various forms of “self-medication” to deal with stressful issues in their lives?

Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He wasn’t talking about pills or injections, synthesized in the laboratory! Let’s be grateful for allopathic medicine, and make careful and considered use of it, where necessary and appropriate. But the more we can do with healthful foods, meditation, obtaining sufficient high-quality sleep, and spending time outdoors in natural surroundings, the better, in my opinion. And even more so when it comes to children!

Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604 | For All the Saints

One of the most important bishops of Rome and most influential writers of the Middle Ages, Gregory the First is one of only two popes (the other being Leo the First), to have been given the epithet “the Great.”

Source: Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604 | For All the Saints

Indeed! But his greatest significance to Anglicans is his role as “the Apostle to the English,” for his zealous concern for their conversion to Christianity, culminating in his sending of the monk Augustine (who would become known as St. Augustine of Canterbury, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, having received the pallium from Gregory himself) as a missisonary / evangelist, with his companions.

It is said that Pope Gregory was inspired to his concern for the Anglo-Saxon people of England by encountering a group of English children or youth on sale as slaves in the Roman market around the year 573. He is said to have remarked on their beauty as being like that of angels, whereupon he was told that they were in fact Angles – causing him to say, Non Angli, sed angeli: “Not Angles, but angels.”

He originally planned to go to England himself, but when he was instead elected Pope, decided to send Augustine in 597 AD. And the rest is, as they say, history…

One of Gregory’s most notable achievements was the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. He personally took the lead in the whole process, sending Augustine, prior of his own monastery of Saint Andrew’s on the Caelian Hill, and a number of fellow monks to southeastern Britain, to the Jutish kingdom of Kent, where they achieved within a few years the conversion of the people and of their king, Ethelbert. Gregory continue personally to guide the mission in matters that perplexed Augustine by sending a supporting group of missionaries, along with liturgical vessels, books, and vestments, in 601; and by writing to Ethelbert and his Christian queen, Bertha on various matters. The close relationship between Rome and the English Church was continued by Gregory’s successors, and in many ways the Church in England was closer to the papacy than the Church in Gaul was. The first Life of Gregory was written in England, and from the biographies written by the Venerable Bede, Aldhelm, and the anonymous biographer of Whitby come eulogies of Gregory as “the apostle of the English”, “our father and apostle in Christ”, and “he from who we have received the Christian faith, he who will present the English people to the Lord on the Day of Judgment as their teacher and apostle.”

Indeed, we have St. Gregory the Great to thank for the very existence of the Ecclesia Anglicana (Anglican, or English, Church)!