With one in three children not getting enough exercise there has been a recent push to get kids more active. It is not surprising to hear that recent research has linked physical activity to improvements in achievement. Studies from two British universities found that intensive exercise boosted the performance of children in both English & Mathematics. This is because physical activity improves brain function. Games that are unpredictable and require problem-solving help children develop the skills that help the brain organise and act on information, a skill they can transfer to academic tasks.
Research also shows us that doing exercise at the beginning of the day, rather than in the afternoon offers the greatest advantage. As well as keeping children active, it energises students and boosts engagement in lessons. Even short bursts of physical activity have been shown to improve concentration.
This, however, can’t happen without parents encouraging their children to get active. Leading by example is usually a great place to start if you think your child is not getting enough exercise. Why not take the kids to the park and kick around the ball? If it’s a hot day take them to the pool to splash about. The possibilities are endless.
Doing physical activity is the perfect opportunity to communicate with your child in English. Giving instructions, explaining scenarios and following commands all through English, especially if it is not usually spoken at home, can be highly effective. Also your child will see English in action outside the classroom, this is hugely important in terms of their association with the language. Most importantly though they are learning and having fun.