Quiet Time

As we complete the first full week of school, we were all hurting last night as expected. Basically from here on out, don’t ever ask us to do anything on a Friday night! We just don’t have the stamina. Not only were we dog-tired, but I had a horrible headache Thursday that snuck back to me last night too. And, Brody already has a nasty cold. Ah, the germs of school…

We do choose to keep our lives as simple as possible, but this week there were several after-school activities that added some extra hours and less downtime. That’s what I am missing the most. Yes, the swimming, trips, playdates, movies, mountains, and many more adventures were great. But, we all miss the quiet time. I do not think this society values quiet time as we should.

I love that every day of the summer I can start the day by not talking to anyone and sitting while sipping my one cherished cup of coffee. I love that we aren’t always in a constant state of motion. I love that we could read, laze, and tune out. I miss my quiet time!

I know those weary little kids, mine included, need more quiet time too. I say bring back those nap mats! We have added more time to the five-year olds’ school day but not more rest time. I think even the older kids, including me, need a little more space to reflect, rejuvenate, and refuel.

I have read of some public schools, not in Tennessee, who have created a learning  atmosphere where yoga and meditation is built into their daily schedule. How smart is that? Read this interesting article: Should yoga and mindfulness be taught in schools? And more evidence that it works: big benefit? And more thoughts:San Francisco’s poorest schools experience academic agains and drastic drops in suspensions!

With all this interesting evidence, why not? I’m all about a school-wide initiative to decrease stress for students and staff, while at the same time reducing discipline referrals and raising academic gains. But no one asks me!….And this is the bible belt so anything even remotely associated with anything other than Christianity in a public school won’t fly. So, for now, I will have to pay for my yoga classes!

As I have in the past, I will refer to some teaching styles, however, and give props to some calm teachers I know who create an atmosphere of quiet learning and also movement. One amazing teacher-of-the-year used to take her super quiet class out daily, even in cold winter temperatures, to do silent stretches (some yoga-esque moves). This daily activity was on top of their recess. I want to be in her class! (but she moved). However, many teachers are now taking ‘brain breaks’ and using movement, at least. These teachers know child development and what they need. Brody recently commented to his teacher that his classroom this year is so peaceful, and he loves it! Not only does he love it, it also makes learning easier.

I think adding a daily quiet walk, quick mental break, and not calling it mindfulness would be so smart. I’ll be doing it with some of my small groups this year. Walks in the garden, silently stabbing the compost (as a little angry friend did this week with me), or simply putting heads down for a minute can help to refuel and decompress. I missed my quiet time this week but will take advantage this weekend, stealing a little reflective time.

We need more quiet in our lives. Less stress. Less anger. I’m no yogi but I do believe in evidence based-leaning and the benefit in mindfulness. So this weekend, and every night after 8, I will not talk to you or call you back. We are tired. I am being mindful and watching Real Housewives! I am enjoying my quiet time! Shhhh…..

mind-full

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