• Rebecca Eckstein, MA, CEC

The Difference Between Boys and Girls


I just finished a fascinating article about the difference that movement makes on little boys; especially boys in first grade. First grade is the year when most children are learning to read. The article appeared in Time magazine's special edition on The Science of Childhood.Belinda Luscombe writes that running around, like little ones do is actually beneficial to their reading and math. The benefits in boys can be documented up to two years later. Little girls are unaffected. Imagine that.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland studied 153 children between the ages of 6 and 8. The children were given a heart monitor, a movement sensor, and standardized tests. It was documented that the little boys scored lower on the reading tests when they had lower to moderate activity. This information is not new. The Finnish study "just provides stronger objective evidence," said Belinda Luscombe. So, our thoughts about eliminating or abolishing PE in some schools might actually lead to less success in academics for boys.

Parents have known this for a long time. I knew it. My boys had to come home from school and run around for a bit before they could even sit still long enough to read a chapter book. One of my son's teachers sent him outside to run around the building between English and math. She knew it. Therefore, I have to ask, why are we considering minimizing or eliminating PE in some schools when we know it is time well spent?

I hope this helps all of the little guys out there. If you can read this, maybe you can convince your mom and dad, and your teacher that you need a little running around, every once in awhile.


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