With parents working remotely and students transitioning to full online learning, we’re facing a unique time in history where both parents and children are operating alongside each other at home. While remote working has become increasingly popular in the workforce, online learning will be a foreign experience to most young students. For some children, maintaining attention in a linear classroom setting is already challenging. As virtual learning continues to manifest over digital classrooms, parents are finding it difficult for their children to sit through a day’s worth of online lessons. However, rather than training children to sit still, consider advocating for healthy movement to help students channel pent-up energy into involvement.
Humans are programmed to move – it’s in our nature. Healthy movement refers to safe and accessible opportunities for motion that help an individual feel organized, aware, and prepared to learn. It has been general tendency to correlate static positions with maintaining focus, however, for young developing minds, this isn’t necessarily the case. Children are already moving in their seats to keep themselves alert, whether it be tapping a foot, sitting cross-legged, or rocking back and forth. Promoting healthy movement allows students to release suppressed energy through smaller, continuous movements over time, rather than drastic outbursts. By encouraging movement in learning, students are empowered to move only as much as they need to keep themselves comfortable and alert.
According to recent studies, the healthy movement has been proven to positively impact learning curves in younger students. A young developing brain requires exercise in fine motor skills and a variety of gross motor activities to develop important foundational skills for learning. Children with access to healthy movement in the classroom are more likely to stay engaged and have a higher probability of exhibiting better attention and behaviour. In fact, additional research suggests that children display better ability to stay seated, with less disruptive movements, when they have access to chairs that offer substantial movement.
Dynamic seating for children can be applied both in the classroom and at home. After an approximate two week ‘settling in’ period, children with access to chairs that offer healthy movement learn to use motion only as needed to stay attentive during daily lessons. Portable seating like the HIH Stool can be easily implemented in the home classroom. This self-balancing stool promotes movement and subtle motion without leaving the seat. The stabilized rubber trumpet base is ideal for children who have taken to rocking in their chairs. While the healthy movement is not the sole cure for increasing student attention, it is one piece of the puzzle for supporting students in their best chance for optimal learning.
For more information on the HIH stool and other homeschool furniture, get in touch with one of our K-12 furniture specialists.