There are so many things that are so important for our children to learn in today's world, and so few precious years to teach them. With technology improving and increasing on an almost daily basis, they have to learn the ins and outs of how to properly put it to use. They have to learn second and third languages to keep up with the rest of the world. They have to learn math and science and history, which is also being made every day. They have to learn proper reading and writing skills. Of course, many parents and schools also want to teach cultural studies such as music and art as well. With all of this, who has time for physical education?
With all the things that we think are so important to teach our children, they are spending more and more time in classrooms, and less and less time learning how to exercise. As a result, childhood obesity has become nearly an epidemic. They may be gaining more knowledge than ever, but it is coming at a huge price to them. Children are showing up with type 2 diabetes. This used to be a problem that used to be only for middle aged and older adults. Their life spans are being shortened because they are spending too much time in classrooms and not enough time doing physical activities. This is not what we want for our children.
Physical education is being phased out by other programs that do not require exercise. Our children are taking classes in languages instead. A typical high school schedule includes math, literature, English, science, history, a foreign language of their choosing, an elective music class, and a computer class. Take note that English and literature are taken as separate classes, and there are eight classes here as opposed to the six that were once considered to be adequate for a high school education. All of these things are cosidered more important to the average person than physical education.
It doesn't start in high school, though. It starts in elementary school, where physical education is often a once a week treat as opposed to a daily occurrence. Recess is short, if it happens at all, and teachers, parents and administrators are all baffled when children display signs of hyperactivity. The children are not hyperactive, they are just in need of exercise. In middle school, they usually take one semester of physical education per year. They need the physical education so that they can learn proper exercise techniques to combat obesity. They can also learn teamwork and how to get up and get moving. this is so important to our children. Of course we want them to be intelligent, but not at the expense of shortening their life spans. It would be hard to find a parent that wants to outlive their children, but if we take away physical education, that's just what may happen.