...hyper. Energetic. Active. Squirmy.
Or so I've been told.
I was actually a very mellow kid, at least from my recollection of calmly doing my studies. (You'd have to ask my mom how she remembers me to get a more balanced perspective.) But even if I was an enthusiastically creative young man growing up, I don't think I ever had a real problem with sitting still.
But this is hardly the case for everyone. In fact, Nan got me thinking about this today after reading her post over at "The Well Drained Mind." It's long as far as posts go, but a great example of creativity in dealing with the extreme excess of exuberant energy embodied in the events exhibited everyday by the less sedate among us.
The post once again reminded me of a fantastic chapter in "Why Gender Matters" where Dr. Sax talks about how all-boy classrooms can accommodate the kind of kinetic energy many boys have. Sax describes an all-boy classroom where the teacher allows his students to position themselves however they like during the lessons and reading. So, while one boy slowly spins in a circle, another is flopped on the floor, while another sits calmly in his seat. Had this been a mixed classroom, Sax points out, this would have been terribly distracting for the girls, but actually helps the boys focus.
And looking back on my own experience in homeschooling, we were allowed to sit wherever we wanted during school. And I've seen plenty of photos in the Sonlight catalog that show this works for both boys and girls. We also played with Legos while my mom read to us. It was sometimes a little loud when we were digging through the bucket for a 2x4 thick red piece, but it worked well. The more artistic of my siblings sometimes doodled too.
All that to say: Even if you and I may not have an over-abundant amount of energy at our disposal, I think it is far better to let those who do expend it rather than try to force them to contain it.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, whether you were, or have, a hyperactive student:
Hyperactivity - Mark Lowry
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father