WHAT I DO Relieve stress and improve my children's concentration by joining them for regular homework and study walks.

WHY About a year ago, my twins, Jake and Tara, were feeling the stress of studying for their seventh-grade midterms. "I can't stand it!" my son exclaimed. "I need to take a break and go outside!" I had them grab their review sheets, and we headed out for a walk. I quizzed them as we went. This worked so well that it's become a habit. We often stroll the neighborhood reviewing concepts or quizzing one another on science, geography or history.

Some neighbors have expanded on the study topics. For example, one elderly gentlemen out for a walk with his wife came upon us discussing water systems and aqueducts. He shared his experiences working for the Tennessee Valley Authority many years earlier. It gave the kids a real-life experience to enrich their textbook learning.

HOW IT HELPS Walking works well for kinesthetic learners. Even those who can be easily distracted inside focus solely on the task at hand if studying while walking. Both kids come back recharged and in better spirits. They find studying less laborious now that they know it doesn't have to confine them to a desk for hours.

PAYOFF We've found study walks an easy way to fit some heart-healthy exercise into a busy day. Study material is more easily absorbed. Tara and Jake have also learned that routine things don't always need to be done the traditional way.

-- Marian Gormley, Falls Church

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