The Many Benefits Of Studying In The Open

The Many Benefits Of Studying In The Open


When you think of children spending time outdoors, you tend to picture them kicking a ball around with their friends or playing innocently in a tree house. The idea of them studying outside may be an alien concept to many people, but stick with me here…

In 2005, American journalist and author Richard Louv wrote about a condition he referred to as “nature deficit disorder”. Now before you start worrying that you have no idea what this is – don’t panic as you’re not alone. However, if your children are spending too much time indoors then they might begin to suffer from feelings of alienation and apathy – two key symptoms of nature deficit disorder. Potential backlashes of the condition include a lack of progress on the academic side of things, and a number of behavioural problems too.

Since Louv’s coining of the term many other authoritative bodies, including the National Trust, have conducted studies which have all produced the same results and advised that the more time a child spends outside – the more they will benefit in terms of academia, behaviour and general wellbeing. This is where studying can be brought into the equation. You’re going to struggle to find a child who enjoys doing homework. Let’s face it – when you come home from the office the last thing you want to do is carry on doing more work, so the same must surely apply for a child when they come home from school, right?

Sadly for the students though, homework is an essential part of their education whether they like it or not, so why not try and make the most of it? Weather-permitting of course, an outdoor study area might give the kids the slightest bit more motivation to get their homework done.

Once you’ve considered the logistics and weather, preparing a suitable study area in your garden is pretty straightforward. Many people consider fitting a canopy in the garden to protect the children and their study materials from any adverse weather conditions. This applies to all sorts of weather conditions. Whilst many people seem to just consider this sort of structure as one to offer shelter from the rain, it can also offer ample protection from the sun’s rays on blistering hot days.

Obviously, we’re all aware of the dangers that UV rays pose to people’s skin, so this is one reason for providing ample shelter. However these rays can also cause visual damage to chairs, tables, study equipment and other items. They can also cause structural damage to items too, so it’s important to get a sturdy chair and table that will stand the test of time. Comfort is also something to consider, as you need to promote a learning environment in which the children feel at ease.

As with any new approach to a day to day task, this will take time to get used to. However, once the initial shock of going outside to do homework and not play with their friends sinks in, this active new learning technique should pay dividends. You may notice an improvement in the child’s academic performance, as well as their mood – something that we can all agree is a good thing!


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