While we love nature, and want our students to find similar passion for the outdoors, Summerwood's commitment to nature-based learning is also an evidence-based educational practice.
Very real and important skills, like executive functioning--which is the determining factor of whether a student can independently perform classroom tasks--are tied directly to unstructured time outdoors.
"A recent study from Norway looked at the associations between time spent outdoors during child care and executive functioning.
Among children ages 4 through 7, those who spent more time outside during child care performed better on an executive function assessment and showed fewer inattention-hyperactivity symptoms.
Further, numerous studies have found that playful engagement with nature in kids under age 12 was linked with improved mental health and emotional regulation. (“Playful engagement” consists of open-ended, child-directed experiences such as free play, exploration, and child-initiated learning, in contrast to externally directed activities, such as school gardening projects and adult-led field trips). These findings were consistent among both children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and those without diagnosed ADHD."
Check out the article to learn more: https://www.childtrends.org/year-round-outdoor-play-can-boost-kids-performance-school/