Time outside, learning in structured and unstructured ways, is not optional, but essential for school children. U.S. students spend an average of only 25 minutes outside per day at school and 20% of schools reduced that further still, prompting some states to pass legislation requiring recess time.
Considering the scientifically documented benefits of time outdoors for children, these statistics are concerning if not alarming. Time spent outdoors plays an essential role in better learning and overall health, well being, and brain functioning for children of all ages.
Here are links to just some of the research studies highlighting how time in nature is proven to benefit students:
It improves mental health by increasing well being, reducing stress, being cognitively restorative, boosting self esteem, and enhancing autonomy and self efficacy.
It aids healthy child development, cognitive development, social development, and social emotional learning.
It boosts academic performance, cognitive test results, standardized tests scores, and even scientific concept comprehension.
It promotes environmental stewardship and conservation ethic, which is a key component in shaping the fate of our collective environmental future.
That is why our students, preschool through grade 12, spend copious amounts of time each week, not only out on the playground, but also out on our farm learning about plants and animals and developing a relationship with the natural world.
We are, in fact, so dedicated to educating in the outdoors, we are now offering a Farm Classroom experience for a group of students of mixed ages (6-10). While all students enjoy outdoor education at SWSF, our Farm Classroom students will do a predominant amount of their learning outdoors on the farm.
Want to learn more about how we integrate outdoor education and time outdoors to benefit our students? Call (707) 575-7194 or email our Admissions Director, Tracy Saucier.