Friday, 27 July 2018

QotD: "Children who spend time outdoors are calmer, happier, healthier, and more creative; have longer attention spans, and do better in school."



"Children who spend time outdoors are calmer, happier, healthier, and more creative; have longer attention spans, and do better in school.
    "Dr. Montessori understood the importance of taking children outside. Yes, bringing pieces of nature into the classroom has value, but taking children outside helps them form a meaningful relationship with those objects in their natural environment. When the child is outside, all of her senses are stimulated. Surrounded by the big outdoors, children can explore by touching, seeing, hearing, and when safe, even tasting. This awakens the senses and calls the child to come explore, creating a sense of awe and wonder that will be important throughout her life." 
~ North American Montessori Centre Teacher Training Blog
[Hat tip Le Port Montessori Schools; pic from the Global Montessori School]
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8 comments:

  1. Maybe nervous parents who don't let their kids outside so much are the problem.

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    1. That is certainly a problem. And if we helped those parents realise that children who spend time outdoors are calmer, happier, healthier, and more creative, have longer attention spans, and do better in school -- then their children would be much better off. ;^)

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  2. The question is, WHY are parents nervous? Physical dangers are one thing, but have been a constant. The change now is that other parents can ruin your life if they don't like what you do. CPS is required to investigate ALL claims, and generally treats parents as guilty until proven innocent. If someone holds a grudge against you and you let your kids play outside, in a fenced-in, mowed lawn in a suburb, they can call CPS on you and you get to spend the next few years proving you're not a child abuser.

    It's so bad that at least one state (Utah, I think) had to draft a law specifically stating that children playing outside unsupervised is not abuse.

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    1. That might be a factor in a minority of cases, but I don't think it's the main reason. As a society develops and technology makes things safer, risks generally decrease over time. With that go changing attitudes for what is considered tolerable risk. As higher risks are eliminated or mitigated, the focus goes onto reducing what were previously considered tolerable risks. I can recall being allowed to do things as a 6 years old I wouldn't have dreamed of letting my kids do at 6. There's nothing inherently wrong with that (it's one reason our life expectancy is increasing), but it can go too far in that direction. Some kids are never allowed to experience risk, leaving them less capable of assessing and dealing with it when they become adults.

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    2. I agree it's not THE reason (I don't think any reason is THE reason), but I think you underestimate the importance of this reason. Again, a state government in the USA had to pass a law stating that children playing outside unsupervised, obviously in no danger, are not being abused. That speaks to the level of importance of this factor in the USA at least.

      This process has been going on for a long time. The Greeks were complaining about it, for example So the odds are there's a lot of reasons for it. :)

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  3. I regularly encounter over-protective and over-cautious patents - but they’re that way all by themselves, regardless of whether anyone else knows about it - not because they’re worried about retribution from the state.

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    1. Are you willing to argue that the state's imposition of massive punishments (up to and including the destruction of your family, career, and life) has no effect on how people evaluate their actions? Are you willing to argue that the Orwellian practice of neighbors informing on their neighbors when they see things they disapprove of--combined with the legal requirement to treat any investigation as a crime, with the parents as criminals--will have no effect on how people act?

      I am not. Other factors are at play, sure. And there have always been overprotective parents. But the de facto and de jure laws have a massive influence on the system, far beyond the immediately obvious. When you start destroying the lives of normal people for not being protective enough, you manufacture over-protective parents. The logic is nearly self-evident in any other field of human activity; I do not understand your refusal to acknowledge it's validity in this case.

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  4. FYI, Folk interested in this topic should definitely be following Lenore Skenazy and her blog/website Free Range Kids.

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