Unfortunately there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the different ways children study and learn. What works for one child doesn’t always work for another, and it’s important to understand what works best for your child. The stereotypical scene of a child staring a computer screen with a pile of books is not necessarily what’s best to aid learning. But sometimes it’s not the techniques that need changing, but the setting where your child is studying. This is especially true in the warmer months when children long to be outside and enjoy the nice weather and long light evenings. So now might be a good time to create an outdoor study space for your children if they are struggling to stay motivated to do their homework.
This is not just a short-term solution to children who are easily distracted during the summer months. There is a lot of research and evidence that suggests that incorporating outdoor learning into a child’s education helps them to develop and become more rounded. This has not gone unnoticed outdoor classes are becoming increasingly common in schools. In 2005 Richard Louv conducted a study which found an increasing problem within children, known as “nature deficit disorder”. This occurs when children do not spend much time outside and as a result they become apathetic and experience feelings of isolation and alienation. To prevent this, as well as encouraging children to play outside you can also encourage them to take their studies outside.
So it is definitely worth considering making an outdoor space for children to study to make sure they are getting the most out of their education. But it is not just a case of transporting a classroom outside. It’s important to make sure the study space fits it surroundings, and of course the child that will be using it. It’s a good idea to include your child in the planning, so they can feel part of the experience from the beginning. Would they prefer a large table where they can place all their study aids, or a smaller desk which will help them organise and use just what they need for a specific task? Obviously weather resistant furniture is vital; especially if you live in a country prone to temperamental weather. It might also be worth investing in a canopy to help alleviate any worries about weather completely. Depending on their age, it’s obviously important to make sure that all safety features necessary are incorporated with regards to the furniture and other equipment they have outside.
Whilst it’s not always practical for a child to study outside, it definitely helps mix up their homework schedule and makes sure they get that all important time outside. Over time it’s likely you will notice changes in your child’s attitude to their studies and see improvement in their work at school. Many teachers have been having success in conducting some of their lessons outside, so it’s likely you will also see improvement in your child.