7 Benefits of Learning Outdoors

While doing some research in preparation for this week’s blog post, I came across an interesting article that discussed some of the benefits of taking learning outside.  I had never considered the influence the outdoors could have on education and decided to do some further research.  That research culminated in this week’s blog post.  Particularly for those who do school online, this could make a huge difference in your educational experience.  We hope you enjoy!

Attention Span is Increased

Students who are able to learn outside tend to be more focused.  This in turn enables them to better internalize and remember what is being taught.

Improves Physical Health

Living in a digital age can cause many children to develop “nature deficit disorder,” an informal title given to the changes made in individuals who are essentially alienated from nature.  This has indirectly contributed to an increase in obesity, psychological disorders, and some learning problems.  By spending more time outside, children will feel more encouraged to get more exercise and develop a better appreciation for the outdoors.

Improves Social Skills

By simply being outside, many students tend to develop a greater motivation to work with other students.  Group work becomes much more enjoyable and students are more willing to do it.

Puts Students in a Better Mood

Hearing the sounds of nature actually causes serotonin to be released in the brain, putting students in a calmer and happier mood.  School can be stressful, particularly towards the end of the year.  Doing homework (or taking classes if their done online) outside can help to combat that stress.

Increases a Student’s Motivation

Allowing students to do schoolwork outside has actually been shown to significantly improve students’ desire to learn.  Researchers have also found that that motivation to learn extends outside of traditional learning when traditional learning is done outside.

Causes Students to Develop a Sense of Place

Learning outside allows children to connect with their environment.  In doing so, they become more aware and careful of it.  They tend to become more environmentally minded as well as civic minded and grow to be more active in their communities.

Benefits Vision

This one was particularly surprising.  Sunlight actually helps to decrease the chances of students developing near-sightedness. So, the more time spent outside, the more natural sunlight will be able to do its job.

There are so many benefits to doing learning outside that it seems silly that most of us don’t do it regularly.  If nothing else, studying outside is fun!  It’s nice sometimes to mix up your study environment, even if it’s simply for the sake of variety.  I encourage you to give this a chance, whether that be this week or later when weather permits.  Even if you’re no longer in school, try reading a book or doing research for work outside.  See if you recognize a difference.

For More Information on “Nature Deficit Disorder”: