The following study, released June 17, 2014, concludes that too many structured activities hinder children’s executive functioning. Conversely, independence and the ability to choose lead to better executive functioning (behaviors that involve decision making, planning, critical thinking, goal setting, etc). This study is focused on young children (ages six and seven).

I am grateful that this element of child psychology is finally getting some attention, but the results seem incredibly obvious to me. Our school honors freedom and independence as key elements to a well rounded education. Students of all ages benefit from real-world decision making, the freedom to make mistakes, and making life choices throughout the day. It is very simple: decision making, and the like, are skills. The more a skill is practiced, the better the skill.

I continue to believe that the real-time, real-world case studies in which Orsch is involved day to day stand to teach the world of the true potential of children.

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1 Comment

  1. I love this because we tend not to do a lot of extra-curricular activities. Even that term, extra curricular, is some how smothering to the spirit. Sometimes, during the school year our daughter does gymnastics after school, piano lessons and marble club. Our son did one round of basket ball, which he enjoyed. But I find myself comparing what we do, or not do, to what others are doing. We tend to sign up for some activities after school, because our daughter likes to do them and the rec center offers them for reasonable prices. I don’t mind doing things too much after school, but we find ourselves not wanting to do anything too competitive or ultra scheduled. My daughter has a friend that we have not seen all summer because she is in competitive gymnastics, 4-H, fiddling and summer camp.I worry sometimes that we don’t do enough. That she wont be “successful” because she’s not learning how to compete, show an animal or play an instrument in front of people. But then I stop and remember that she has a tree fort and a fairy town, a bike she likes to ride and books she likes to read and listen to. She has the rest of her life to schedule herself. Both of my kids enjoy being outside, enjoy going on nature hikes, digging in the dirt, playing near the water and just being kids, which they only get to be for such a short time. So for now, I’ll try to stop comparing myself to other moms and my kids to other kids. I’ll except us where we all are. I’ll appreciate living 20 miles out and know that its not reasonable that we would over schedule. Our summer is going so fast already without being scheduled to death.

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