For the study, parents of 70 6-year-olds recorded their children’s daily activities for a week. The scientists then categorized those activities as either more structured or less structured, relying on existing time-use classifications already used in scientific literature by economists.
Structured activities include chores, physical lessons, non-physical lessons and religious activities. Less-structured activities include free play alone and with others, social outings, sightseeing, reading and media time. Activities that did not count in either category include sleeping, eating meals, going to school and commuting.
The results showed that the more time children spent in less structured activities, the better their self-directed executive function. Conversely, the more time children spent in more structured activities the poorer their self-directed executive function.
Read the study here –
The Young School uses the Reggio Emilia approach to guide their preschool curriculum. In Reggio Emilia, the child is seen as protagonist, collaborator, and communicator. Children are not passive receptors of teacher-generated knowledge but are able to construct knowledge based on their experiences and interactions with others. The teacher is a partner, nurturer, guide, and researcher. They are with the children, exploring, discovering, and learning together. The whole classroom community understands that each contribution is valued. This, in turn, makes children more powerful contributors to their own education. This is a less structured environment that allows children to explore and develop their own ideas through play and experimentation.