Next week we will host a presentation for parents of our toddlers who will be moving up to our Early Childhood program in the fall. One of the biggest differences their children will experience will be that of a multi-aged environment.
We see the tremendous benefits of this environment every day, and I thought sharing the highlights of these would be advantageous for all readers.
A multi-aged environment provides:
Natural Life Setting/Real World Preparation
Families are made up of different age groupings; it is natural for a classroom environment too.
Children learn to collaborate and solve problems together.
The real-world setting encompasses different ages, abilities and social expectations.
Children are prepared to function in the real world.
By the nature of different ages and developmental skill sets, children are provided the opportunity to learn at their own pace.
Expectations are tailored to each child’s readiness and capabilities.
Comparisons are eliminated, and children develop pride in their own accomplishments.
Character Building Opportunities
Patience and tolerance are developed. Older children learn to understand the needs of a younger child.
Older students developing leadership skills through role modeling.
Younger children look up to and admire their older classmates and aspire to be able to do as they do, which increases confidence.
Older students are given opportunities to teach younger children and solidify their own learning by so doing.
Younger students see that not only teachers can teach.
“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages, because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves. You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child: how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.”
Dr. Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World