Grouping children up by age is something that has traditionally been done in everything from classrooms to sports teams to playdates and much more. It makes sense in many ways: cognitive, social, and physical development play a large role in how children are able to interact with one another.
However, there are actually a number of advantages to mixing age groups with children, at least when it comes to school, which is why you’ll see children of different ages together in one classroom at a Montessori kindergarten. If you are surprised or confused by this, then take a look at the following benefits your child may be able to enjoy if you send them to a mixed-age private kindergarten.
Encourages More Cooperation
When you present children with a one-to-one comparison by placing them in a classroom that is filled strictly with children their age, they can begin to become more competitive and less cooperative, which can hinder not only their ability to learn but their self-confidence. Removing the urge to compare can inspire a different perspective on learning and inspire greater cooperation.
Social Learning, Connection, and an Opportunity to Lead
There’s a lot that private kindergarten students can learn from children only slightly older than them. Although an adult may be able to teach them these things, there’s a different level of social learning and connection involved in learning from older peers. The older peers will also gain a sense of leadership and self-confidence by being given the opportunity to teach younger peers what they know.
Moving at Their Own Pace
Making sure all students are able to move at their own pace is a major point of focus in any Montessori kindergarten, and mixed-age classrooms are incredibly conducive to that goal. In a classroom where all students are the same age, keeping pace with one another is a natural instinct. Meanwhile, it can hold students back in more ways than one. Mixed-age classrooms remove that urge and allow each child to learn on their own terms.
Self-confidence is the underlying force behind finding a fulfilling life, and its development starts at an incredibly early age. When you remove the urge to compete with fellow students by creating a classroom with a range of ages, you allow a sense of self-confidence to blossom in a child. There’s no need for them to compare, only to focus on becoming whomever it is that they want to be.
A Sense of Community
Some children have siblings, cousins, and neighbors of varying ages whom they have the good fortune of learning from, but not all of them do. That invaluable aspect of their development can be recreated in a mixed-age kindergarten classroom, regardless of whether it exists outside of it or not.
Interested in Montessori Kindergarten?
If you are interested in Montessori kindergarten, reach out to Montessori West today to learn more about what mixed-age classrooms can offer your child.