Multiple-age grouping

Christ Methodist Preschool successfully introduced a multiple-age format in September, 1996. Families and teachers are finding positive results with mixed-age grouping.

Within multiple-age groups, younger and older students learn a lot from their interaction with each other. Younger students, while playing with older students, often become more independent of adults. The older child grows in the areas of responsibility, empathy, communication and intellectual skills. Four- and five-year-olds can develop a high self-esteem with opportunities to advance and to be “the big kid." With mixed ages a wonderful “family” atmosphere is created.

Bev Bos in her book Before the Basics, states that most children’s skills are not equally developed. Consequently, she favors an open classroom that allows individuality, allowing children to perform at their own level. Difficulties with any tasks will not be as obvious in the multiple-age group setting.

CMP’s staff takes an approach emphasizing goals with a developmental continuum, rather than focusing on specific skills. The teachers stress the importance of the experience more than the quality of work.