Multi-age Grouping

        I am fully committed to meeting the individual needs of each child and am convinced that multi-age grouping is one of the aspects of my program that lends itself to this goal. I value differences and individualize curriculum accordingly. Having a range of abilities, interests, and temperaments within my home facilitates children’s natural, uneven development.

I have done multi-age grouping successfully for sixteen years, and one of the many benefits I have observed is the advanced learning of all of the children. Children of varying ages and levels approach problems differently, and interacting with each other stimulates mental growth. The children thrive both intellectually and socially.

Giving children the chance to work together helps them generate thoughts and build individual consciousness by making it necessary to compromise, offer explanations, teach each other, learn from each other, and respect others’ ideas. In a multi-age home environment, children plan together, help each other, discover ways to settle conflicts together and become critical thinkers, decision makers, and problem solvers. Because they have the experience of working in cooperative groups, they are able to relate very well to one another and to the outside world.

The children treat each other with respect and care for each other somewhat like siblings in a family.  These sibling-like relationships become a source of affection, comfort, and closeness for all of the children.  Children who do not have siblings at home gain from interactions with children their age, as well as from others, and children who do have siblings have opportunities to be in roles other than those predetermined by birth order.

Some research has shown that children in a multiage setting seem to have a more positive attitude and are happier about their child care arrangement. This may be attributed to the success they experience in the home, the feeling of belonging to a caring community of learners, and the security of knowing what to expect from year to year.

Some other benefits that may be attributed to multi-age groupings are having the same caregiver from infancy throughout the preschool years. They are also able to be with their own siblings in a home environment much like they would be at their own home. I especially enjoy the multi-age grouping since it allows me to better understand and care for your child when they have been attending for several years.