Mixed-age classrooms or groups of children is a way of putting children together in a learning environment in which their age range is 2-4 years.
It is intended to maximize learning potential… if done right, whether it’s at a Montessori school or doing Montessori at home.
The Montessori Method has gotten it right. Come and find out why!
#1 Children are able to spend several years with the same Montessori Guide.
This allows the Montessori Guide to develop a deeper understanding of a child’s strengths and needs.
This is, therefore, in a better position to support the child’s learning.
What is mixed-age grouping?
Mixed-age grouping is a way of grouping children in which the children’s age 2-4 years, generally.
It is intended to boost the educational potential of this mixed group.
In a mixed-age classroom, children stay with the same teacher for several years in a row.
For example, in a classroom with children who are 3, 4, 5 and 6 years old, the children who enter at the age of 3 remain with the Montessori Guide for 3-4 years.
Research provides a clear understanding of what “mixed-age grouping” means.
It is clear that humans are not usually born in in large groups of the same age, like some mammals do.
Still, we seem to decidedly insist that children be categorized as such and educated in same-age groups.
In the home, the older children help the younger ones with certain practical life tasks.
In this helping and bonding relationship, the younger and older students work together to help the younger learn new skills.
Take, for example, tying shoes or buttoning their sweater.
In a Montessori classroom or at home, older children will often help younger siblings tie their shoes and button their sweater.
But more than that, they will help them learn HOW to tie their shoes and button their sweater.
Children are able to develop patience, as well as the verbal skills necessary to communicate the steps to the younger child, while the younger learns how to tie her shoes.
#2 Children have several years to develop, and are able to see themselves as progressive, successful learners.
The research supporting mixed-age groups have shown time and time again that academic achievement is usually the same as, or even better than that of children in traditional classrooms that are grouped in one age group.
Isn’t that wonderful?!
Mixed-age environments do not negatively affect Student achievement is not, in any way, affected in a negative way by multi-age grouping.
On the contrary!
Children in multi age classrooms have more positive attitudes toward themselves, others and their school.
The Montessori Curriculum is free from the traditional education rule that children need to be introduced to, practice and master the material in just one year.
A younger child isn’t forced to learn in a small window of time.
And an older child has an opportunity to practice the material several times, master it and even teach it to others.
In a Montessori kindergarten homeschool, children will have several years to become familiarized with the Montessori materials.
The child has the opportunity to follow their learning style and the child’s interests.
This is one of the main premises in Maria Montessori’s philosophy.
#3 Children are viewed as unique individuals.
Any Montessori Curriculum PDF should focus on the child.
The child’s best interest is at hand in The Montessori Method.
The Montessori Guide focuses on teaching each child according to his or her own strengths.
Unlike in same-grade classrooms that often expect all children to be at the same place at the same time with regard to ability.
Mixed-age grouping has great potential, but only if its implementation is carefully and knowledgeably planned.
It is the Montessori Guide’s job to ensure that younger children are not overwhelmed by older or more competent children in the same environment and meet each child where they are at.
The materials on the shelves are to be modified to take advantage of the heterogeneity of the group in each particular Montessori environment.
As you can see, multi-age groupings can be fun, effective and practical… when done right.
HERE ARE THE RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Like I said at the beginning of the show, I have a FB group for all things Montessori that you are welcome to join.
It is called The Montessori Way Prep Room.
If you want to join a homeschool Facebook community, then join The Natural Homeschool Community!
Books on multi-aged grouping: https://bit.ly/MulitAgeGroupings
If you are interested in helping children move from dependence to independence by becoming well-rounded individuals, then you will be interested in this free printable.
It is a list of 100 Montessori Practical Life works that you can easily set up to do at home or at your Montessori environment.
Get it by clicking the image below!
Are you ready to take your Montessori confidence to the next level?
I will be having a LIVE training workshop inside a FB group where you can learn, fill out your workbook each day and ask me questions that you might have.
It is coming soon, so be sure to check HERE and join the waitlist to be informed of when it will happen again.
The FREE 5-Day Montessori Way Foundations Workshop to learn more on these topics:
🔹Day 1: 4 Pillars of The Montessori Method
🔹Day 2: The Montessori Prepared Environment
🔹Day 3: Behaviors of Normalized Children
🔹Day 4: Your Job as the Montessori Guide
🔹Day 5: Your Next Step for Success
You May Also Benefit from these Important Montessori Topics:
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