Monday, March 1, 2010
A mixed age community
We give students of different ages lots of ways to get to know each other.
Buddies read, write, and research together. On Fridays in the winter, kids swim, ski, and dance together. Middle school students are helpers and mentors for younger students in art, science, reading, and at snack time. 2-3's and 6-7's cooperate in science visits to the Hudson River. In MICE teams, mixed age groups work together to tidy-up the school.
It isn't that easy sometimes being the older "teacher" - it takes thought and self-control. It takes patience and listening. Sometimes it takes compromise. Older kids learn that the younger ones watch what they do and how they act.
These are life-skills that are not always provided in schools or sports settings where children are segregated by age.
The rewards of mixed-age experiences are a strong sense of community, thoughtful social ability, and kids who care about each other!