Grandma's House International Preschool, Tokyo

Multi Age Environment

We have chosen to adopt the Montessori method of multi age classrooms.  We want to create the feeling of a family.... where there are children of mixed ages learning and growing together as a community.  Here are some of the benefits of a multi age classroom:

 1. Interaction: The mixed age group environment creates an atmosphere where children learn to help and be helped by other children, because they interact consistently with children whose age and abilities are varied. Children gain an appreciation for their achievement and the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of others.

2. Learning from Each Other: Older children learn to be patient and tolerant, and serve as role models and teachers for the younger children. When an older child teaches a younger one, it reinforces previously learned concepts and is actually an aid in complete mastery of concepts. Younger children learn about courtesy, manners, and conflict resolution by watching the older children in the class.

3. Work at Child’s Own Pace: Because teachers do not have to set the instruction pace by a whole group, each child is given the ability to learn at his or her own pace. This is a striking difference from traditional education, where everyone turns to page 33 of the book and stays there until every child understands the concept.

4. Community: By staying in a classroom for a three year period, children develop a strong sense of community and stability, with 2/3 of a class returning every year. This community aids the development of students as role models for one another.

5. Familiarity: Being in the same classroom year after year allows a teacher to truly learn each individual child’s learning abilities, style, and developmental level to better be able to set the learning agenda as well as build on strengths and work on weaknesses.

6. Family like structure: Since families are naturally multi-aged, it’s a natural fit with our vision for Grandma's House Preschool. Siblings have a built-in support community for education and play with children near their age (as children would with cousins), and also benefit by having their siblings near as well.

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