Why Choose a
Being a member of a co-op preschool is a wonderful experience for children and families. Children benefit by learning from and building relationships with many caring adults. Parents benefit by being involved with their child’s learning and development and by getting a special perspective on their child’s first school experience. Parents also learn new ways to guide and interact with children that have a positive impact on their own parenting and can last a lifetime.
Our school’s emphasis on conflict resolution and open-ended activities work well in a mixed-age classroom — reinforcing social skills for older children, while maintaining an atmosphere that allows younger children to learn to be in charge of themselves.
Children in multi-age classrooms tend to:
Develop more empathy and caring behaviors. The presence of younger children seems to make obvious the need to be careful with each other and to comfort a sad or hurt peer.
Be better self-regulators. When older children are given the responsibility of reminding younger ones of the rules, their ability to follow the rules seems to improve.
Participate more fully in a wider range of activities. While younger children can participate in more complex and extended play, older children have more leadership opportunities, allowing them greater practice and mastery of social skills.
Be less competitive. When interacting with mixed aged peers, children are more likely to value skills related to one’s individuality rather than age, size, or gender.
Have the opportunity to learn from someone who is only “one rung up on them.” Learning from an older peer instead of an adult has proven to be a highly effective strategy.