Benefits of mixed-age care
Studies have shown that there are many benefits to children who learn in mixed-age settings. People live in a mixed-age society. Children raised in a mixed-age setting are better prepared in social-emotional development, empathy, patience, and language.
Studies have found that..
- In mixed-age play, older, more sophisticated children organically become role models for their younger classmates.
- Children in mixed-aged environments offer emotional support to each other more frequently than in single-age classrooms. As a result, children in a mixed-age classroom feel better supported compared to children in traditional classrooms where all the children look to the teacher for all their support.
- Mixed-age classrooms provide an environment where older children solidify their learning by teaching younger children.
- Older children become more sensitive and nurturing to others in need.
- Older children feel proud about their own accomplishments when they see their own growth through the celebration in the accomplishments of their younger peers.
- In mixed-age classrooms, children have more opportunities to practice nurturing and leadership with their peers.
- Older children are often inspired by the imagination and creativity of their younger playmates.
- Younger children develop quicker and are naturally challenged by being around older playmates.
- Children can move at their own pace regardless of their age.
Grounded in Nature: At the Melrose School, we spend a lot of time in nature. We go on nature walks for exercise and to learn. Together, we can identify parts of a plant, color sort items we find in the woods, and create unique art pieces from elements found in nature. We learn about being “green” and where fruits and vegetables come from. We identify animal tracks, learn to use a compass, build forts, make treasure maps to follow, and more.
Consistent Caregiver: The Melrose School child will have the same teachers for several years. This allows the teachers to form a lasting bond with both the children and their families. Best of all, the child doesn’t lose any time in learning when they pick back up in the fall or when they change classes; the teachers always know where each child is developmentally, and thus are able to constantly build on that knowledge.
The Working Kitchen: We are a home family care center. This means that the children get to eat family style, all together, and they get to see how their food is being prepared. The children help with cooking, setting the table, and washing their dishes after a meal. These are practical life skills that will help both the child and their parents for years to come.
The Gross Motor Room: Sometimes it is too cold, too hot or too wet to go outside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while continuing to work on our gross motor skills! When the weather prevents us from going outside, we head to the Gross Motor Room. It is a beautiful room full of windows, a climbing structure, and lots of gross motor toys like balls, balance beams, and wedge mats. We set up obstacle courses and play games like duck-duck-goose, red light / green light, mother may I, and sometimes we even have a dance party!
Space to learn and to stay engaged: In a daycare center, children are confined to the same room all day long, with the exception of recess. At the Melrose School, a classroom is a multi-floor suite. Furthermore, we don't sit in the same fenced-in backyard at recess either. We get out and explore all the wonderful amenities our village has to offer.
Walking discounts: We all know that children learn best by doing. We want our children to live a long healthy life. This is why we offer “walking discounts” to any family who lives close enough and chooses to walk to our school.
Private nursing room: For our moms who want to provide a top of the line education for their babies while continuing to nurse, we have a private nursing suite complete with leather recliners, dimmable lighting, healthy snacks and a room full of toys. There are also tummy time mats for both you and your little ones to have special alone time. This is especially helpful for moms of multiples who like to stop in mid-day.