The children in our classes range in age from 3 to 6. Developmentally, this represents a very large span of abilities and challenges. However, it also allows for a beautiful organic, internal growth for all of the children.
In her article Mixed Ages in the Kindergarten: Oldest and Youngest Together, or Not?, Nancy Blanning writes, "In a mixed-age grouping, the little ones bring their sweetness and wide-eyed admiration for the competence and achievements their older classmates demonstrate. Their presence helps the kindergarten retain its connection to real home situations with children of all ages in the family, offering opportunity for developing patience, tolerance, flexibility, and generosity. The older ones have a subtle incentive to display their best, for the little ones to look up to."
I see this every day that I spend with the children. I love watching their relationships grow and deepen as well as their abilities to love, support, and accept each other.