Over the years we have discussed expanding and enhancing the concept of Family Grouping, which we believe has multiple benefits for children, families and our overall program.  This variation of classroom grouping is really an augmented version of what we have now and what families are accustomed to: classes of 3-4’s and 4-5’s.  Outlined here are some of the REAL benefits that you and your family will derive from the shift to classrooms of 3’s-5’s - a more valid form of family grouping that has proven successful in research and practice:

Benefits for children:

  • Younger children are exposed to new social skills including communication, patience, and helpfulness
  • Older children’s cognitive skills are improved by enhancing, reinforcing, and consolidating knowledge gained through sharing with less experienced peers 
  • All children take charge of their learning 
  • All children are challenged to think through problems more creatively and flexibly as they observe other children use different problem-solving techniques 
  • Family Grouping still allows for individual differences in development 
  • All children establish family-like relationships that serve as a source of comfort 

Benefits for families:

  • Siblings may be together in a classroom 
  • Children demonstrate an enhanced level of responsibility 
  • Children are given opportunities to develop mentoring skills that otherwise may not be available within their family setting 

Benefits for teachers:

  • Teachers spend less time comparing children and more time focusing on developing individual strengths 
  • Children are more likely to emphasize cooperation over competition resulting in a more peaceful classroom environment – children are encouraged by other children to strive to be their best. 
  • Richer opportunities to work in small groups

Now is an opportune time to begin this transition.  Your support is needed! Please join us on January 25 for an in-depth discussion of the family grouping approach, sponsored by the Family Organization.  Administrators and teachers will share their experiences and answer questions during this gathering.  If you have further questions, contact Steve, Dottie, or Peaches.

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AuthorJeffrey Pomranka