Our school is designed to provide multi-grade classroom settings, to optimize student growth academically, spiritually, and socially. This ideal academic setting serves as an advantage to learners of every age. Here’s Lighthouse’s top ten reasons why we love multi-grade classrooms!
1. Peer Mentorships What is more exciting than having a study buddy? What is more meaningful than an older classmate giving you a high-five, saving a seat for you, teaching you how to tie your shoes, showing you how to carry the one, or helping you put the straw in your Capri-sun? Sometimes, it’s easier to be taught by your peers.
2. Individualized Instruction Simply put, smaller schools have better teacher-to-student ratios; therefore, teachers can provide individualized instruction more easily. No two children are the same!
3. Responsibility Skills In a small school, students learn to take care of themselves. As the younger child watches the older students, they learn to become more independent. Students take responsibility for their own learning.
4. Getting Along Students learn to work-out their differences in a family-setting classroom. “Real life” skills are taught in the classroom where the student learns to live with someone older or younger. Teamwork is essential. Life-long friendships are made in the room where the students are a tight unit, and oftentimes a student feels they now have a big sister or a big brother. The classroom with a family setting creates a loving, safe environment.
5. Rates of Learning If your child learns at a different rate on a particular subject, he/she will not be alone in a multi-grade classroom; they can simply take-part in a learning group which is in his/her classroom already. The same advantage applies to the student who is more, or less, athletic than their same-age peer.
6. Review/Sneak-Peek In a mixed-age classroom, students collaborate with no ceiling on the content taught, discussed, or overheard—so this means that students will hear a sneak-peek of what they will learn next year, and hear a review of what they learned last year. Concepts are regularly reinforced, and hooks are set for learning at higher levels! How much faster will a child learn their 4 times tables next year, if they have heard their older classmate say the 4’s over and over this year?
7. Peer Pressure In the multi-grade school, students feel less of a need to be cool, because they don’t have a large group of same-age peers to impress. Students have the opportunity to grow up slowly and be themselves.
8. Schedule Flexibility In the small school, the teacher can change the schedule at the last minute, if necessary. An entire day can be taken to write essays or complete a complex art project. A field trip can take place in less than a few days, if the opportunity arises.
9. Leadership Skills Naturally, the older students will serve as leaders to the younger students. Confidence is built when a student effectively helps others.
10. Teacher Knows You Already The multi-grade teacher enjoys the luxury of already knowing his/her returning students’ needs, including what they have already studied, what they need more practice on, what their interests are, and what their learning style is.