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Image by Markus Spiske

Multi-Age and Same-Age


Developmental professionals agree that multi-age classrooms and social settings give children a zone of proximal development that allows them to influence one another and share adaptations. Younger ones are exposed to scaffolding and suggestions that older children teach. Older ones have an opportunity to practice caregiving, empathy and self-regulation. This is particularly true for infant, preschool and elementary aged children. 

As kids enter the tween and teen years, transitioning to adulthood, they enter a new stage of lifespan development that is about building industry, identity in relationship to society, peers, career and the environment, and intimacy with other young adults, as they move into their adult lives. While homeschooled teens enjoy hanging out with younger children, but prefer to also have serious conversation and connection with their peers. 

In order to set tweens and teens up with groups who have shared experiences by the time they reach the teen years, we begin when they are young, giving them opportunities to connect with similarly-aged kids in informal pod gatherings, while also connecting with a multi-aged community in recesses, classes, field trips and other AnySchoolers programs. 

Teens need other teens (The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley)

Image by Sammie Chaffin
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