At 2nd Nature Academy, we believe that there is no "one size fits all" education. The traditional approach of grouping American students into single grade levels based on an abritrary birthdate range is both illogical and detrimental, as it removes a host of organic learning opportunities from the classroom and children's lives. Sports, for example, allow children to compete across age groups, and children in families and neighborhoods play together, regardless of age, all the time: Why shouldn't education?
Single-age classrooms came into fashion in the 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution. Prior to this, "one-room schoolhouses" were the norm. These Industrial-era, factory-model classrooms, which still prevail today, were designed by the government to institutionalize education and mass-produce curriculum for convenience. At that time, this approach was more appropriate, as American society was preparing students for factory jobs and focused on increasing basic educational access and literacy. However, with the changing of the times, students today require very different educational instruction to acquire 21st century skills that match their 21st century lives.
Upon entering the first grade at 2nd Nature Academy, students are grouped into multi-age classrooms for a variety of carefully considered reasons and philosophical beliefs.
Our Multi-Age Classrooms
- 1st and 2nd grade
- 3rd and 4th grade
- 5th and 6th grade
- 7th and 8th grade
- 9th-12th grade
Beyond these breakdowns, there is regular cross-classroom collaboration and interaction between students academically and socially, as well as collaboration amongst the educators. These practices are more closely aligned with what students will experience in the modern workforce, and any social situation outside of school. The following are some of the most prominent reasons that we, at 2nd Nature Academy, group students in this way.
The Benefits of Multi-Age Instruction
- More differentiated and individualized instruction; content level is brought up or down, as needed, ensuring students are provided different avenues to learning
- Curriculum planning and instruction are more intentional and purposeful
- Promotes healthy goal-setting and encourages students to reach new milestones
- Older students become role models and are able to hone skills by teaching younger students
- Younger students learn from observing older students' higher order thinking skills, critical thinking, and problem solving
- Encourages collaboration amongst both students and teachers
- Increases leadership skills
- Decreases bullying
- By remaining with students for two years, teachers build stronger relationships with each learner and are able to dive deeper into educational content
- Teachers in students' future classes have ample opportunity to get to know students in advance
- Teachers observe and understand student differences and similarities, and use this information to plan instruction
If you have further questions regarding multi-age classrooms at 2nd Nature Academy and how your student may benefit from this educational environment, please call, email, or a schedule a tour today!