MIXED AGE LEARNING
Since 1974, NC’s philosophy is that children learn best by doing (see Experiential Education) especially doing things that interest them. And doing it with children of many ages works wonders.
It is not difficult to teach children of various ages and abilities at Nature Camps, especially with an experienced and skilled staff. The intimacy of a mixed age atmosphere (4-12) resembles a family. In this relaxed atmosphere, high levels of aspiration are encouraged naturally; the discouragement is taken out of failures, as there is the joy of cooperative effort, and the reinforcement of skills when children coach one another. They are teachers as well as well as learners.
The family grouping of various ages gives children consistency, reliability,
and a safe and stable feeling of knowing where they are going in their
learning. The pleasant feeling of cooperative learning does two things:
it cuts across age range and abilities and brings joy to ever-eager learners
who are now also smiling, satisfied teachers.
Children are being exposed to a way of life. Understanding this is very important.