Learning is both an individual and a social activity. Comparing students with one another (grading) is often harmful, but having students see how each student has his or her own strengths and weaknesses is generally beneficial. In my mixed-age class, older students who are struggling in an area benefit from hearing things explained in simpler terms for the younger ones; younger students who are particularly capable in some area see what the older students are doing and challenge themselves to do those things. Students constantly learn from one another on many levels. In Mr. Darcy's Class, this aspect of learning is valued and guided for the benefit of all students.
Children naturally love to move and be creative, so naturally they learn best when we use movement and creative activities to invigorate the classroom.
Stress & Learning
Don't Go Together
Using songs and games to practice math and having students make drawings to accompany their writing, are examples of ways that school can be fun, not stressful. Not to mention the warm and friendly relationship between the students and the teachers.
The days and weeks are structured to provide both consistency and variety. Each day begins with vigorous physical movement, singing and recitation, and then the "main lesson" where an academic theme is presented and worked with over a period of weeks. The remainder of each day is spent in academic practice periods, artistic classes and recesses. Mr. Darcy is able to work individually with students in the areas of skill development such as math and language arts.
About MIXED AGE LEARNING
Mr. Darcy's Class is a small, mixed-age, homeschooling cooperative designed for families who have an interest in Waldorf education. In addition to core academics, the curriculum emphasizes creative activities, physical challenges, and time outdoors. The program includes many artistic activities typical in Waldorf education such as form drawing, wet-on-wet watercolor painting, clay modeling, singing, recitation of poetry, and playing wooden flutes or recorders. Parents play a role in the structure of the program in a flexible way that fits each family's lifestyle and educational goals.