Children at The Unschool play and learn in mixed-age groups as an intentional educational choice. The reality is that children have been educated in multi-age groups throughout human history, and the benefits to both younger and older children are profound.
Younger children observe and are inspired by their interaction with older children. When playing and learning with older children, younger children are able to engage in more sophisticated and complex activities than they otherwise would.
Older children experience leadership and have opportunities to exercise compassion. They also gain a deeper understanding of concepts when they have to explain them to younger children. Bidirectional teaching and learning characterizes mixed-age groups of children, as each individual develops habits of helping and being helped each day.