What if I have children in different age groups?
By now you are likely aware that we divide our classes using the following age groups:
- 4 – 18 months
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 years
- 2 1/2 years – 3s (up to 4)
- older 3s, 4s, and 5s (child only; must be at least 3 1/2 by the start of the session)
And this often works perfectly for baby #1. But when baby #2 (or #3, #4, etc.) comes along, it may not be as clear what your options are. However, we have many families who bring siblings in two different age groups to class together, and it works wonderfully.
Why divide the classes by age?
Dividing the classes by age allows us to target the specific developmental levels of the children in any given class. However, this by no means that our classes are not both fun and educational for siblings outside of the specific age range of any given class. In fact, there are benefits to having your children attend classes individually as well as benefits to having your children attend classes together.
Is it better to bring my children to their own class or bring them to the same class together?
In many cases, bringing your child to his/her own class has several benefits. It gives you the opportunity to experience one-on-one time with each child, and the songs and activities have all been specifically chosen to target developmental milestones for their age group. However, we live in the real world in which it can be challenging to arrange for child care during each sibling’s class. Thankfully, if this is the situation you find yourself in, there are several benefits to having siblings attend class together as well.
We often find that when siblings attend class together, the younger child will emulate his/her sibling, learning both musical and non-musical skills at an advanced rate. Similarly, the older sibling will feel a sense of responsibility to be the “big kid in class,” and his/her behavior and level of participation tends to improve as well.
Additionally, I have witnessed some truly beautiful sibling bonding moments over the years. I’ve seen a rather rambunctious 3 year old boy roll the ball to his baby sister more gently than I’d thought possible. I’ve seen an older sister walk up to the triangle holding her younger brother’s hand when he was feeling too shy to come up on his own. There is no doubt that both siblings feel a special connection to one another in precious moments such as these.
Which class should I choose?
Each family is different and I recommend contacting Ms. Clara via phone or email with specific questions. But as a general statement, children will experience the same instruments (shaker eggs, rhythm sticks, the triangle, etc.) in every class level so you cannot choose a “wrong” class. For example, while an infant may simply hold an egg, discover the fun noises it makes and decide to shake it in fun ways, his/her older sibling will likely shake the egg to the beat, follow the dynamics of the song (loud vs. soft), and sing along. Both children are experiencing the joys of creating music, but they are doing so on their own developmental level.
Do you offer a sibling discount?
We always offer a 10% discount if two or more siblings are enrolled in any given session. (Simply enter SIBLING10 at checkout.) However, if there is a significant difference in age such as a 9 month old and 3 1/2 year old, higher discounts may be available, as the younger infant would not be able to fully participate in all of the songs and activities. It is highly important to us that you as parents feel that each child is receiving a valuable experience.
For your convenience, here is a link to the class schedule, and we accept students year-round. Ms. Clara is more than happy to discuss the best class for your children, so please don’t hesitate to call (708) 704-1716 or reply to this email with specific questions.
P.S. While we no longer offer specific sibling classes, all of the topics I discuss in this video about family music classes still apply to any classes in which siblings attend together.