One simple way to tell if a Montessori school is remaining true to Maria Montessori's original design is if the children are in a classroom with a variety of ages. In an authentic Montessori pre-school room, for example, the age range should be 3 to 6 years old. At White Bear Montessori, we call this classroom the Children's House, a house for children! But even beyond this age span, our children are given many opportunities to work with everyone, as young as 16 months through the elementary years.
Here, a Kindergarten-aged child who is learning to read frequently spends time reading to our toddlers in their classroom. Can you see how this time together could benefit both the
toddler and the older child?
This same child also has an opportunity to read and mentor children in her own classroom who may be a year or two younger than herself.
At WBMS we always pair Kindergarten children with Elementary mentors. In this photo we see a 2nd year Elementary mentor listen as the other reads aloud. This older mentor will help her with more challenging words and inspire her to keep practicing as she prepares for elementary next year!
This snapshot is just one small example of how the children at White Bear Montessori have opportunities to work with many age ranges, something in which everyone benefits, and a skill they will use for life.