- SCHOOLS &
There is a 3-year age span in a traditional Montessori classroom. The idea is that the children remain in the same class for 3 years (4 years depending on when their birthdays fall). The different age groups in the class are somewhat balanced, so that there is ample representation of each level in the class. The 3 year olds look up to the older children for support, guidance, and as behavioral models. The older ones tend to remember being 3, and are generous and gracious with their help and companionship.
We encourage observation of other children’s work in the classroom, so children doing advanced activities are in fact preparing the younger children for those same activities. It is not unusual to see a 3 year sitting next to a 5 year old working on addition or some other advanced work. In addition to the visual observation, the younger children will often ask the older children questions about their work. The older children are happy to answer their questions, in effect teaching the younger children.