One day, one of the students from the Elementary school asked if he could teach our Pre School students math. He used his fellow classmates and some of our students for an addition and subtraction lesson.
A sense of community is invaluable for children and we stress strong community involvement at Little Wonders. The children regularly witness how adults interact with one another, how adults interact with children, and then they learn how to apply those interactions to their own situations with other children. It allows for the older child to build self-confidence and have a better understanding of information as he/she re-teaches what she knows. The younger child is more engaged while learning from a friend, and the younger child has an opportunity to learn that people working together can improve their understanding.
Encouraging older children to help younger children is a common practice in the Reggio Emilia approach. Montessori along with many other childhood psychologist and philosophers, such as Dewey, Piaget, and Gardner influenced the educators of Reggio Emilia. For an enlightening article that explains the benefits of older children helping younger child, click here. (Even though it’s from a Montessori philosophy, the concept is one that has been adapted by the Reggio Emilia approach.)