Lately, I have been submersing myself in mommyhood. The topic du jour seems to be what path will we take after Liam completes his early education a year from now. Basically, I have spent the better part of the last week and a half tormenting over this so you’ll have to forgive my rantings and ravings. This wouldn’t be a true diary of our first year in London if I didn’t have something to say about the education here. Up to this point, we have had Liam in 2 different Montessori schools (one in the States and one here) and over the years, the more I have been exposed to it and the more I have learnt about it, the more I have fallen completely in love with the Montessori method and philosophy. Luckily, by Montessori design, he can remain in the Montessori classroom he is currently in for one more year, but beyond that, we have what feels like a massive, pressure-filled decision to make. In some ways, (but not really) I almost wish I had never heard of Montessori. I feel like it would make this decision much more simple. It used to be simple . . . when I was growing up . . . in a small town. Kids went to the public school down the street. I went to the public school down the street. Keegan went to the public school down the street. It was free. It was sufficient. It was fine. But alas, it is not simple. We don’t live in a small town. We live in London. The British school system is extremely foreign to me on so many levels. Private/Independent schools are expensive, extremely test-oriented, results-oriented, competitive, intense, sterile almost, yet free schools don’t seem to be sufficient. Montessori schools are definitely not free (except for a few random locations in the States). I never used to be a proponent of private/independent schools, and mostly, I am not. But here I sit, feeling quite strongly that nothing is sufficient when compared to the extremely individualized, holistic education Liam is getting in a Montessori classroom. Plus, I KNOW what I am getting and I can, what feels like to me, protect him from this foreign system I am not sure I am too fond of. To me, it would be extremely simple if I was not looking at the dollar signs that will incur if we continue on with the Montessori education, up to the age of 18 even. I wish it were possible to have a window into life thirteen years from now to see how Liam, product of Montessori education from age 2 1/2 - 18 would compare to Liam, product of state schools . . . would there be a huge difference AND would the difference be worth the price tag?! Often, it feels as if there are as many options out there as there are opinions and vice versa. The amount of voices is overwhelming . . . friends, parents, teachers, family, the government, the country even. I never thought I would get caught up in this stress, but in the end one of my biggest fears would be to make a decision for Liam that fundamentally changes who he is, that caused him to be someone he isn’t, that broke his spirit or traumatized him in some way. As parents, we agonize over all these decisions, big and small, we have to make for our children and what, ultimately, it will mean for them, their future, their very personhood. We are riding the roller coaster that comes along with making decisions that will effect the person we love the most. We are literally at the top of that first big hill really. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know that I will ever know. For sure, when the time comes, it will be a complete (and uncomfortable) leap of faith.
Why can't he just stay this little and cute and innocent so I can protect him forever?!