Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Decider

Finally, finally Montessori Papa and I have come to a decision about Booster's schooling for next year--it will be public school for her. It's come down to a combination of logistics and finances. I was wavering and wavering until the last minute. I would talk myself into one school and then immediately talk myself into the other. Both schools had benefits, and both schools had huge drawbacks. Thank God I am not the President of the United States because in these kinds of tough spots I am NOT a Decider.

The need to make this decision has been around for months and months. It has been driving me--the woman who loves to organize and plan, who does these things for the fun of it--absolutely insane. Montessori Papa is much more comfortable in the land of uncertainty than I am. I've been wanting to buy school supplies for heaven sakes. Let's make the decision and get cracking.

After we had talked our options over for probably the 117th time, I finally said, "That's it. I am going to pray about this really hard tonight, and hope for divine guidance." I am pleasantly surprised to say that I think I actually received some. That night, I woke up many time, sometimes because of my toddler's night terrors and sometime thanks to who-knows-what. I would wake up at those times and the thought of one of the schools would pop into my head. When the name of our neighborhood school popped into my head, I felt very calm. When the name of our Montessori school popped into my head, I felt very anxious. Sometimes I would think about the public school, and my inner voice would whine, "But I want the Montessori school." In spite of this, I still felt calm about the public school option.

The next day, Montessori Papa was still raring to go for the Montessori option. He was ready to get up at 5:30 every morning and take Booster to school. He was ready to have no financial wiggles room for yet another year. He was ready to test our mettle in running our household like boot camp in order to make sure that the children adhered every night to an early bed time. God bless him. I love him for his willingness to do this, but I just couldn't support it.

He was, well, I think he was shocked because I had been the one who had once said that I would sell my soul to give my children a Montessori education. It turns out that that is not true. Montessori Papa was not delighted with my new point of view. After all, how could he argue with divine guidance? He would argue his points, and I would concede that each one had value and merit. We just had been over each one so many times this spring and summer, I knew them all.

I am nervous about public school. Of course, I am worried about everything that I hear in the media about public education and No Child Left Behind. I am worried about the emphasis on test scores, because when I was in grad school the public school teachers talked A LOT about them. I am nervous that she is going from a school of about 100 kids to a school of around 800 kids. I am nervous because there is so much that I just don't know. In any Montessori school, I would know the basic pedagogy and curriculum.

So I am in a place now where I just need to trust, I just need to have faith that everything will work out for the best, that my daughter's education at school will be good, but more than that that I need to trust that the life education that she receives from her family life will be more than enough to fill in any blanks.

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