Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wish I did not know so much about Education

I wish I was one of those mom's in my kids schools who had little clue of what Montessori is and just took my kids to school, dropped them off and happily picked them up in the afternoon. I wish I did not know so much about the Montessori Philosophy, had not visited so many schools(traditional, montessori, public, private), and not had so many conversations about what a Montessori school should be or not. Why do you ask? Because then I would live a very happy life not agonizing about the schools my children attend and if they are the best schools for them. I would not be picking at every little thing that I felt was going against Maria Montessori's philosophy. I would sleep better and my husband would sleep better!!

I wish I was not a college professor who got to see what our public schools are producing. It scares me when 60% of our students are taking developmental reading, writing and math, when our students score low in critical thinking skills and only care to know what is on the test. What is the minimum they have to do to get the grade they feel is 'ok' for them? That is what they want to know.

I wish I was my friend Shannon, who has worked in business all of her life, and does not research or read about education, is not around a family of educators, and is only concerned about how safe is the environment her child is in and is he happy. This makes me peaceful just writing about it!! No stress!

I am currently going through an inner turmoil about my son's school. I am not happy with their Montessori Program and have to make a decision on what to do with him. He is going into Kindergarten so I feel horrible moving him at this point. What I really want to do deep down is home school my children. I love to teach them at home and love to be out learning through nature as much as we possibly can. I would stop teaching Spanish but I cold not stop teaching at the College. Even though my College teaching is ALL Online, "Could I handle it all?".

So, I pray to God that he allows me to truly see these schools so that I can make a good decision on what I should do about my children and their education.

Any comments/thoughts/or advise are welcomed!


Paul and Ines said...

I say if you can homeschool it! Try it one year @ a time. I love homeschoolers & the connections that you can make for your child will be long lasting. I agree with knowing alot about education. I'm moving my own children to a different school next year. If this doesn't work ..then I might homeschool myself. Good luck with your decision.

Amber said...

Oh, this is too funny! Not your predicament - of course - but just how much I identified with this post. I read it out loud to my husband & he was sure that I had written it myself & kept asking "Where is this woman?!".

Wow. I too wish I could turn the Montessori / education 'tap' off sometimes. Stop being so preoccupied with all of those questions...

Right now, I too am trying to decide whether to homeschool. My greatest wish would be to have both of my sons enrolled at a great Montessori school & then take the training myself. But we would have to move to a different city & we actually couldn't afford it anyways. Right now, I have my eldest just started in a Waldorf school (as the only viable option I would consider. I can't do traditional & I do think there is a lot of similarity in the 'environment') while I try to homeschool him on-the-side with Montessori. My littlest guy is homeschooling Montessori with me to the best of my abilities but there are days that I wonder if he'd be better at my eldest's old Montessori preschool (despite the hesitations I have in some regards). But, then, I also think that maybe we should truly commit to the Montessori option & keep both boys out of school & in doing so get the best Montessori education that is possible for the time-being as well as keeping open the options to attend a Montessori school in the future (something that weighs heavily on my shoulders... If I don't homeschool them now then they probably won't ever get accepted into an M school in their later years even if our circumstances do change).

Hmmmm... I seem to spend all day (and - unfortunately - all night! ;) thinking about this stuff & agonising over the decisions.

I look forward to reading the other responses to your post & appreciate that even on the other side of the world there is someone who is worrying about the same things that I am.

Hope it's a happy day today :)

N from the Learning Ark said...

I totally know how you feel, there are great advantages to knowing montessori and how to properly educate your child, but at the same time it changes your role as a mum and adds more work.
I'm sooo fussy when it comes to Little-Ns education and I know there is no way I'd except him going into traditional schooling or even into a montessori school that isn't doing the montessori philosophy 100%.
I too am not happy with some things at the montessori school Little-N goes to and I work there!!! He's in my class so I get to give him the best but if it wasn't me teaching him I'd keep him home and homeschool. If you can homeschool, go ahead and do it, it's such a beautiful feeling when you are your child's teacher and there's so much more you can do with them.
I hope you find a solution and it works out for the best.

Gigi said...

Ines, thank you for your comment. I like how you think "one year at a time". You hit it right on about the connection with my children.

Starting this year, they have been in school all day. I am slowly loosing that connection and I really miss our days together.

Gigi said...

Amber, we are not the only one's out there! I have actually talked to another mom going through the same thing as us. She is in my Elementary Montessori Training class. She works in the school her children attend and she is not happy with the Director.

The Director of the school has so much influence and power over what happens in the school....

Thank you for your comment.

Gigi said...

N, I do love to teach my children. It brings me so much joy. Thank you so much for your comment. You are very lucky to be able to be your sons teacher.

Anonymous said...

Homeschool, try it a year, don´t even think about it.
Good luck!
Andrea Hazbun, Santiago, Chile

Xia said...

My older children attended Montessori preschools and my oldest child even did 1st grade Montessori as well. I liked the preschool, but I had issues with the elementary. So I dropped CJ from full time to half time that year. I continued to homeschool him in the afternoon. When we moved to another state, I thought I would send J to Montessori preschool and homeschool my older children. I visited a few schools in town but did not find one that met my expectations. So I ventured myself on this Montessori preschool experience (although I do not do Montessori philosophy 100%. I’m not sure if I even want to do Montessori 100%). I love doing what I do but have second thoughts sometimes about what’s best for J (like we all do).

Before becoming a full time homeschooling mom, I had to give up teaching in college and public schools as well. It is a tradeoff I would never regret. I am grateful that my husband makes enough money to support us all. He couldn’t be happier to see us all growing stronger as a family because of the homeschooling experience (except for those times when we get on each other’s nerves for spending too much time together! :) Get me out of here! :)

Good luck on your decision.

Ann said...

I ama public-school teacher, Montessori-trained but not in a Montessori environment, so I have to bring it in under the table. I home-schooled 3 of my children for parts of their school careers. I say, if you can do it, DO! My second daughter, who was only homeschooled for one year, made such gains in reading, writing, and math skills (as well as confidence), that she took all honors and AP classes in high school and maintained a 4.0 throughout. No matter the caliber of their ed classes or experience, there is no teacher who can provide the kind of differentiated instruction that you can, because you have the best undertanding of your child and his personality. Additionally, you will know the areas where s/he will need parental support when or if he re-enters the school system. There is no downside to this decision. May God bless you with discernment for each of your children.