As I continue thinking about the Montessori school, and its advantages and disadvantages, I am reminded not to trust in chariots. God is the one who formed Amy, knit her bones together, wove her personality, and he is the one who will sustain and grow her.
I am afraid of public school, and even afraid of “ordinary” preschool. I don’t think my public school experience served me well socially and psychologically. I did very well academically, and managed to make some friends, but a lot of my experience confirmed, reinforced, and further developed some seriously wrong thinking about what it means to be a person, to find one’s place in the community, how to relate to oneself and others. I am afraid of the tide of institutionality and conformity that seems to flow, relentlessly, inevitably, subconsciously in many cases, in a place where so many students with so few teachers need to be channeled through their education as efficiently as possible, and so all the little sharp edges, the things that make anyone stand out positively or negatively, must be worn down and removed.
On the other hand, her experience might not be like mine, despite the same desks in rows and hall passes, despite our shared awkward and difficult combination of intensity, willfulness, and sensitivity. She might be blessed with teachers who are conscious of the tide and who fight against it, teachers who strive to observe and protect and encourage each student’s individuality, who help her find the way between brat and doormat.
It would be good to save money, and even better to be more involved in our own community.
On the other other hand, just because I’m seeing how much my thinking is being driven by fear, and how little I am trusting God, doesn’t mean Montessori is the wrong choice for us. It might still be our best option. Her soul is worth good care, wherever we think we can find it.