I am a mother, not an expert. There are times when I feel like an expert and presume I have reached some peak of knowledge about who I am as a mother and a person. Shortly after this realization, I tend to fall from that peak and get a nice dose of reality. I became a family advocate and early education placement specialist when I made the decision to pull my child out of a school that would have provided free tuition and placed her in a preschool that cost my family almost $20,000. This decision almost cost me my marriage and my sanity but I was unwilling to jeopardize the development and academic experience of my child for even a day longer. I am lucky to be in a financial place to make a decision like this; I am privileged to have choices and I know that many people in this country do not. This realization infuriated me. It made me question the reality that tens of thousands of children in this country are in preschools whose philosophies do not correspond to that child's home or long term needs for that child and family. To be clear, neither the family nor the school is to blame for being mismatched- it is a symptom of the way we are thinking about early education in this country and not a failure of any one person or school.
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.