Looking back, would you change or adjust anything? What are your concerns moving forward?
Not much, because we are really pleased at how it is working out, but like I mentioned earlier, sometimes I wish that we had never done any school. I worry about how schools create a group mentality, and even though we have learned from schools and they have been spectacular for language and cultural immersion in a foreign land (which are more attachment friendly due to culture norms) and a source for friends, a part of me would prefer to not had any of the negative influences of school. I think school culture also promotes consumerism, especially in the U.S., and that is something we wanted her away from.
I think my biggest fear moving forward is the negative influence of schools. I’m not sure if it is possible to retain the self fully in a school system.Â She has a lot of freedom inside her and I want her to retain this same almost-10-years-old invincible and free-spirit energy to adulthood. I think that is much harder to do in schools, especially for females that are more susceptible to social conditioning.
I’m torn because schools in a foreign land are a fantastic way to immerse deeply into a language, but Chinese schools also tend to be very rigid with lots of pressure and homework. We will have to see how it works. We are also open to working with a tutor. I also had fears before going to Spain, though, so I know it will all work out one way or another.
I also plan to skip the insane university debt and SAT madness like my friendÂ Maya Frost did with her four daughters, who all graduated from college very early and debt-free. I think it is shameful to burden young people or parents with such debt and pressures and think it can easily be avoided today. Being very fluent in 3 dominant languages should give my child more options than most.
Where are you as you write this?
I am writing this from Barcelona. We have been here a month. This is our ninth or tenth time since we began in 2006, at this beautiful resort near the beach. Later this week, we will head into France, slowly making our way through Provence to Paris, which we haven’t seen in a few years.
Right now, she is playing with her best friend here in Spain. She lives ten minutes away, but they are camped next door to us with their caravan. We’ve spent much of this month with them and when they were home we did webcam calls together. We had dinner with them last night and today the kids are having lunch here. They have a dog that she loves to play with and take for walks. The kids can do much by themselves, like go to the pools, store, restaurant, kids disco, zoo, kids club, etc. – and we do lots together too like the special bodega that we visited with them yesterday.
There are many European families from many countries here on their typical summer holiday, so there is a happy, family-friendly atmosphere. She does her homeschool when she wakes up, plays most of the day and we usually read and cuddle together at night and sometimes watch a movie together. Ordinary things in an extraordinary place.