Feeling like a Failure

This post is originally from Studio 3 Music's blog. As a fellow mom to homeschooled children and teacher, Analiisa's post met me right where I needed it, and I thought a few of you might be there too.

Yesterday, I felt like a complete, utter, failure. I’ve got a sensory child, and I’m also a home schooling mom of three. People often ask me how I do it, and to be perfectly honest, sometimes I wonder, too. Most days, I look (at least I think I do – please don’t crush my delusion) put together on the outside, but like teachers everywhere, there are days when we go, “Did they actually learn anything?”

Back several months. Rob had just finished vision therapy, which for us, was the missing piece of our sensory journey. We’d already done occupational therapy, physical therapy, water therapy, seen a sensory motor specialist, and finished speech therapy. At this point, you can meet Rob and you wouldn’t know he’s a sensory kid. I thought the rest of this schooling year would sort of be an all-come-together year. So much for my plan.

Yesterday, I was doing Singapore Math with Rob. And suddenly, he looked at me and said, “I don’t remember how to divide.” Three weeks ago his violin playing took a huge leap backward. His biggest complaint was that (and I quote), “I can’t keep all the information straight in my head.” I’m having lots of trouble getting punctuation rules to stick in his brain, too.

I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that all he wants to do is PLAY. With his friends. And read. For hours. This from the kid who a year ago couldn’t read for more than 15 minutes without his eyes getting tired. That doesn’t mean, of course, that he doesn’t do school. He does. He likes grammar and history and anatomy and physiology especially. But yesterday, I kept thinking, “How could we get this far and do division all the time, and suddenly, you can’t do it?” It seemed to appear so out of the blue, that I thought that perhaps I just had my head in the clouds and wasn’t paying attention and finally noticed what was going on. Where had I missed the signs?

So I emailed Jesikah, who used to be my assistant, and now bears the more lofty title of Director of Operations. She’s my email therapist, sometimes, too. (She’s also the mother of Rob’s best friends.)
I wrote –
He’s so struggled in some areas at school this year – it’s not a cognitive thing. His brain has just had difficulty processing all the information now flowing in (thanks to vision therapy). However, I feel like I’ve failed him somehow this year. We haven’t accomplished as much as we’ve needed to.

And then I got back the most amazing response –
The Montessori teacher told me recently that some years the children really pour themselves into academics, and some years their social/emotional development needs are so much that it is a distraction against academics and not much is accomplished there…but social/emotional needs are more important than academics – it is what makes us good husbands/wives, parents, friends, siblings, good students and even employees… At the end of one’s life, we always want to be better spouses, better parents, better friends…we never regret that we weren’t as academic as we could have been. Children have a knack for catching up academically, too.

You have not failed Rob. Perhaps, this is a growing year for him socially/emotionally, which is why school is so hard for him. Those other needs are more important at the moment, even if he is incapable of expressing those sentiments.

Thank you, Jesikah. The fact that as a fourth grader, Rob’s brain has felt the need to do something else for his development (rather than what I want it to do), is perfectly okay. So we’ll do a little math this summer, and practice writing a few friendly letters.
-posted by Miss Analiisa, who wants to tell discouraged parents and teachers everywhere that it’ll be okay. Because it will. Even if you have to pull out of the violin recital at the last minute.There will be another one.

Be Encouraged!

Bop into Libraries This Summer

School is nearly out and public libraries are gearing up for summer reading programs for children and teens. The programs are free and offer some of the best entertainment for children such has puppeteers, storytellers, magicians and musicians. So bop on over to your local library this summer, sign up your child for summer reading program and attend the storytimes and performances. It is a great way to enjoy the summer and keep your child's reading muscles in shape.

Now enrolling!

Come sing, sway, and play the summer away in Kindermusik.

Kindermusik is...
  • Music and movement classes for children newborn to age seven
  • A musical atmosphere of play, song, dance, and learning
  • Connection for you with other parents
  • Ideas on how to use music to make parenting easier
  • The best per-class value in music and movement
All of our summer classes will be offered at our Lithia location, at the corner of Fishhawk Blvd. and Lithia Pinecrest.

Classes fill up fast. Register today!

Featured Artist - Betsy Stern

Betsy Stern

I am a native of Berkeley, California, and grew up performing with my dad, a pianist and composer whose songs were published by Disney and also used on "Captain Kangaroo." My dad passed onto me a huge repertoire of music, from children’s to Jazz and Blues to World. I specialize in music from around the world, to reach multicultural audiences. I grew up with this music and love sharing it with kids and their grown-ups because the rhythm is so strong and fun, and it presents a wonderful way to introduce children to the beauty and importance of the world’s many cultures.

I play double bass, requinto, guitar, and several other instruments – and I also sing. I can bring rhythm instruments for the kids to play. I tour and perform throughout the United States. I am available for concerts, fairs, festivals, library events, museum events, holiday celebrations, corporate events, weddings, school assemblies, workshops in classrooms, music in healthcare settings, music presentations and classes in preschools and daycares, children's birthday parties, and family events.


CD Baby

Many of the artists listed in this resource have their music available for download and purchase on a great web site for "Indie" musicians. Check us out at


Featured Artist - Michael Plunkett

Michael Plunkett

Michael is a great professional musician and a fine educator. He brings both of these extraordinary talents to his upbeat CDs that are tops among Kimbo’s best selling products. You’ll want Michael’s unique resources for your home, classroom, or library; CDs that are creative, clever, zany, happy, valuable, purposeful, and more!

Michael was just 25 years old when he wrote a song and submitted it to the New York Songwriters’ Showcase. He finished in the top 5 out of 750 entries, and he never looked back! Michael taught 16-20 “Music Together” classes per week that focused on the preschool child and their teachers/parents. He also brings enrichment programs to underprivileged elementary school children in run-down areas with The Recreational Arts Program.

Currently, Michael is the Director of the music program in a local Special Needs school teaching 40 classes a week  and over 500 students ranging in age from 3 to 21. Michael provides private music lessons, and also plays 5 musical instruments.

His awards include: Winner of the prestigious Parent’s Choice Awards for two CDs.
Ribbons & Rhythms 2010 Parents’ Choice Award Recommended
Shakin The Chute 2011 Parents’ Choice Award Recommended

Workshop Information

307 Helen Terrace Neptune NJ 07753 732.775.0397
 studio307@optimum.net and www.myspace.com/plunkettchildrensmusic 

Thanks Mom!

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college ~or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation... And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us...
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