Saturday, March 01, 2008

Enrichment

In our family, we often laugh and say that our children have acquired the “B” family music gene. Music was also incredibly important in my mother’s family. In all seriousness, Kesa is incredibly gifted with musical talent. She plays clarinet, saxophone, flute, and a little piano. She is a self-proclaimed “band geek.”

From the time Grace began to hum and sing along to her favorite children’s music, she was always on key. To me this was amazing since most toddlers like to sing but need a little help finding the right key in which to sing. Meghan has followed suit, and as I’ve said before, she sings and hums nearly 60% of her days.

I wholeheartedly believe that all of our girls have a natural inclination toward musical talent, and Grace and Meghan often imagine which instruments they would like to learn as they grow up. Music enriches their lives and plays to their souls.

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In our family, we also laugh that our children, except for Kesa, are not naturally inclined towards being physically active. Grace’s name is actually a misnomer. She does not have natural grace. She falls into the clumsy, awkward category of children. Grace also suffers from sensory issues, and we’ve found that spinning, jumping, and swinging are calming for her. In the warm months, Grace’s daily routine is to swing. She pumps her legs with glee to go higher and higher. Gracie needs activity as part of her sensory diet. It tames Grace’s internal disorganization, and reminds her body that it does have balance and grace.

Meghan likely would have been a naturally agile girl, but her micropreemie beginning set up an unnatural low tone, low strength situation. When she was a baby and unable to move very well, it became apparent that her spirit was trapped inside her body. The look in her eyes revealed the situation. She yearned to get free of the confines of her weakened state. For a long time, she received physical therapy to strengthen her body, especially her left side. She succeeded in breaking free for the most part, but her spry spirit is often tamed by her weaker physical body. Meghan needs activity to free her spirit.

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So why am I speaking to our childrens’ musical and physical abilities?

Last week, we found out that their school has decided to eliminate both the music and physical education teachers for the next school year. I don’t understand the decision, and as I’ve documented above, this will directly affect my daughters’ lives. A PTA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and Charlie and I will be there.

7 comments:

Lauren said...

Hrmmmm... the district is in a huge push to keep the "specials" teachers right now, so that decision makes no sense to me. I'm sure MGIS has an abundant budget, especially compared to my school. We have gym, art, music and library and will continue to have them next year, too.

That sucks! :(

Childlife said...

Oh, I wish you luck at the meeting! I couldn't think of a better advocate for the programs. I just love the way you are so beautifully in touch with who your daughters are and what they need to be at their best. You are a fabulous mon, Jen!

Jen_miracles said...

As I've said, Jen, you are quite right in recognizing the girls' strengths as well as their needs...and in insisting that those needs should be met as part of a well rounded school experience. Continued best of luck in your fight to get those programs restored!

With love from your music teacher buddy! :)

Tante said...

MGIS does not receive the same funding as other MPS schools because we have a lower amount of free/reduced lunch children. Everything is based on that money wise. There are other areas the school can cut in. MGIS is fortunate to have 2 fantastic specialists. I hope the parent uprising will help the principal open his eyes and keep music and phy ed!

Christie O. said...

Again I shake my head at the programs that don't seem to be important enough to keep around. Fight fight fight! Children need these programs!!

Kristen said...

The principal needs a good talking to! In today's society, the LAST thing that should be cut is GYM! I hate how administrators just axes without thinking of repurcussions. Good luck with the battle.

tafkalorelei said...

Good luck at the meeting. Hope it will turn out in your favor. I think it is so sad that schools are cutting out things like art and music and PE...