Experienced teen volunteers join the instructors on the mat both to give individual attention and to create fun ways for the children to train as a group. The younger children are instantly drawn to the teens, eager to copy their movements and play the Aikido games that the teens invent.
Our youngest children learn not only the fundamentals for Aikido, but also transferable skills for their future schools' physical education and after-school sports. We assess and track every child's physical skills and help each one gradually close the gaps at each stage of their development. Most important of all, the children internalize the process for learning something personally challenging in small steps over time, in a fun way, with support and encouragement from others.
|6:00 to 6:15 pm||Supervised free play while others arrive|
|6:15 to 7:00 pm||Structured Aikido training, games and yoga|
To ensure the success of the program for our youngest children, we require one of the parents of each child to participate in the class. Parents need not do Aikido training unless they wish to. Instead, parents contribute to the class in ways they find enjoyable.
Very young children need a great deal of individual attention to learn good quality Aikido movements and do complex paired practice successfully. With parents on hand to assist, the instructors and volunteer teens can give that consistent, one-on-one attention in a calm, productive environment.
The instructors facilitate the class and handle overall discipline. Parents help us to guide children as we set up and change activities for everyone to stay on task with the group and their training partners. Parents also help us to monitor safety on the mat, especially during free play. Newcomer parents begin with light duties and increase their contribution over time, aligned with their own interests and abilities. Parents can also observe while participating, and give us valuable feedback on how their own and others' children learn best. Our partnership with parents is vital to success for our entire children and teen program, but particularly for the youngest kids.
This is not at all unusual. Children are developing their independence and sense of self. We work out, case by case, how to structure parent participation. Parents join in gradually, watching, helping the group with a game and assisting the other children. In most cases, the children slide naturally into interacting with everyone on the mat, including their own parents. It's normal for kids to prefer instruction from older kids and peers, rather than from their parents. With the instructors and experienced teen volunteers making the corrections as needed, parents can just relax and enjoy the class!
We provide parents with some ongoing training and orientation, in parallel with the children class. Parents spend a few minutes each week near the children's area with an instructor learning:
Our holistic approach integrates social, emotional and cognitive learning experiences with physical training.
|Home | /FONT> Children & Teens | Parent-Child | Special Needs | Homeschool|