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Kindergarten to 3rd Grade Program

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Parent & Child Sierra Aikido has a supportive and fun training environment for children from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Play is a child's important work! Aikido-related play develops gross motor skills, practices positive social interactions and builds self-confidence.

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.

Class Structure: Children K to 3rd Grade

Friday Evening Schedule

Time Activity
6:00 to 6:15 pm Supervised free play while others arrive
6:15 to 7:00 pm Structured Aikido training, games and yoga

Required Parent Assistance

Why Parents Participate

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 Role of the Parents in the Class

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.

What if a child might not train willingly with a parent on the mat?

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!

Parent Training and Orientation

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:

Of course, parents are always welcome to join our Parent-Child program, in which both the parents and the children are full members of our program and train in any age-appropriate class, separately and together, as often as they wish.

Learning Goals: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade

Our pre-Aikido class on Friday evenings introduces children to Aikido and prepares them for a smooth transition to our elementary school class on Saturdays. By the time they "graduate" to the Saturday class, they will already know the Aikido footwork, forward rolls and back falls and the forms for some basic throws. Our class format and expected training behavior will also be routine for them. Because older children help the youngest kids in the Friday evening class, there will be familiar, friendly faces to welcome the younger ones to the Saturday classes.

Our holistic approach integrates social, emotional and cognitive learning experiences with physical training.

More Information

  • Adult Class Schedule


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