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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Getting a Great Start for the School Year

Over the last week, I have talked about the importance of getting a great start for the school year. The faster children adjust to the school year the better. If your children starts strong, then the rest of the year will be a breeze – like rolled down hill. If you’re off to a poor start, the rest of the year will be like clawing your way out of a pit.

I asked the question, “How many of you want an easy year?” All the students raise their hands into the air along with many of the parents.

Well, here’s a quick guide to using your child’s karate to get off to a great start for the school year.
  1. Create a routine – In our Martial Arts training, we develop routines that we constantly repeat until the training becomes a habit. In fact, the effect of our leadership messages doesn’t happen by saying it one time. The effect comes by delivering the same message hundred of times over the course of few years. By creating a daily school routine and repeating it consistently, the children will find comfort in the routine. Be patient, it takes about 6 weeks to ingrain routines into a habit.
  2. Warm up – We never start a karate class without a warm-up. Many students walk into class with other things on their mind. A good exciting warm-up not only warm-up their muscles for exercise but also warms up their mind to really focus on the moment and get involved in the class. School is the same way. Warm them up for school by talking about it in a positive way. For example, “I bet you’re excited to see your friends” or “What was the most interesting thing you learned today.”
  3. Know the schedule – Know the answer to the following questions. What courses are they taking this year? What teachers are they with during the day? What time should they be home?
  4. Build a positive relationship with the teacher – As a professional Karate instructor, I attempt to learn as much as I can about my students and parents. The better the rapport, the better the student. Building a rapport with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year will open the lines of communication so that they can address your child’s needs more successfully.
  5. Get Involved – Time and time again, I find that the more involved the parents are at our karate school, the better the student commitment. It makes sense that the child feels more supports when the parents are more involved in their education. Therefore, they take their education more seriously.
  6. Get Focused – The more focused a child is on the teacher, the faster they will learn. We teach Three Rules of Concentration that our students use to increase their attention during classes. By concentrating better at school, the student will retain the material and will require less studying to obtain high grades. That’s a great deal for your kid – more play time with better grades.
  7. Pick a Home Study Time – Talk to your children about a quite study time that they will use every day. A quite study time means a half hour to an hour with no TV, video games, etc. Make sure that the assigned study area lacks distractions. Pick a time that is best for our child’s concentration. Many children have pent up energy right after school while others lack focus later because they’re tired.
  8. Burn off Some Steam – After sitting in school all day, children need to burn off some energy. Our fun and active karate classes help blow off some steam so that they can focus on the important things like homework.
  9. Karate Test taking and Study Skills – Three techniques learned in karate can help students in test taking. First, breathing during a test is vital. They find students with poor test taking skills tend to hold their breath. Research shows that teaching these students deep breathing techniques raised the students IQ scores by 20 points. Second, karate teaches samurai focus. Samurai focus is the ability to block out all external distractions to achieve a goal. Third, students learn to live in the moment. Instead of thinking about the possibility of failure, our students learn to focus on the positive and strive through adversity.
Many of the time tested skills that children learn in the Martial Arts have a direct effect on their performance at school because karate teaches the success skills that they require for school and beyond.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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