04-26-2006, 13:38 #1
How do you teach very young children?
I don't have a school and I'm not an instructor. I'm a lowly yellow belt. My instructor knows I'm really into MA so he gives me opportunities to help out. I come early and watch the little kids class. Sometimes he motions for me to join the class to help him demonstrate a skill, etc. Once in a while if he's running late, he'll call me to lead a class or two. I have no training in teaching a class. I never even try to teach a new skill, I'm just the one counting out the repetitions of drills, etc. I'll say which pattern we're going to practice, etc.
Here's my question: a couple of times we'll have a brand new kid and the instructor will ask me to teach him/her our white belt pattern while he works with the other students. So, we go over to the side of the room and I demonstrate, they imitate. Twice now, the child has been so young (4 or 5) that even asking them to imitate a hand chamber for a down block seems too much for them. They're distracted every 2 seconds and have serious issues with looking at which hand/leg I'm using and following me. Last night I had a 4 year old. I would say, "ok honey, make a fist and put it up to your ear." Then I'd show her which hand to make a fist and which ear to put it to. As soon as I let go of her hand, she'd drop it. It was like that with everything I tried to show her. She was busy looking at herself in the mirror and yelling "kihap!!!!!!" every three seconds without prompting that I don't think she learned anything. I have total patience and just kept showing her it over and over and over. I know from my experience with children that they don't have discipline or concentration for staying on the same task for a long time. There was no way she was going to pick up that pattern last night. I don't think she learned anything except the word "kihap".
So, how do you do it? Do you focus on one thing, like a chamber or a stance until they get it? Or do you show them several moves of a pattern and let them get the general idea of which direction to turn before you start showing actual hand, foot movements?
I know I should ask my instructor what to do, but it's so impromptu that I don't think he wants to train me how to train. There's no time anyhow. I have a new baby at home and I'm lucky to get to go to class. I couldn't possibly stay after right now. I love helping out and I do want to be an instructor one day. I can work great with kids just a little older. But the young ones that don't seem to understand anything really have me stumped.
Last edited by Tina; 04-26-2006 at 13:41.Tina Raborn
04-26-2006, 13:58 #2
One thing you might try, especially when working with young kids is to make it a game of some sort, keep it fairly light, and don't try and get them to be perfect.Mas Jessica Brawner
"Nothing you do in life prepares you for running around in a circle as fast as you can."
- Arthur Allert
04-26-2006, 21:10 #3
- Elizabeth Seuferling
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The little ones are work. They require incredible amounts of positive energy and positive reinforcement. Verbally you have to be guiding them through each move while you are doing it. And you have to know the forms well enough to jump back and forth between "mirror image" and real. Tapping my right leg and telling them to tap their left, stepping back and telling them to step forward - it gets confusing. Than you jump back to the real image with your back to them and looking over your shoulder for corrections.
I will be honest, 4 is young. Many would invite children that age to participate in a program specifically designed for young ones. Than when they are a little older, they are invited to join the regular classes.
One more thing, and I am not exactly sure how to say this, but be cautious how available you are to assist your instructor. A lot of people find themselves really taken for granted and taken advantage of. Every now and than, just for fun, say no.Elizabeth
"Relying on the government to safeguard your retirement money is like relying on a pothead to safeguard your Fritos." - Unknown pot head
04-26-2006, 21:37 #4
Originally Posted by Eliz Seuferling
04-27-2006, 07:32 #5
Both of my boys are really young (19 months and 3 years), and of course, they see their Dad and Mom hitting pads and want to do the same. So about a month ago, I picked-up a set of hand-pads, put them on, and called my oldest over. It was more of an experiment than anything else...I really didn't expect him to do much other than indiscriminantly pound the pads.
So I had him put his hands up, had him throw a left jab, and told him that was "Number 1". I'd count a few off, always saying "one...one....one" Then I had him throw a few reverse punches, and told him that was "Number 2". Again, I'm still counting when I want him to throw, only this time it's just "two...two...two".
Anyway, we had already accomplished more than I expected, so I decided to push the envelope. I had him throw a one-two combo, just like my adults do. And he got it! He got a little confused when I had him switch to his left, but I'd always ask him "Avery, where's your Number 1?", and he'd know which one to throw. By the end of the night, I had him throwing a one-two followed with a kick, all on command. I was amazed that he could absorb all that, but I think it was the associaton with the numbers (one and two) that did it.Aaron Ploetz