Healthy Perspective by Ed Rumick

Helping your children succeed: 

As a parent, what is one of the best things you can do to help your children succeed at Karate and other similar activities?

Of course supporting them and letting them know you are proud of them for doing the activity is very important, but what else as a parent can you do to actually help them progress and succeed?

You take them to lessons 2 to 3 times a week, that's a good start. You see initially that there are quick gains and immediate rewards. (Remember they went from 0 days a week to 2 to 3 days a week.) Now your child is several ranks in and they seem to be progressing a bit slower and you wonder "How can I help my child?". The answer is simple: HOME PRACTICE.


Here is a link to a short article on THE CURVE OF FORGETTING

This is a quick summary of what the CURVE OF FORGETTING states.

If you start with a 100% material retained because you just reviewed the material and don't review the material again within 24 hours 40% of that information will be gone, dropping you to a 60% retained or "D" level. If you go 24 hours more without reviewing the material (48 hours total) you will now drop another 20% to 40% retained which is "F" level. This has nothing to do with intelligence or ability, it is simply a function of short term and long term memory. Please read the article to learn more about it.

THIS IS WHY DAILY PRACTICE IS IMPORTANT TO SUCCESS. The best thing you can do for your child to help them succeed in Karate and similar activities (besides go to lessons) is to set up a daily practice time for them and enforce it. I say enforce it because your child may not do it on their own in the beginning, you may have to make them go do it until it becomes a normal daily habit. (Just like Brushing Teeth and Bathing) Remember, it doesn't have to be a lot, they just need to touch on and work on that material a little bit every day to retain and progress. 10 minutes a day plus their normal lessons. No matter how busy you are, you can find 10 minutes for your child to practice before or after school.

I'm not just recommending this, I have actually seen it put in to practice and work many times. Now instead of constantly falling backwards between lessons and fighting to get back to the same level or only slightly above resulting in low gains and slow progress. Children will be able to maintain the level achieved at their last class allowing them to progress to a new level at the next class making faster gains and experiencing greater success.

Remember you don't need be an instructor to help your children, they know something just help them along. Just like music requires daily practice, so does Karate. If you are part of the AJKA-I you can print the rank requirements out here and read them to your child as they practice. If you prefer they watch video on their computer, tablet or smart TV as they practice has partnered with the AJKA-I to put all of the ranking requirements on HD Video. - Ed Rumick

P.S. Works for adults too.

About the Author: Ed Rumick is the Karate Program Director at The Solebury Club. He is a licensed Instructor and Examiner with the AJKA-I an international karate organization. He currently holds the rank of Yon Dan (4th degree black belt) and has more than 20 years experience teaching karate.

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