Imagine taking your child to their first day of year 1 at school...to discover they will be in a class with a variety of kids from years 1 through to 7, all being taught different levels of lessons at the same time...by just one teacher!
Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Common sense tells us that in order for a child to have a rewarding learning experience it is much better if the lesson time is conducted in a focused, unified fashion.
Traditionally though in martial arts the crazy scene we painted in the opening to this blog post is pretty typical of what sometimes goes on. Several different belt ranks, needed to be trained in several different respective sets of material, all at the same time by one instructor!
Inevitably this leads to frustration on the part of one group of students or another, forever waiting for their share of the instructor’s attention. Is it any wonder the studies show 90% of kids who start martial arts quit within the first 10 months?
A popular way to make classes more effective for junior students that we use at Family Martial Arts in our Leadership Program for kids is a rotating curriculum. Unlike the traditional accumulative curriculum method used elsewhere, a rotating curriculum means everyone in class is learning the same material at the same time for their current belt rank requirements.
Since the material is laid out in a rotation, every student will in time learn all of the material – they just won’t necessarily learn it in the same order as other students. Wherever they start on the rotation is fine!
Another benefit for the students is it enables the curriculum to be presented in an engaging and easily understood thematic way. Our Elements Curriculum breaks the qualities of a great martial artist into 6 areas and relates each to one of the classical ‘elements’: fire for intensity, earth for strength, water for flexibility and so on.
This time spent to focus and reflect on the value of each quality empowers the student to apply the success lessons learned in the academy to every area of their life.