by Tamara Macfarlane, Owner & Teacher, Kumon Math and Reading Center, Nocatee
School supply shopping, comparing teacher assignments with friends, getting new clothes, shoes, bookbags, and more: This is what our back to school time used to look like for our kids. What a fun and exciting time it is!
This year things are different. Parents have so much more to consider when it comes to their children’s academics and education. Which school option should I choose? Will my child be safe? What happens if a teacher and/or student gets the virus? These are just a few concerns floating in the heads of many. Although families are undoubtedly facing these uncertainties, it doesn’t mean any sacrifices should be made when it comes to education.
I am honored to be opening a Kumon Math and Reading Learning Center in the Nocatee community. I truly feel like our children need Kumon more than ever with so many uncertainties in our world.
For more than 60 years, Kumon’s after-school academic enrichment program has helped children achieve success worldwide. Kumon strives to instill in children the desire to achieve and the motivation to learn on their own. Whether your child is seeking enrichment, needs help catching up, or is just beginning his or her academic career, Kumon is designed to help him or her develop a love of learning.
Students advance through the program at their own pace. Kumon’s emphasis on individualized learning helps your child become focused, motivated and self-reliant. At Kumon, we monitor each child’s progress to ensure comprehension before moving on to a new concept. With a strong academic foundation, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, your child has the potential to achieve whatever he or she desires.
In a typical year, students can lose up to 2 months of math and reading skills during the summer months. Due to COVID-19, experts fear learning loss will be much steeper with students losing 30% of reading and 50% of math. As an educator, this is frightening for so many reasons.
It is not the child’s fault that after spring break, they did not go back to the classroom, nor is it their family’s fault. However, we all must work together in a partnership to do whatever it takes to get our Nocatee children caught up and ultimately beyond where they should be academically.
Contact Kumon Math and Reading Learning Center at Nocatee for a free, no obligation placement test. After the placement test, you will be provided with valuable insights into where your children stand in their learning. From there, the Instructor will prepare an individualized lesson plan for your kids and support them as they progress through Kumon. Call us today or book your appointment online! https://www.kumon.com/ponte-vedra-at-nocatee/
How Martial Arts Training Benefits Kids Returning to School
by Bill DeGrafft
Ponte Vedra Martial Arts Academy
There are a number of benefits that come from martial arts training, especially as children are getting ready to go back to school. Among those are perseverance, respect for self and others, appreciation of structure, improved confidence, and acceptance of responsibility. Martial artists tend to overcome obstacles, treat others the way they wish to be treated, and understand the importance of taking personal responsibility for their actions.
Martial arts students learn that there are good days and challenging days. The latter are not bad days, but rather involve one obstacle or another that students must work through to successful completion. No obstacle is too big for a dedicated martial artist and no achievement is gained without hard work, and yes, sometimes a student of martial arts (as well as a pupil in school) experiences failures along the way. Martial artists are taught to learn from their failures and grow, whereas others might be consumed by their perceived inadequacies and surrender.
Respect of Self and Others
The tradition of martial arts begins and ends with respect. Respecting each other on the mats leads to respecting others in school and on the playground. You learn that your opponent is not your enemy, for without your opponent you can never rise personally. Therefore, martial arts training allows you to discover more about yourself and the amazing connection between mind, body, and spirit. More importantly, you learn that finding and maintaining balance in these three areas gives you better control on how you respond to the world around you, including how you react to other people who might seem at first to be roadblocks but are, in actuality, merely hurdles to jump over (or future friends to win over!). Martial artists also quickly grasp that tradition is important, and that we need to reflect on where we have been to see where we need to go.
Structure and Goal Setting
Martial arts training involves a good deal of practice and as each level is achieved students set new goals to reach so they can rise to the next stage of advancement. They also learn that regular practice yields continued improvement, that minor setbacks are temporary, and that the only people they need to compare themselves to are themselves.
Martial arts training builds confidence through overcoming challenges, not only in the dojang (the martial arts arena), but especially at school. Confident children also tend to be less targeted by bullies. Confident children are not easily influenced by others; they know who they are and who they want to be. They are a source of positive peer pressure, giving aid to others who are perhaps less courageous.
Martial artists learn responsibility for themselves, their families and friends, and their communities. They learn that doing their very best in class makes them feel good about themselves. This reward for hard work transitions to home in the way they contribute to the family through taking on chores willingly and by honoring their parents respectfully. It also extends to their communities, as martial artists tend to look for ways to give back. For example members of PVMAA regularly participate in “Giving Back” events where they contribute time and effort to local improvement efforts. Such as the charity kick-a-thon, food drive, and beach clean-up.
To sum up, martial arts training improves any child’s mental outlook. Much like exercise in general, it activates endorphins that make participants feel better about themselves. Even when the lessons are hard, overcoming difficult challenges makes it easier to surmount obstacles in general, such as making new friends in a new school, or standing up for someone you don’t know who is being bullied. Martial artists are not bystanders, they are participants in life who live fully for themselves and for others.
St. Johns Magazine
St. Johns Magazine blog features articles written by & about the people, places and events of St. Johns and the surrounding communities.