8 Teaching Tips For Parents | Life Skill Martial Arts

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We are OPEN for both in-person and online classes!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Life Skill Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Joshua Peromsik reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Millbury Martial Arts kicks butt! They have a great group of people there, with an awesome school culture. It's a really fun place to learn martial arts at any level, and improve your skillz!

Abdo Abou Slaybi reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Millbury martial arts has significantly impacted my life for more then 20 years. As a child I was shy and had low self esteem. Through the training at Millbury martial arts, I became a strong self confident person who is able to pursue my dream of a graduate degree.

Pamella Saffer reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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This school offers a wide range of martial arts for children and adults taught by instructors who are dedicated to their art and who are continually expanding their teaching methods and personal skill levels. They have a depth of knowledge and are open to sharing. The atmosphere is supportive and students are respectful and helpful of each other regardless of skill level or age. You compete only with yourself!

Jocelyn Gail Higgins reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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My four year old son is thoroughly embracing his training. He is eager to participate in class. I really enjoy that us parents are encouraged to get right on the floor with our kids as well.

Fred Basantes reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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I have been going to the school since 2009. Words can't describe the changes that I have seen in my self, not only physically but mentally. Thank you to everyone at life skill because it's just as much the people that go there that makes it great as it is the classes that are taught.

Gabriel Colbry reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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It has been said that the true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at anytime, and to teach them in a way that they will be useful in all things. I have found this at Life Skills Martial Arts. The life skills learned are invaluable in becoming a true martial artist not just another fighter who practices martial arts.

Tha Son reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Words can't describe this school. The instructors are knowledgable in everything they do. Master Tabor makes you feel like you belong. Not to mention the instructors Mr. Keenan, Mr. Moy and Mr. Morin. I have learned so much in each class I trained in, kungfu, taiji and self defense. The school has so much pride and you can just tell from the atmosphere and how the school looks. The koi pond and the garden you can train in just makes you in awe and feel good about yourself! This is awesome place to train. My only disappointment is that I never found the school earlier. Real authentic Taiji, kung-fu and self-defense!!!!

Aisha Yousaf reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Its been many years since i attended classes here. My experience i am happy to say, was life changing. I have learned so much more than self defense and discipline from this school. Being a part of this family gave me the strength to overcome many obstacles in life. The instructors have so much to offer and they give endless support. I made some amazing friends here too. Even though it has been such a long time since my last trip to the school, i find my thoughts always returning to it. It has been a very big part in my life. I am very grateful for my time, and am planning on coming back with my two children once they are old enough to take lessons!

Louis Garcia reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Our children started the program first back in July and my wife and I subsequently began taking classes in late August....what a positive impact it has had on our health and well-being! Our son and daughter are learning far more than a martial art rich in history and traditions... they are learning skills that they use each and every day. My wife and I have become healthier in mind, body, and spirit. The camaraderie with our fellow students is a bond that is as strong as community and those relationships transcend the studio.
The benefits in health and happiness alone are worth giving Life Skills Martial Arts a try.

Amanda Desai reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Our 4 year old has been attending for 9 months now and he has a blast! What we love the most is the positive atmosphere. There is not a competition with anyone but yourself. Parents cheer on each other’s children and the students of the class encourage and support one another. It is a beautiful thing and we are so happy our son is a part of it! The instructors are very supportive and the life skills that they teach are fantastic. Our son has gained more confidence and has so much fun. We are very happy we chose Life Skills Martial Arts for our son and highly recommend it!

Richard Moberg reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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Going to Life Skills Martial Arts will always be one of the best decisions i ever made. It has helped me to not only learn how to defend myself and my family if it came down to that but it has helped me to go way outside my comfort level to do things i never thought in a million years i would do. I have severe social anxiety and usually never liked being in large groups, being a leader, or even not taking my self seriously when i screwed something up. But when i go to class, i feel like i am with family and i can do all those things without any anxiety. well maybe a little :).

Karen St.Laurent reviewed Life Skill Martial Arts
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One of the best decisions for my son was to sign him up here. He's become healthier, gained more confidence, learned respect and self esteem. This was originally a Christmas present and now my 10 year old says he's "committed to becoming a black belt" and would like this again for Christmas instead of a bunch of"stuff". After a year (actually within a month), I realized the monthly cost isn't just for kung fu training. It's truly training him"life skills" that he can use in every aspect of life for a lifetime and that is priceless.

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8 Teaching Tips For Parents

In the past year, many parents have found themselves filling the roles of teacher, coach, guidance counselor, and hall monitor as the kids try to continue their studies in the home learning environment.

The first few days were likely an exciting new adventure, but as we continue to try to balance working from home, maintaining the needs of the household, and serving as the frontline for our kids’ education, it is likely that we will experience new stresses.  Kids who sit still for their teachers or listen to their martial arts coaches may not want to exhibit the same studious behaviors for their parents. And if there are siblings involved, you may even find yourself serving as a referee as battle ensues.

Fear Not! Life Skill’s With You! 

We’re here to help!

It is important to remember that you most likely do not have the training that educators have and that kids will naturally exhibit their worst behaviors around you because they feel safest expressing their frustrations, fears, and desires to those who love them the most.

Your homeschooling adventure does not have to be a perfect recreation of the classroom or dojo, it only has to encourage kids to love learning.  Once you relieve yourself of this burden, things will be much easier.

That said, it is important that you have the tools needed to help kids get the most out of the time spent with you as their new teacher.  Team Life Skill coaches go through extensive training to be able to keep students engaged and enthusiastic, while also moderating behaviors. Read on to see how you can use some of our favorite teaching tips in your own home.



These techniques are the same methods that Team Life Skill uses in every class to help keep kids engaged in the Learning Experience:

1. Healthy Competition
Competition no doubt helps students of all levels step up their game, and if you prompt competition for your lessons in a fun way that splits the class into teams then it’s not only healthy – it’s FUN too!  If you have multiple children, this can be as simple as seeing who can draw the most number of triangles in 30 seconds.

If you have a single child, or your kids have a broad age gap, you may have to step in as the competition.  Kids love seeing adults in agony.  Just think of the shows your kids watch, and when they laugh the most; usually it’s an adult getting hurt or making a mistake.

Challenge them that if they can write their sentences in 5 minutes or less, you will do 5 push-ups, but if they take more than 5 minutes THEY will have to do the push-ups.  This is not about punishment, it is about FUN (and the extra boost of endorphins will help break the stress).

2. Choices
When your kids get to choose the activity at hand, they become more motivated to put forth greater effort.  Kids tend to feel as if they have little control over their lives, and this can lead to some major tantrums.  As parents, we sometimes don’t trust our kids with control because they will make less than favorable decisions.  Stripes and polka dots!?! No Way!

By providing choices, we let the kids feel a sense of control over their lives.  This is important for their development as someday they WILL have to be the one making the decisions.  It is even more important for their mental well-being as they are trapped at home, isolated from their friends because of social distancing practices.

When setting up the lessons for the day, have the flexibility to provide your child with a choice.  If you tell them spelling is next, you may get pushback.  But if you ask whether they’d like to do spelling first or math first, they will feel empowered; and since both of the choices you provided were acceptable options, your own stress levels will go down, as well.

3. Re-directing
We can all agree that many kids will not have the very best discipline all the time. To increase the level of discipline and effort in class, it is important that we are constantly catching and rewarding students that are trying hard and leading by example. The simple act of setting your kids up for success is the key to maximizing good behavior in class.

A great way to do this is to focus on what is going right rather than what is going wrong.  For example, imagine you have two siblings, and one is on task but the other is dawdling.  Most of us would try to correct the dawdler.  Instead, praise what you like about the focused child.  “I love how focused you are, Johny!  That shows me that you are a person with good discipline.”  A natural reaction will be for your other child to seek similar praise by modeling the behavior you said you liked.

You can also use a similar technique for a single child.  The goal is to “catch them being good.”  When you see the behavior you want, even if it is for a split second, praise it.  This works even better if they don’t think you are watching.  It is a slow process, but you will actually start rewiring their brains to exhibit those positive behaviors.

4. Trickery
Trickery is a humorous way to help build focus, engagement, and connection. The concept is to try and trick your students into ‘going’ or ‘starting’ by using words that sound like the word ‘go!’

We use this in class mainly for physical movement activities.  For example, when starting a martial arts drill that has two or more teams competing against one another, we may count down, “Ready…Set…. GOOSE!” The kids get a laugh, it breaks the tension, and encourages them to be ready to perform, but not to over anticipate.

You might use a similar bit of trickery when encouraging your kids to see who can collect the most amount of different kinds of leaves in 2 minutes.

Side Note – thinking outside the box about conveying lessons is also a subtle form of trickery akin to sneaking onions into the meatloaf.  Collecting different leaves can teach about shapes, math, biodiversity, or even cooking if they are edible leaves.  Not every lesson needs to be about notes and textbooks.

5. Up the Rep
Most students become tired towards the last few reps of an activity, particularly in high rep drills, or activities which include a lot of physical or mental exertion. With that said, this tip includes a strategy for prompting mental toughness throughout each rep, so that the student becomes better at every rep.

If your child has to write a set of spelling words 5 times each, it is likely that penmanship will decline and errors will increase as the child goes through the motions.  One way to use the Up The Rep concept would be to encourage the child to have the first set of words be the sloppiest and worst spelled, the next set a bit neater, and so on until the last set of words is the neatest and best.

This provides them an achievable goal beyond simply completing the assignment, and helps them learn to practice mindfully rather than just going through the motions.

6. Neurobics
Basically, the concept is to get the left and right hemispheres of the brain working together by challenging the brain to ‘think’ more during lessons. This improves cognitive performance, which is how well a student can think and remember what they learned in class.

In the martial arts environment, we will perform exercises while counting by colors, or count our repetitions with names of foods.  The reason this works is twofold.  First, the addition of physical movement to the activity increases blood flow to the brain, which carries additional oxygen and nutrients to improve cognition.  Second, by forcing the brain to think in unique ways, neurological activity spikes, which allows the brain to take in more of those nutrients.

By reciting vocabulary words while doing jumping jacks, for example, the increased neurological activity helps make the memory more concrete. As a bonus, the endorphins that are released during physical activity help reinforce that learning is a positive activity.

7. Intrinsic Motivation
This concept works by giving the kids options for performance, and then they chose the hardest option because they want to.  We use this in our martial arts classes with great success.  This tool works best if you can tie it to a character trait that the child wants to exhibit naturally.

For example, if a child has to write an essay, you could give them three options about how long that essay will be.  This is similar to the Choices tool mentioned above, and it is empowering for the kids to have some control.  By then tying each level of choice to a level of awesomeness, the kids will more likely choose to perform at the highest level.

“For your ELA homework, you have to write an essay about how much you love martial arts.  Now, if you want to have good writing skills, you’ll write three paragraphs.  But if you want to have rockstar writing skills, you’ll write four paragraphs.  And if you want to have super ninja black belt writing skills, you’ll write five paragraphs.”

Make sure that all three levels are acceptable for the assignment, and within the stage of development for your child.  Don’t prompt the kindergartner to write 5 paragraphs, because no matter how super ninja they want to be, it is unrealistic.

8. Extrinsic Motivation
This concept is when a person puts forth greater effort based on external rewards such as prizes, praise, making others happy, etc.  It is easy to overuse this concept, so be mindful of how you apply it.

This one is the simplest.  “If you do your homework, you can have ice cream.”

We’ve all bribed our kids at least once in our parenting lives.  To make this tool even more effective while maintaining a healthy boundary of control, tie it together with one of the other 7 ideas.  Instead of, “If X then Y,” try something like, “If you can get your art homework done in 15 minutes, you can have ice cream and I’ll do 5 push-ups.”  Or, “If you finish your science packet by 10:30am, you will get to choose the movie tonight.”

By tying multiple ninja teaching techniques together, you can create a learning environment that is full of fun, but which also encourages kids to love learning.  Remember, when all else fails, step away from the kitchen table and find a way to have fun.  To a child, play is the path to knowledge, experience, and wisdom.  If you can make the lessons fun and interactive, there will be less stress for everyone involved.

Let us know which Ninja Teaching Tool worked best for you!

Hopefully, you found this type of information useful. 

Thank you ahead of time, for not giving up on your future Black Belt Leaders.

I know that they’ll really appreciate it later in life.

To learn more about the powerful Life Skill childhood development program that uses martial arts as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at our Millbury location, click the button below: