As a martial arts school owner and instructor in Exton, PA, I've seen firsthand how practicing taekwondo can benefit kids - not just physically, but mentally as well. Many parents enroll their children in our martial arts classes to help them focus, build confidence, and learn discipline. These attributes can directly help kids who struggle with homework or have conditions like ADD/ADHD.
In this blog post, I'll share how our martial arts training can aid children with homework difficulties or attention disorders. I'll also provide parents with tips on how to supplement our classes to optimize their child's growth and success.
Challenges Kids Face With Schoolwork
Let's first discuss some of the challenges kids face when it comes to homework and focusing:
- Difficulty staying on task - A child's mind may wander or they may get easily distracted by stimuli around them.
- Problems with organization - Kids may have a hard time keeping homework assignments, projects, and materials organized.
- Lack of motivation - Completing homework may feel tedious, making it hard for kids to self-motivate.
- Time management struggles - Kids may procrastinate on homework or not budget enough time to complete it fully.
- Comprehension issues - Reading, understanding, and grasping complex instructions or concepts can be difficult.
- Forgetfulness - Children may forget to write down assignments, bring home needed textbooks/materials, or turn in completed work.
These difficulties above are often exacerbated in children with ADD/ADHD. Their minds are wired differently, leading to extra challenges with maintaining focus, controlling impulses, and regulating activity levels.
Martial arts training addresses these struggles by teaching two key qualities - discipline and focus. Let's explore how...
How Our Martial Arts Classes Teach Discipline
In Taekwondo, students must practice discipline in multiple facets:
- Following instructions - During lessons, kids must listen to and follow the instructor's directions. This builds discipline in focusing on verbal instructions.
- Memorization - To progress through belt levels, students must memorize various combinations, forms, and tenets. This teaches discipline in retaining and recalling information.
- Practicing techniques - Perfecting stances, kicks, blocks, and strikes requires repetitive training. Students learn discipline by practicing moves multiple times with focus.
- Resisting distraction - Our classes train students not to lose focus if another activity is happening nearby. This instills discipline in maintaining attention amid distractions.
- Proper conduct - Kids must exhibit discipline by following dojo etiquette - bowing when entering/exiting, respecting instructors, etc.
- Regular attendance - Showing up consistently to classes demonstrates self-discipline. Kids become invested in practicing regularly.
How can this translate to homework? Children will apply the same focus and perseverance needed to progress in martial arts to studying at home. The discipline morphs into diligently completing homework rather than giving up when an assignment seems hard.
How Our Tae Kwon Do Classes Teach Mental Focus
In addition to discipline, taekwondo also develops razor-sharp mental focus:
- Single-task focus - To properly execute techniques, students must focus intently on one task at a time.
- Drowning out distractions - Kids learn to funnel their concentration during lessons and avoid external distractions.
- Paying attention to detail - Our training teaches students to focus on minor details like precise stance width, arm positioning, etc.
- Listening skills - Instructors explain the finer points of each technique. Kids must listen closely and focus to absorb the lesson.
- Meditation - Some classes incorporate meditation, helping students clear their minds and gain mental focus.
- Consistency - Regular training builds focus and stamina over time. Kids can concentrate for longer periods without wavering.
Does this sound like an antidote for homework woes? The concentrated mindset needed in martial arts helps kids maintain attention when doing homework. They are less distracted, more tuned in to details, and better listeners.
Tips for Parents on Supplementing Martial Arts Classes
While our martial arts classes instill focus and discipline in kids, parents can supplement at home too. Here are my top tips:
- Set a designated study space - Have your child complete homework at a desk or table away from noise and distraction.
- Use timers - Time management is key. Have your child set a timer for 20-30 minute homework sessions then take short breaks.
- Check completed work - Review your child's homework to ensure they understand directions and complete it fully.
- Celebrate wins - Motivate your child after homework sessions with rewards like favorite treats or fun activities.
- Collaborate with teachers - If issues persist, involve your child's teachers to develop an action plan together.
- Avoid power struggles - If homework becomes a battle, try resetting it with an activity to clear your child's mind.
- Schedule focused play - Ensure your child has outlets for physical activity to maintain focus - sports, martial arts, outdoor play.
With some diligence from parents coupled with our martial arts training, children build the skills to tackle homework challenges and achieve academic success.
The Impact Goes Beyond Schoolwork
An added bonus - martial arts benefits extend beyond academic work:
- Physical activity - Classes provide exercise which helps kids release energy and tension.
- Stress relief - The mental focus required provides a "mind break" which reduces stress.
- Self-discipline - Martial arts self-discipline transfers to eating habits, hygiene, and bedtime routines.
- Self-confidence - As they advance in rank, children gain pride and belief in themselves.
- Social skills - Our classes provide positive social interaction with other students.
So parents, if your child is struggling with homework, ADD/ADHD, or you want the benefits above, I encourage you to enroll them in martial arts classes. Our programs instill core skills that unlock success at home, at school, and in life. Drop by our Exton location for our trial program and see the impact for yourself. Moosa!