Summer break is typically viewed as a time for relaxation, fun, and no schedules. However, considering the dramatic change in our lives over the past year and seeing communities begin opening back up in a full capacity now, this summer would be the perfect time to get children back on track. As unfortunate as it is, the reality is that most children’s development has been stifled in one, if not all, areas. Cognitive performance has been significantly affected since schools have had limited options for learning, and for some children, these choices are not as conducive to learning. To counteract this, we must engage children in a program that fosters brain development and learning.
As most parents have witnessed over the past year, the COVID slide is a real thing. Children’s cognitive performance has decreased dramatically, and the learning loss that has been associated with this has left everyone feeling the pressure to regain momentum. And while parents and teachers have attempted to implement methods that boost learning, the drastic change from a “normal” school experience has led to extreme detriments in our children’s education. Many experts believe that children, on average, have lost around three months of learning progress over the past year. To some, however, this may not seem like a lot. But when we understand how rapidly children’s brains grow and how all experiences are significant to their development, this length of time can be detrimental.
Now, as progress continues to be made towards loosening up on restrictions, it’s time to get children’s brains rebooted and turn their brain “strains” into “brain gains.” There are a host of tutoring programs that can help children catch up to where they should be academically. However, most of these programs don’t incorporate any motivation or fun. And since we know that children’s motivation is at an all-time low due to the trauma they’ve experienced this past year, it’s best to engage them in a program that not only benefits them cognitively but also increases their motivation while they have fun.
Since children learn best through play, a program that enhances cognitive development in an environment that is safe and fun is the ultimate win-win. The Gentle East Martial Arts Center offer programs that incorporates both of these while also enhancing physical, emotional, and social growth. This 4D approach encourages the most remarkable progress. The use of alternative methods of learning causes active learning to be engaged, thereby initiating working memory. As new neural connections are made, fluid intelligence improves. One technique known as neurobics is very effective in priming the brain for learning. This, coupled with procedures that boost positive chemicals in the brain, gives children the best shot at counteracting the effects of the COVID slide.
As the summer gets underway soon, now is the time to engage children in a program that will boost skills in all developmental areas and give them a jumpstart on the next school year. By utilizing methods that are fun and involve play, children’s motivation will increase and, as a result, their intellectual development will improve and give them the appropriate skills needed to start a new school year.
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Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide. Edited by Master Eric Rangel-Ribeiro
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.