“Instead of training children to meet the expectations of adults, train adults to meet the physical, intellectual, emotional and social developmental needs of children.” Melody Johnson
There is an unmatched level of passion, heart and drive that motivates us to support, nurture and guide today’s youth. Whether on or beyond the mats, teaching the way in which children learn best is paramount to their success in not only their martial arts training but in academics, extracurricular activities and beyond!
As a SKILLZ Strong School, we believe in the power of play, learning and teaching with purpose. This is why we employ the concepts of Teaching SKILLZ developed by founder and childhood development expert, Melody Johnson.
Teaching SKILLZ is a concept born from the ideal that we as parents, teachers, coaches and instructors are all called to help foster and nurture the spark of learning within our children. Their beautiful minds, bodies and spirits are constantly scanning, detecting, experimenting and testing, seeking new information that overall supports their age-appropriate stages of physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.
On the mats, there are 8 specific science and psychology based Teaching SKILLZ that we are actively and interchangeably engaging in with our ninjas via age-specific game-based drills. They include:
1. Healthy Competition
3. Prompting Good Behavior
5. Up the Rep
7. Intrinsic Motivation
8. Extrinsic Motivation
For instance, say our ninjas are enjoying a Teamwork drill in our 5-6 year old Basic SKILLZ class with our instructors. The class is evenly divided into two groups. We are actively setting the stage to apply the concept of Healthy Competition; a tool in which students step up their game when faced with a challenge in a fun, supportive and team focused environment.
When our [instructors] prompt Teaching SKILLZ like Healthy Competition via game-based learning, we are not only creating an experience for our students to thrive in learning how to work together as a team but we are also laying the groundwork, the foundation of connection with our students in the way they learn best.
From the concepts of Choices to Neurobics, Intrinsic, Extrinsic Motivation and everything in between, instructors are employing strategies of support on the mats that are actively equipping our ninjas to confidently practice standing up for themselves. As our children grow and develop, they will face innumerable situations and challenges where the use of their strong voice will be critical. Learning in a safe, respectful and supportive environment how to speak ones truth is so important and something that we believe in supporting our students in every step of the way.
If you would like to learn more about how you as a parent, teacher and/or coach can use the concepts of Teaching SKILLZ beyond the mats, simply reach out to our SKILLZ Strong Team! We LOVE helping families thrive and are honored to support our community in the journey of raising SKILLZ Strong Ninjas.
About the Author
Meg Klettke is the proud owner alongside her husband, Alex of Family Strong Sussex, a SKILLZ Lifetime Gold studio in Southeastern Wisconsin. With a background in traditional and alternative therapeutics, Meg is an active advocate for today’s youth. Her passion for supporting and nurturing the whole child resonates through all she does as a Proud Ninja Mom of two boys with special needs, Advanced Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialist and Content Creator for SKILLZ Worldwide