Kids learning with others or alone on a screen
Combatting the Summer Brain Drain:

How Martial Arts Keeps Young Minds Sharp

The “Summer Brain Drain,” also known as the “Summer Slide,” is a parent’s and educator’s worst nightmare. It’s when your child’s months of hard work–hours upon hours of math homework, late nights working on science projects, and car rides spent quizzing history flashcards–all begin to slip away. It’s a decay in learning, which then can have a domino effect on a child’s physical, emotional, and social development.

Ever wonder how knowledge retention works? Here’s what we know. Skills deteriorate over time at a rate determined by the specified task, predicted by the individual’s original level of learning. The old adage  “Use it or lose it”. Therefore, the method yielding the highest initial learning level will lead to the highest level of skill retention over time. When summer break rolls around, learning takes a dramatic stop. In just a short amount of time the “Summer Brain Drain” begins and so begins the downward snowball in ALL development areas.

Physical

martial arts will help kids not get fat over the summer

The Problem: Children gain weight nearly twice as fast over the summer because they are snacking more often, many times out of boredom or lack of proper supervision. At the same time, many children are also less active over the summer because they sleep in longer, watch TV longer, play video games longer, etc. Although it may seem like they are more active over the summer, the lack of structure contributes to weight gain.

The Solution: Even just two days of structured physical activity, like martial arts, over the summer can dramatically affect children’s physical activities at home. They will have more energy and, therefore, more likely to engage in other physical activities throughout the summer. 

Intellectual

The Problem: To be blunt, the “Summer Brain Drain” happens when kids spend the summer months without learning or practicing their skills, leading them to fall behind on learning and academic achievements. During the school year teachers, coaches, and counselors are focused on helping children learn and grow. But what happens during the summer season when these people are not around? A decline in cognitive development.

The Solution: Child psychologists state that children who maintain some sense of a structured activity during the summer, like martial arts, do better in the initial months of the new academic school year. Martial Arts training through the summer reinforces a time commitment, and necessity to practice, reminds students to follow through, and gives them the learning environment they need to reinforce the skills they’re learning, which in turn strengthens their retention of academic knowledge. 

Emotional

The Problem: When the school year ends, children lose a lot of key contributors that boost self-esteem…teachers, counselors, coaches, etc. This leads to less confidence entering the back-to-school season. Children who lose self-esteem over the summer enter the new school season with many fears associated with making new friends, meeting new teachers, and bullying.

The Solution: Structured martial arts classes provide a great environment for building children’s emotional development in a manner that is positive and productive, helping to ensure confidence, self-esteem, and emotional well-being. 

Social

The Problem: Children who do not have proper social development over the summer tend to misbehave when they enter the new school season. At the same time, children who do not have sufficient positive social interaction over the summer enter the new school season with more anxiety.

Kids learning with others or alone on a screen

The Solution: Martial Arts classes include daily classroom activities that strengthen children’s emotional outlook. In fact, more confident children enter the new school season excited about all of the wonderful opportunities that schooling has to offer! 

Many people have an image of summer being a carefree happy time where “kids can be kids,” and take for granted the benefits of enriching experiences from organized activities. Even just two times per week in a structured program can make a tremendous difference in a child’s intellectual development over the summer, which ultimately helps with their physical, emotional, and social development as well. Do your research and find a program that provides these benefits in a manner that is also fun so that kids can still be kids and not lose that carefree and happy summer lifestyle.

To learn more about our Summer child development-based martial arts program that utilizes ring-tested martial arts and cutting-edge brain training as the vehicle to maximize your child’s growth or to get him or her started click the button below.

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Trick or Treat Safety
Get Ready for a Spooktacular Halloween! – Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Murfreesboro Parents, are you gearing up for a thrilling round of trick-or-treating with your little goblins this year? Before you embark on your Halloween adventure, let’s make sure you’re armed with the best Halloween safety tips to ensure a safe and joyous holiday. 🎃👻

  • Have each child carry or wear something lit, such as a flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace, or flashing attire for visibility. Light-up shoes are also practical, and ever-so-noticeable on a dark Halloween night.
  • Adults should plan out a route in advance and check it during the daylight for such obstacles as broken sidewalks (or no sidewalks), construction timber, or other obstacles that could trip up trick or trickers. Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods or areas.
  • Require well-fitting shoes to be worn; preferably sneakers. While adorable in the store as a costume accessory, kids planning to go trick or treat should wear sturdy shoes and not the princess high-heel, too-large boots, or other types of shoes often shown with costumes. Save those types of shoes for costume parties and not when a child is going trick or treat. Their feet–and most likely you who may end up carrying either the shoes or the child–will be thankful.
  • Avoid costumes that drag on the ground. While cute initially, costumes that drag can trip up little feet, get caught on bushes, and create a tussle that sometimes results in the child wanting to remove the costume. Remember, kids who trick or treat want to be costumed AND comfortable.
  • With the thought of comfort, pick costumes that are bathroom-friendly as well. On this same subject, parents should pre-plan a bathroom stop along the way (a friends’ house will do and is a good time for a water break as well), or at a public facility if driving.
  • Be sure a child’s mask allows full visibility and breathing. Spiderman masks, for example, sometimes only have small eye slits and nothing for the nose or mouth. Parents should try on masks for size and not hesitate to cut out larger openings for a trick-or-treater’s comfort. If possible, find a mask that “breathes” and is easy to put on and off. The types of mask that easily can slide up on the head and then pull down are best.
  • Trick-or-treaters should walk, not run, and should never cut across lawns or driveways. Obstacles could exist that aren’t readily visible in the evening.
  • Only carry flexible props, such as knives, swords, ninja items, etc., that can’t cause injury if a kid accidentally falls. No play prop should resemble the real item; and consider leaving play weapons at home and not part of trick or treat night. Remember, some individuals are offended by seeing small children carry these items; and trick or treating should be a fun and positive experience for everyone.
  • Only trick or treat at houses that are lit. Residents who do not wish to be bothered by trick or treaters often leave off their lights as a sign; respect their preference by only going to houses that are lit.
  • Be sure kids don’t get overheated and keep hydrated. Plan costumes according to weather; don’t have your child dress in an adorable lions costume with heavy fur and hood if you live in Southern states where temperatures could still be in the 80s in the evening; by the same token, a fairy costume might be impractical for a cold northern evening. Be one of those creative parents who accessorize jackets or think “cool comfort” for their kids. 
  • Think “practical” over “cute” when picking a trick-or-treat goody bag or container. Some of seemingly fun ones sold in stores are heavy–before any treats are added; others are too long and will drag the ground or have sharp edges that could scrape against tender skin. One of the best and simplest suggestions is to have kids utilize a backpack to keep their hands free except for a flashlight.
  • Keep track of time and don’t trick or treat after 9 p.m. (general recommendation). That allows ample time for children to trick or treat, and by then, the excitement of the evening and the candy/treats means little ghouls will be tired, anyhow.

More Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips from safekids.org

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