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Friday, October 19, 2012

Life Skills for Kids -- More Important than Math or Reading, Says Study

A parent in our martial arts for preschoolers program recently sent the New York Times article "Simon Says Don't Use Flashcards" to us. The study referenced by the article confirms what we already know: a child's life skills matter more than almost anything else.

Many parents seek to kick start their child's brain development in the early stages of life through mechanisms like step-by-step reading, language videos and tapes, and easy-to-read flashcards, but a recent study shows that play-based learning still trumps Baby Einstein DVDs.

Kids weren't meant to spend hours watching TV per day.
Martial arts may be fun, but the benefits go far beyond entertainment and exercise. All of our children's programs incorporate martial arts-themed versions of familiar childhood games such as Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says. These games teach lessons about self-control, following the rules, and focusing. This latest study reveals that early acquisition of these life skills are ultimately more important to long-term success than math or reading skills. After all, character is the foundation of all learning: without self-discipline, success is impossible for even the brightest among us.

A child's mind is like a sponge: another study done by a group of researchers over a 25-year period concluded that a child is most receptive to learning during preschool years.

These two studies underline the importance of getting children into structured, social environments that promote play-based learning and life skills training. Our Kung Fu programs are set apart from other extracurricular activities because of their life skills training. They are an excellent complement or even precursor to preschool programs.

Our Kung Fu games are structured to not only reinforce moves and forms, but to stimulate cognitive functions that children will call upon for the rest of their lives.

-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff