Stages of Development for 5 and 6 Year Olds
My name is Denny Strecker and I’d like to spend a couple of minutes talking to you about our basic skills program for five to six-year-olds. At our school, the goal is to provide the most comprehensive, age-specific martial arts training available in the market today known as skills. The Skills Program includes an international revolution of martial arts fitness and educational training that targets the age-specific needs in children. We’ve taken the coolest part of martial arts from a variety of styles and combine them with action-packed curriculums that help children build skills that they can apply in every area of their life. This means children ages three and up will have a blast in their martial arts classes while learning valuable skills that enable them to be the best they possibly can be.
Working on the stages of development for a five and a six-year-old, what we found is physically they have a basic foundation for arm, leg, core, and abdominal development, but they still lack a lot of strength. So, our expectations in class are that they’re gonna struggle with multiple kicks beyond five repetitions, they’re gonna stumble when trying to control their body in motion such as switching their feet and kicking, and that they’re gonna have trouble with strength and exercises beyond 10 repetitions. So, the goals in our program were gonna be to demonstrate balance by performing high repetitions of kicks without putting their foot down, show good control with their body while keeping their body in motion, and to be able to demonstrate good fitness by applying technique in exercises beyond 10 repetitions.
Intellectually, we found that five and six-year-olds typically have a hard time retaining beyond three commands at any given time. So, our expectations is that they’re gonna have a hard time remembering a large amount of information at one time, that they’re gonna have a hard time processing orders beyond their three-command system, and that they’re gonna have a hard time performing multiple physical left and right applications at one time. So, the goals in our program were gonna be to demonstrate good focus by processing a large amount of information at a single time, that they’re gonna demonstrate good memory by retaining three or more commands at once and beyond while staying in order, and that they’re gonna demonstrate coordination by performing various left and right commands with a variety of different strikes and kicks in a combination format.
Emotionally, we found that five and six-year-olds are in tune with their emotions, but they still act silly when they feel a little nervous or excited. They build most of their confidence through making adults proud. So, the expectations in class so that they’re gonna act silly even when they know better, especially when working with their peers and that they’re gonna act silly or scared when they want to act something out. The goals in the program are gonna be that they’re gonna maintain discipline while working with others, and that they’re gonna demonstrate confidence when performing activities that require acting.
Socially, five and six-year-olds enjoy the spotlight but they tend to lack proper sportsmanship. So, our expectations are that they’re gonna get upset if they don’t win, they’re gonna get over-excited when they do win, and sometimes are even gonna cheat if they can get away with it. They’re also gonna try to get as much attention as possible such as interrupting you when you’re speaking, and boys prefer to work with boys, and girls prefer to work with girls at this age groups. So, the goals in our program are gonna be demonstrating good teamwork in competitive situations, that they’re gonna show self-control as a means to make you proud such as raising their hand versus just interrupting, and they’re gonna be more open to working with others of the opposite sex.
The eight basic skills that we’re gonna be working on are focus, teamwork, control, memory, balance, discipline, fitness, and coordination. Each class, the students are gonna be eligible to test for a stripe for each of these eight skills. When they’ve earned all eight skill stripes, they are then going to be able to promote and test for their next belt rank. At that test, they are going to have to score a minimum of 40 in order to move up in belt rank.
If this sounds like a program that would be beneficial for your child, please give us a call at the Karate school so we can schedule a pre-evaluation where I’ll work one-on-one with your child to determine where they best fit to start in the program. (248) 687-8641 Or fill out the Get Started Box to the right of this article.