Thursday, October 4, 2007

Karate Kid - Part Two

While we're having to close the childcare at church, the karate school seems to be taking off. For the first 2 weeks, there were just 4 kids in Parker's class and then we picked up 2 more last week. But we hadn't had anyone show up for the big kid class. This week we picked up 5 more kids for Parker's class (total of 11) and 3 kids for the big kids' class. Yeah!!!

After a great performance the first night, Parker was shy to warm up the last two weeks at karate and had to spend some time sitting out on the sidelines watching the other kids because he wouldn't pay attention. Eventually he'd get back into it and he always did great when he would participate. This week, he really got into the swing of things (we think it helped he had a great nap at childcare and was promised a bike ride as a reward if he listened!). He did much better at following along and did not have to sit anything out. He even shouted loud when it came time for practicing punches and blocks. It never ceases to amaze us how much Sensei Tony can teach them in 30 minutes and how much they are learning. And the words in Japanese continue to grow - this week they learned words for "red", "blue", "tie".

Going over the dragon codes with Sensei Tony and the other kids.

Practicing frog jumps.

Doing his blocks on the punching pad with Sensei Tony.

Another side benefit to the karate has been the job lists. Each week we have to fill out a job list for Parker and check off all the chores that he did. If his chore list is all filled out and signed by a parent, then he can bring it to class and get a karate dollar (see picture). The karate dollars can be used to purchase fun stuff in the karate store that you cannot use $ for. The karate dollars are handed out at the end of class each week and all the kids line up and give a "power clap" for the kids who have done their chores.

You can adapt the job list to fit your family. We used most of the suggested ones and added a few of our own. Parker's job list consists of the following chores:
1) Put away all your toys.
2) Put your clothes in the hamper.
3) Lay out clothes for tomorrow.
4) Take a bath.
5) Brush your teeth.
6) Comb your hair.
7) Set and clear the table.
8) Feed the cats.
9) Take out the trash (Tues/Fri)
10) Try my best at school
11) Treat my teachers and friends with respect.
12) Treat my family with respect.

It makes the process of getting ready for bed a lot longer than it used to be, but he's getting better slowly at doing all of these things and Parker loves to sit down and check off the list with you at night before going to bed. It seemed like a lot at first for a three year old, but he's getting more disciplined and focused with this as time goes on. Here's hoping he continue to like karate!

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