Preparing Children to Return to School Part 3– An Intellectual Approach | Gentle East Martial Arts
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Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
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I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

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I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

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Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

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Preparing Children to Return to School Part 3– An Intellectual Approach

Over the past few months, we have been inundated with information that seems to change almost daily, making it hard to resolve what should and should not be done. Everyone has their thoughts and feelings about the challenges ahead, especially regarding starting school. And while there will be no one answer that satisfies everyone in the short term, we must remember that children will return to some form of school, either online or brick and mortar, so it is essential that we prepare them intellectually for what lies ahead to counteract any learning loss they’ve already experienced.

As it happens during the summer each year, it is not surprising that many children have experienced some degree of learning loss which has been amplified by the “COVID slide.” The abrupt switch to online learning disrupted the ability to focus for a lot of children, and a lack of resources at home caused even more achievement gaps for many others. As we approach a new school year, students will return to some type of classroom, virtual or live, and most will need extra support to get back to grade-level work. However, schools must avoid having students “cognitive cram” since this will lead to more stress and anxiety. This counterproductive approach to remediation can be even more detrimental to children’s ability to learn and retain information.

Instead, it might be prudent for schools to offer a different approach by providing a more disciplined approach to ease children back into learning mode. More positive neural connections will be made by advancing this way, which will lead to better retention of learned material. Making learning fun will get the brain warmed up and primed for learning. This will be key in getting children back to their current grade level. And yes, this is a big undertaking for teachers and parents, so they will need access to community resources to help students succeed. A collaboration with youth services and enrichment activities will increase the chances of children recovering their learning loss at a quicker rate.

At Gentle East, or program for 3 and 4 years olds is a progressive child development method that uses cutting-edge brain training to help make the neural connections necessary to gear up the brain for learning. We will start incorporating some of those principles into class for students between the ages of 5 and 18 as a preventative approach to mitigate any additional learning loss their child may experience during the last weeks of summer. Additionally, while the classes will help students strengthen neural connections, they will also release dopamine , oxytocin, serotonin , and endorphins. These positive brain chemicals help alleviate anxiety and depression and give children a more optimistic approach to dealing with the pandemic.

In our next blog, we will discuss how to prepare your child “emotionally” for the new school year.