Teenagers -we’re going to talk about stages of development in teenagers today.
Basically, it is the stages in which children learn and grow Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Socially (PIES). Breaking down the way children learn and grow in these four categories can help both parents and instructors of martial arts understand what is going on.
Parents are familiar with babies stages of development- what age they should turn over, sit up, crawl, walk and so on. But it seems once they enter school, there is nothing that tells us if they are normal, delayed or accelerated.
Especially during those teen years.
One of the stages we encounter at American Family Martial Arts (AFMA), is 10-14 year olds which we put in our Extreme Classes. When they reach the 5th grade, which is at about 10-years old, is when they enter another stage of development. At this age, they are learning some extreme math, science, and reading skills, which means that their learning curve skyrockets and some would say their knowledge capacity is better than that of an adult, hence the game show ‘Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader. Their body is also going through some pretty extreme physical changes, so skills such as dexterity and versatility are becoming refined.
And yes, they really are that tired. Their bodies and brains have another explosive growth period that is not unlike when they were infants and toddlers. If you recall, infants and toddlers need a lot of sleep, so do teenagers.
These stages of development are why American Family Martial Arts karate classes are divided into age specific classes.
3-4 year olds: Tiny Tigers
5-6 year olds: Little Ninjas
7-9 year olds: Core
10-14 year olds: Extreme
15+ year olds: Traditional classes
There is overlap in all these groups. Sometimes 14 year olds are ready for traditional martial arts class. And sometimes 7 year old students are still in Little Ninjas martial arts classes.
RELATED INFO: Benefits of Martial Arts for ages 5-6
Why do we do this? 6-year olds are learning double-digit subtraction while 10-year olds are being introduced to Algebra. What American Family Martial Arts found is younger children drop out of many karate programs because the curriculum is too hard, and older kids in the same karate class drop out because they lose interest since they are not being properly challenged. You’ll notice 1st graders aren’t in the same classroom with 10th graders for more reasons than just academic skills.
Martial arts may be a great physical outlet for a teen who isn’t interested in traditional sports, like baseball or soccer. Your teen won’t be cut from a team and martial arts don’t require any prior experience or specific skill set. At American Family Martial Arts, there are no bench warmers! Learn more about Benefits & Risks of Martial Arts Classes for Teens.
Let American Family Martial Arts teach your child the age appropriate way!