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Situational Awareness -- Increasing Children's Observational Skills

Posted: September 08, 2022

Situational Awareness – Increasing Children’s Observational Skills

Today's world is busy; people are rushing here and there to get to work, school, the store, or the next activity. Even our “leisure” time is filled with busyness. And during all of it, we are distracted by our devices. This not only leads to us missing important moments in our lives, but it also creates a higher likelihood that we would become the victim of a crime or, at very best, be unable to help someone near us that was. Therefore, it is essential to teach children to be perceptive and educate them on situational awareness skills to improve their safety.

Nowadays, not only are children distracted as they play and talk with their friends when they are out, but they are also looking down at their phones or other devices. When they are alone, they are often using headphones as well. These behaviors set them up for dangerous situations because they are entirely unaware of what is going on in the environment around them. Research indicates that offenders look for these behaviors when choosing their victims. These things, along with a lack of confidence and directionless movement, add to the probability of becoming a target, so parents must be vigilant in teaching their children essential awareness tactics.


Inspiration through Social Support

Posted: September 02, 2022

Crash! Boom! Snap!

 

Speed walking through the last grocery aisle for pantry necessities, a sudden, unexpected crash from the nearby bakery department sent a shot of adrenaline through my fatigued mom brain, body and spirit. After another sleepless night trying to comfort my son and an exhaustive day of putting out one emotional fire after another, I knew full well what the repercussions of this crash would entail as my body shifted into high alert mode, bracing for the inevitable impact.


Rebuilding Intellectual Skills During the Summer

Posted: August 12, 2022

Summer break is typically viewed as a time for relaxation, fun, and no schedules. However, considering the dramatic change in our lives over the past year and seeing communities begin opening back up in a full capacity now, this summer would be the perfect time to get children back on track. As unfortunate as it is, the reality is that most children’s development has been stifled in one, if not all, areas. Cognitive performance has been significantly affected since schools have had limited options for learning, and for some children, these choices are not as conducive to learning. To counteract this, we must engage children in a program that fosters brain development and learning.

 

As most parents have witnessed over the past year, the COVID slide is a real thing. Children’s cognitive performance has decreased dramatically, and the learning loss that has been associated with this has left everyone feeling the pressure to regain momentum. And while parents and teachers have attempted to implement methods that boost learning, the drastic change from a “normal” school experience has led to extreme detriments in our children’s education. Many experts believe that children, on average, have lost around three months of learning progress over the past year. To some, however, this may not seem like a lot. But when we understand how rapidly children’s brains grow and how all experiences are significant to their development, this length of time can be detrimental.


ATA Maryland Names World Champion

Posted: August 04, 2022

Once a year, over 1,500 of the world’s best Martial Arts athletes compete for the title Best of the Best. ATA Martial Arts Maryland, with four locations in Harford County, sent over 20 competitors and many came back victorious.

 

Just like all sports, martial arts is based on competition and the pinnacle of martial arts took place in Phoenix, Arizona (July 11-17). From the 20 competitors that represented ATA Martial Arts Maryland, over 25 medals were awarded in various events including one medal for best in the world. Lachlan Kazi (13 years old) won World Champion in Creative Weapons. In this event, competitors have to design a twominute freestyle weapons form. Kazi choreographed his weapons form with a bo staff and tied with two other competitors for first place. In the tie breaker, the judges decided unanimously that Kazi deserved to be world champion.


How Motor Skills Affect Learning

Posted: July 29, 2022

Most are aware of the benefits of physical activity for people of all ages… a stronger cardiovascular system, improved muscle tone, weight management, motor coordination, etc. Additionally, there are brain-boosting benefits that help children with brain function and learning, leading to better school performance. Unfortunately, however, many adults aren’t knowledgeable about the significance of underdeveloped motor skills, especially balance and coordination, on the learning process. Therefore, children engage in activities that boost these skills leading to more learning success.

 

Although balance and coordination don’t seem like they would directly impact learning, they are linked. When children have problems with balance, which is a skill needed for body control, they fidget more and have bad posture; therefore, they struggle to focus and retain information in school. Balance is part of the vestibular system and is responsible for motor planning and hand-eye coordination. When this system isn’t developed, there is a disconnect between the brain and the body, requiring that children use their focus to keep their bodies calm instead of on learning. Because balance is achieved through our center of gravity, girls tend to have better balance than boys. As a result, boys are observed to be more fidgety and active in classroom settings.


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