Tiny Tigers

another tigerIn addition to our internationally recognized Karate for Kids program, we offer the Taekwondo for Tiny Tigers program. The Tiny Tiger program was developed specifically for preschool age children ages 2 through 6. This program offers children a strong foundation in essential character qualities such as courtesy, respect, and discipline. In addition, the program is designed to improve children’s motor skills and enhance their ability to pay attention and follow directions. All classes are taught using the most safe, fun, and exciting instruction methods available for this age group. This program works in conjunction with the Karate for Kids program, thereby emphasizing the same important monthly themes and value system.

tigers_pageJust like in the Karate for Kids program, Tiny Tigers have their own unique victory patch and “Victory Stars.” Stars are earned in the same way as the Karate for Kids program, with slight modifications in recognition of the preschool age of the child. Four different colored victory patches are available to accommodate all the stars that can be earned by a high achieving Tiny Tiger. Except for the logo, the four victory patches are the same as the Karate for Kids patches.

Upon graduation from the Tiny Tigers program into the “Junior” or “Big Kid” program, Tigers are rewarded by the opportunity to wear the “Big Kids” or “Karate for Kids” patch.

The rank and testing system used by the Tigers is slightly different than that of the Karate for Kids. Tigers can earn eight collectible animal patches to display on the belts as follows: Tiger for orange belt; Cheetah for yellow; Lion for camo; Eagle for green; Phoenix for purple; Dragon for blue; Cobra for brown; Panther for red. All eight patches, as earned, can be displayed on the child’s belt.

logo_tinytigers2The training of Tiny Tigers is completely unique compared to the other students here at the ATA Black Belt Academy. My focus is to expand the Tiger’s flexibility, balance, coordination and motor skills, as well as teach them to focus, listen, walk in a line in an orderly fashion and perhaps most importantly, speak and behave in a respectful, controlled manner.

While working on all these important skills, I will also be teachingthe very basics of Taekwondo.The Tiny Tiger curriculum is also completely unique.In essence, I am preparing the Tiger to enter the Karate for Kids program.

Working with this age group is a passion of mine, and so I am always searching for new ways to teach. Below I have listed a few of our activities and the skill we are working on.I hope this will lead you to continue these activities at home.

Balance: Balance board and Hop Scotch

Flexibility: Parents stretching legs

Coordination: Jumping, Log Roll, Obstacle Course

Each child will be asked to recognize his/her own name. With encouragement from you, they will be excited about learning to write their name. Also, it is extremely important your child know your home telephone number – with area code. We quickly forget that just 30 miles to our west is another state. Without the area code, a telephone number is not adequate. Please start today working with your child on this. In addition, if your child becomes separated from you in a store, could he/she tell someone your name? “Mommy” or “Daddy” won’t help store personnel locate you. Again, please start today.

I have included in this packet other skills for your child to work on. Please look this over carefully, as these are things to do at home. I depend on you to work together with me. I think you will find everything I am doing will help you to help your child.

The use of rewards is very important to children in this age group. I use poker chips, which are referred to as “Karate Chips”. The white ones are used to say ‘good job’ going to and from the water fountain. While this may seem like a simple task, most children this age have no idea how to walk in a line with others, keep their hands to themselves, remain quiet and in line. We do this every day they are in class. There is one way to do this correctly, while there are many ways to ‘mess up’. I will bring attention to those who complete the round trip to and from the water fountain in an orderly, quiet manner. Once back on the workout floor, the children are to kneel on one knee, with both hands on the raised knee. You will see this in your very first class. When 10 white chips have been earned, they may be traded in for a Belt Buddy (more about Belt Buddies in a moment). At the end of class, a red or blue chip is given, indicating the student has had a good class. I am looking for cooperation, willingness, participation and proper respect and courtesy. When 5 colored chips have been earned, they may trade them in for a Belt Buddy. Now, the Belt Buddy. These are colored, plastic clips that are worn on the belt. The ONLY way to get one, is to earn it. This gives the Tiger a visible symbol that he/she is doing the right thing. When the Tiger is wearing 25 Belt Buddies, he can trade them in for the very first Tiny Tiger patch. There are a total of four Tiny Tiger patches. The first is lined in blue, the second is lined in silver, the third in gold and the final Tiny Tiger patch is solid blue with gold outline.

It is my goal to help you at home. As your Tiger develops, he/she should have responsibilities at home. Even three year olds can have ‘chores’ they are accountable for. For example, every child can be encouraged to pick up their dirty clothes and put them away. Every child should be combing their hair and brushing their teeth. Even trying to make their bed is a goal! Look for things at your home for your Tiger to do, and give them the chance to excel! Reward them only if done to your satisfaction. Remember, there are some things a Tiger can do very well, and others things they can attempt. Be sure to give them goals they can attain. If you will make a chart documenting their efforts and successes, I will reward them here with chips! Any chore done everyday, to your satisfaction, will earn your Tiger a chip.

Now, for the activities at home. Encourage your Tiger to use the Balance Board at home. This may seem like ‘play’, but it is easy to see, in class, who has been using theirs at home. Also, ask your Tiger to use ‘Yes, ma’am’ and ‘No, ma’am’ or ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No sir’. Start now on their phone number and the chores. Together, we can help Tigers function better at home and school.

Thank you for trusting me with your child.
Master Carla C. Prejean

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