Coming up with engaging Taekwondo lessons for kids.
Teaching young children is totally different to teaching older students and adults. Put basically children need energetic short lessons and it needs to be fun learning.
Teaching children basic Taekwondo can only be done in small bursts of about 2-3 minutes. Once you have done something that needs a lot of concentration immediately let their mind relax by the next exercise being fun. i.e pad kicking. You can then go back to what you were teaching. You can easily tell if children are engaged as they look at you and want to learn. If you begin to lose their concentration then immediately change the exercise. Children who are engaged will learn, those who aren't, won't.
Lessons should be kept to 30-45 minutes for children 5-8 years old and be really active and not demanding. Once they have achieved a certain concentration standard you can then progress them into a more advanced lesson.
From my experience, try not to start with games, the children will lose their concentration straight away. Finishing with games are great as it will leave the kids with a good happy memory of the lesson so they are more likely to come back. Always finish with something fun but start with something structured.
Try and keep the lesson as structured as possible and try and do things by command. Letting small children work in partners and do what they want is asking for trouble, you will be constantly pestered by children telling tales and will have no order over the lesson. Get them lined up, get them running and doing exercises, work with them in lines and if working with paddles, you hold the pad and get them to form a line. If you are lucky enough to have black belts help you get them on board. The smaller the group of children the more engaged they will be.
If a child is distracting others or messing about, normally it boils down to attention seeking. By punishing them with exercise or making them the centre of attention and shouting this only lets them have what they want. If a child is acting up in the lesson quietly just sit them down. Explain to them why they are sat down and if they don't want to join in with the others that's fine. Most children will want to be a part of the team and conform. You should never have to raise your voice at a child, you are there to help them not shout at them. If this method doesn't work then have a word with the parents and say you are not a creche, maybe they can try again when they are more mature and older.
Rewarding children for hard work is a great method of keeping them motivated. A lot of clubs have a club mascot that one child gets to take home every week for effort or maybe stickers or certificates awarded to certain individuals who have tried hard.
USING YOUR VOICE:
Using your voice is a tool which needs developing. Using a deeper voice carries more weight than a soft voice when it comes to getting them to move fast. When giving commands always try and have a raised deep fast voice. If you want them to move slow then lower your voice and speak slower. Getting the most out of your students depends massively on your voice so study it carefully.
Hopefully these tips help you plan a fun energetic lesson for those younger members of your club. Feel free to share this post.