June 03, 2008

A Whole New World

Well, it's that time of life. It's time to start letting the kids get in on the busy-ness that we call SCHEDULED FUN! We've always been cautious about jumping on the activities wagon--more so than we probably would be if we had only one or two kids. But with 3 so close in age, we decided it would be unwise to begin T-ball, dance lessons, or any other type of activity when they were still so young.

Well. Enter our new neighbors, whom we have grown quite close to in a short time. The kids adore playing together, and it's a wonderful thing for a homeschooling mom to be able to host playmates for her kids, thereby giving her some much-needed freedom. (Is it sad that I feel "free" to do cooking or housework or even business activities while my kids are entertaining and being entertained by other children?!) Joe, the soon-to-be step-dad of Braden and Mikaela, is a black belt in taekwondo, and he had been talking to Carmen, the kids' mom and my new friend, about getting the kids in lessons. He personally knows a family who has a studio in the area, and he regards them very highly.

Coincidentally, Ted and I had been thinking for awhile that some kind of martial arts training would be very good for Tobin. So, with the interest of our friends and the recommendation for this particular studio, off we went for a trial session. Despite a very squirmy, fussy Kenna who would NOT be contained in the small seating area of the studio (she and I walked the strip mall multiple times), what I was able to see did impress me. I went ahead and signed Charis and Tobin up for the 2-week trial so we could see how they liked it.

Though it was difficult to say NO to Arden (he's too young for the class the other 4 kids are in), he took it quite well. And I have to confess that I probably would not have even considered this activity if it weren't for Carmen's generous offer to take my kids to lessons. They meet 3 times a week for 45-minute sessions, which isn't a big deal until you consider the fact that this particular studio is a good 25-minute drive WITHOUT Las Vegas evening traffic! After prayer and discussion, Ted and I decided to sign the older two up for 6 months. They already have their first belt test on June 19, and I confess I'm getting pretty excited.

From everything we checked out on the web site to the training DVD, I am quite impressed. I also have to say that I have seen a NOTICEABLE improvement in Tobin's self-control overall. The activity also seems to be very good for helping Charis in the physical coordination department, which is not her strong suit. She faithfully practices her forms each day, and I love watching her!

Arden still gets in on the action by going along now and then to watch the class with Carmen--he does great sitting still and watching. He's learning, too, and Joe is working with all 5 of the kids to help them. We'd love it if they all pass their belt tests and can move on to the next class together...otherwise, we'll have to figure out a way to carpool!

So, we'll see where this all leads. Right now is a great time to try it out, since it's summer and AWANA and Bible study sessions are on break.


Megan said...

Sounds like fun! Our parks and rec has karate and similar for 4-week sessions (it's at a local studio with a real instructor but at parks&rec prices). It's something I've considered for Sela, to see if she liked it before signing up for a longer commitment.

How fast do the classes move? Do the kids have to do much standing around, waiting for their turn? With gymnastics, Sela has always been in small classes (3-4 students), but anything larger than that and there's so much "stand around and wait" while the other students perform that she gets bored and starts running around the gym.

the Pools said...

How fun for the kids! And what an incredible opportunity for you to get a little one-on-one time with your two little ones! I can't wait to see pics of them! Love ya!

Ski said...

I think it will be very good for Tobin, we noticed a difference in Meghan's attitude when she was taking classes, at least until the instructer lost her respect and then we dropped the class. We started her in ballet/tap to improve her balance and coordination. It has helped a with those and so much more. We've also made more friends through ballet. Her recital is in two weeks, I'll send pictures.