Work First, Then Play | On the Mat Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Michelle Dolak reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Our family can't say enough about On The Mat! Master Melody and her awesome team of Ninjas are like a parent's secret weapon. Our son goes to practice Tae Kwon Do, he ends up learning about character, respect, self-control and other priceless virtues! The family environment and friendships fostered at this club have added a beautiful dimension to each of our lives. I have as much fun catching up with friends each week as Robert Paul has on the Dojo. We are grateful to be apart of such an amazing program.

Adrian De Silva reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Awesome instructors and place to train for kids in the area If you live in the Saint Pete's area this is where to bring your kids for not just the best martial arts but life training Skillz!

Jessica Hodosky reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Just started but I can tell the school is amazing and the staff are very nice and attentive! My daughter seems to love it too!

Suzanne Saccani reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best customer service ever, Melody Shuman and her staff go out of their way to over deliver

Cydney Swindle Tuten reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best money that our family has invested in the development of our child! As an early childhood educator, I am very picky about extra curricular activities! On the Mat is the model for positive reinforcement! They treat everyone like family! We are so grateful that we are there and only wish we had found them sooner!

Mark J. Speranza reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

No better place than OTM for brinhing the best out of your child. The instructors are some of the best and the owner Melody Shuman is the most knowledgeable in child neuroscience. Many martial art facilities around the world look to her and use her Skillz methods for teaching children. AAA++++++

Brooke Breland reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We signed our 5 year old up for the free trial over the summer to try out something new and keep him active during the summer. He absolutely fell in love with it and asked if he could go every day! The curriculum is perfectly geared toward each particular age group. The instructors are so engaging and committed. The skills and confidence our son has gained just in a few short months are priceless. Our summer activity has quickly become part of our regular year round schedule and I foresee him continuing for years to come. OTM rocks!!

On The Mat Martial Arts St Petersburg Kids Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 727-548-5425
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Work First, Then Play

Throughout the past four months schedules have been upended and downtime has taken over.

However, as the new school year gets underway, reality is going to show up and we are going to be scrambling to get ourselves and our children back on a productive path. In the book “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey habit three is “Work First, Then Play.” While time doing homework has always been a struggle for children, adding in the digital learning for them makes school even more of a daunting task. But in the wake of the pandemic, this is our reality, so children grasping habit three will be essential, so they stay on track with completing school assignments and homework.

 

When it comes to schoolwork, children often find ways to avoid it for various reasons, and parents often label this behavior as laziness.

But let’s be honest…children have different priorities then adults do and the last thing they want to do at home is schoolwork. The reason…children are still developing executive functioning, so they don’t have the skills of organizing and prioritizing that they need to be successful in this area on their own. In addition, children with neurological challenges, such as ADHD, have even more difficulty with this.

 

The best way to help children learn the “Work First, Then Play” habit is by implementing the following steps.

 

  • Clarify Benefits: Children flourish when they feel involved and in control of their life. The sense of autonomy that they develop will lead them to being more cooperative. Parents should teach children the basics of planning and organization. It’s also important to focus on the positive qualities the child already has and use those to help them overcome any obstacles with work. And since children often overestimate their parent’s expectations, clarifying these things in relation to completing schoolwork and homework is essential.

 

  • Organize Workspace: Since children are still developing executive function, parents must help them organize their workspace while also giving them input as to the set up. Whether it’s a space for digital learning or just for homework, having a designated location, with minimal distractions, is critical in successfully completing work. Ensuring they have all the necessary supplies in this space will minimize interruptions to look for what they need. It’s also beneficial to conduct weekly cleanup sessions to reorganize in preparation for the next week.
  • Manage Time: Once expectations are set, and the workspace is organized, parents should help children set a schedule to follow. And while many schools will have a certain schedule to follow for digital learning, parents should help children plan their day accordingly. Breaking assignments and homework into manageable sections and setting deadlines will help children not feel so overwhelmed. Emphasizing the importance of “Work First, Then Play” will help children stay on task and complete assignments promptly. Scheduling in “recess” and “free time” will give them something fun to look forward to.

 

In the SKILLZ program, a progressive child development method, the class layout follows this method.

The schedule for each class is set so the students know what to expect. Each class begins with a mat chat to prepare the students for what they will be learning, goes through the “work” for the day, and then ends the class with a fun game. This format helps the students stay on task and learn the new information quickly in anticipation for time to “play” once the work is done. In addition, the instructors build intrinsic motivation in the students and give them choice class so they can develop autonomy.

 

Doing schoolwork all day can be exhausting.

But if parents instill habit three, “Work First, Then Play,” early on, children will develop organizational and time management skills while also increasing their intrinsic motivation. This skill will be even more helpful to children as they go through the different stages of their life, into adulthood.

 

 

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.