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Old 08-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #8
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,536
United_States
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Re: Teaching children - age restrictions and safety

FWIW we allow kids to start at 5. Being one of the instructors I will comment that many 5-year-olds are perfectly fine with simple classes learning to roll, move, escape, basic stuff like that. However, development rates are on a bell curve themselves so you will have some 5-year-olds (and 6-year-olds) who just aren't ready for a class of any sort. The problems are no focus, no self-control, etc. There are times I have a new student where I'll wish we'd push the age up to 7 or 8, but then again there some amazingly focused and interested kids under that age. So it's a challenge to say the least. And you should always have at least a mature assistant or better yet a second adult in the class for all sorts of reasons. Even with a small number of kids having 2 adults is important for keeping control, being able to deal with issues (Jimmy has developed a spontaneously bloody nose), but also simply for accountability and legal reasons.

So FWIW we let them start at 5 and there are pros and cons there. If I had a do-over on that policy, well, I think I'd go for 7 instead. But it works either way for me.

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