On Sundays, together with a second instructor, I do a family class for parents and/or children. So one instructor does the adults, while the other (me) does the kids....

One of the adults asked recently (seeing the kids with their various colour belts) if they did exactly the same gradings as the adults? Short answer is "no". A longer answer is needed to explain the difference:

The adults' programme is very set in stone, to gently lead people to develop their practise in certain directions, so they are ready to take the next step.

The kids' programme I developed along different lines, since kids have a very different attention span from adults. This means they learn broadly the same things, but in shorter bursts and with some activities omitted and others added in. For instance, I only teach competition style push hands and none of the other types of push hands on the syllabus. Also I only teach the first 14 forms to the children, and all the gradings are on different types of quality they have to demonstrate, where the adults keep plugging away until they are through 54 forms or 108 forms.

I always like the kids and their parents to be very clear on what their grading will involve, so I send out a grading schedule in advance, which shows exactly what the different expectations are for each colour of belt, so they know what they are working towards. Then we start really sharpening everything up during the lessons, with everyone reminded of how to show what they know, understand, and can do.

Since this is now a process the kids are used to, it's quite a straightforward thing. Best of all, with new kids starting in the class, everyone can join in the activities, and see how to achieve progress, without that being boring to watch for newcomers!

Anyway, 6 weeks to go and then they will have their big day! Nice to look forward to!