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Preparing Children to Return to School–A Physical Approach

We are currently faced with all sorts of unknowns most, of which, are completely out of our control. And while we cannot dictate how others choose to move forward, what we can do, as parents, is prepare our own families for what may lie ahead. Currently, the most pressing matter is preparing children to return to school. As school’s layout the various options that parents can choose from, the Canadian Paediatric Society is backing a safe return to school. But jumping back into this option has some parents nervous for their child’s health, so accurate preparation for physical safety is essential.

Over the past few months, children have had varying experiences with the outside world, depending on how their family chose to respond to the pandemic. Because of this, their feelings in reaction to returning to school will be different. To give them the best advantage for a successful and safe return, parents should have age-appropriate conversations and practice the following four tips to prepare children physically for what to expect.

  1. Wearing Masks: While “to wear or not to wear” a mask is one of the most debated topics currently, schools requiring masks are inevitable. And since children rely on faces to give them cues of safety, faces covered by masks can make them more cautious and scared. It is vital to practice wearing the masks and make them a routine, and fun, part of a child’s world. Letting children pick out or decorate their masks can be helpful as well as having them put a mask on one of their stuffed animals. Teaching more concrete things about masks such as how to take them on and off and the importance of not playing with them is key. 
  • Proper Hygiene: Parents have always taught their children to use a tissue, cover their cough, wash their hands, and not touch their faces. For children, especially younger ones, this is a lot to remember. But now, more than ever, it is especially important for these things to be top of mind. And the more parents’ role model these behaviors and have children practice them, the more second nature they will become. Having age-appropriate conversations will also help to teach children why these things are important. The good thing is, having to wear a mask in school will help to reinforce some of these behaviors.
  • Social Distancing: This is probably going to be one of the most significant challenges children will face. They are, by nature, very hands on, especially when learning and socializing . While most parents typically encourage their children to maintain personal space, 6 ft. is much more than they are used to. Keeping this distance from peers and teachers may prove difficult, but the more these things are reinforced and practiced, the better children will get. Parents can help children understand how big 6 ft. is by measuring the distance for them and giving them a visual representation of it.
  • Healthy Habits: Over the past few months, regular routines have fallen to the wayside, and bad habits have taken over. However, children’s immune systems and overall health habits must be top-notch when heading back to school. Getting back to a school-year sleep schedule and eating healthy foods will help children be focused and ready to learn and their immune systems be more prepared to ward off any potential threat. And keeping children physically active  each day will also help with these things while also counteracting stress.

Until school starts, our karate program offers socially distanced, small-size classes to help children return to social settings but in a more limited capacity. And since martial arts is a more individualized sport, children can get safe training that builds skills they need while also having fun.

As we continue through the day to day changes of what the new school year may look like, it is difficult for anyone to know the best option. What we can do, however, is to create familiarity and consistency in our approach to helping our children feel safe . While some may choose the online option for their children in the fall, all children will eventually return to school and be faced with a completely new experience so we must prepare now.

In our next blog, we will discuss how to prepare your child “intellectually ” for the new school year.

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2 sites of AMA Milton

Hello AMA parents, over the past 5 months many of you have become much more familiar with our online tools. For those who are still confused, I wanted to take a moment to introduce and explain our two websites and what they are used for. Ps. Technically there is a third corporate site, but that is primarily for advertising and you don’t need to do anything with that one…

Please keep in mind that there are two different sites, each with their own login information.

The site it our Milton Specific news site and online store. It is also the foundation of the AMA Milton app on the App Store. We highly recommend subscribing to the blog posts to receive updates on events and class information. This is also where you will find the links / IDs to join our Remote classes. We had to place this info here instead of the student portal due to limitations we found in the student portal.

Where possible we are using the shop to take payments online for things like grading fees and pro-shop items. Not everything is listed in the shop as of yet, so if there is equipment or apparel you need please feel free to reach out to the dojo via email.

Larger Items like Membership Renewals are being done manually so please contact the dojo via email when it’s time for you to renew. You will still receive the automated reminder emails 30 days in advance and again if your account expires.

Student Portal:

The student portal is where we manage all membership data and class schedules. Many of you have been logging in and booking classes for in person classes already and starting this month we added the booking feature to our remote classes as well. This was done to allow the instructors to know who to expect.

Do not create your own account. Each student is already associated to a member login which should be the email address you gave us when you registered for classes, this will have changed if you ever asked us to update it. If your email is selected as the primary contact for a group of contacts you will also be able to see the other family members in your account. If you can’t log in please email us so we can assist you.

As with all things, even these sites are subject to change. We are currently using 2 sites out of necessity not by design. Neither one allows us to manage the school entirely on its own so we are making due for now. Our hope is that eventually our Student Portal will be able to do all the things we need and we will be able to consolidate our resources. So until that happens we appreciate your patients and understanding.

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Hospital Fundraiser

Hey AMA Fam, I have created a new team for the hospital fundraiser on FlipGive. It is a gift card company similar to Fundsript for which many of you are already members. However on FlipGive Esso is currently offering a 35% donation!!! So for those of you who have cars here is a great opportunity to help the Milton District Hospital. 100% of funds go to the Milton District Hospital Foundation.

Join our team now by clicking here:

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Remote and In Person Classes Update

Hello Students and Parents!

Starting next week, August 31st, all students will need to be booked in on a weekly basis including those training in the Remote classes via zoom. Please note, if you chose not to book yourself in you will also not receive the email reminders about your class.

We are making this change to the remote classes so that instructors know who to expect on the zoom call so that they can plan their class accordingly.

New Classes Being Added

Starting September 7th our 5-6 year old students will be allowed to book into the in person classes! Please see the class description for details on drop off and pickup instructions as well as the COVID protocol requirements.

Starting Next week the following classes are added to the schedule;

  • Monday 8pm: 10-13 Red to Jr. Black
  • Tuesday 6pm: 10-13 White to Orange Adv.
  • Note: Tai Chi has been moved to 8pm on Tuesdays
  • Wednesday 7pm: 7-9 Yellow Adv. to Jr. Black
  • Thursday 5pm: 7-9 White to Yellow

See the booking schedule on the student portal for the most up to date class times

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Virtual Classes are Cancelled tonight!

We hope you all had an enjoyable weekend! Just a friendly reminder that due to the Civic Holiday there will be no zoom classes running tonight.

Zoom classes will resume tomorrow as will our in person classes.

We are excited to welcome our 10-13 yr old age group. We are only accepting 10 students in our 2500 square foot facility so please reserve your class online. THIS MUST BE DONE WEEKLY. Many weeks can not be reserved ahead of time. Students will not be allowed to attend if they are not prebooked.

We look forward to seeing you all next week!

Sensei J

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Upcoming Events August 2020

Civic Holiday – August 3rd

This coming Monday is a civic holiday so there will be no classes either in person or remotely via video.

10-13 year old classes being added.

With phase 3 well underway the dojo will be moving forward with our next phase of opening up limited classes as well. Our next group of classes will be fore our 10 to 13 year olds. Both the White to Orange Adv. belts and the Red to Jr. Black Belt classes have been added to the “In Person Classes” schedule for online booking. Please note there is a limit of 10 students in each class and the booking is done on a first come first served basis.

Do NOT book classes you will not be able to attend. There Will be a monetary penalty of $19 for missed classes you have booked into. If you need to cancel a booking you will need to email us 24hrs in advance.

Please don’t book more than one class per week at this time. We are limiting classes this way to allow every one a chance to join us each week. If there are still spaces available 1hr before class begins you may book a second class.

Online Remote classes will still be available for days you can not join us in the studio. If you can not see the Zoom IDs please make sure you are logged in and have a valid membership.

Group Hear Rate Training

Join the AMA MyZone club! Group heart rate training allows the instructors to monitor effort and coach students more effectively both in class and remotely. We can see definitively who needs to pick up the pace and who needs to back off as necessary. Take your training to the next level with impractical evidence to back up your fitness performance.

Students can also motivate each other with friendly fitness challenges and live competition if they chose!

This is a great way for our remote participants to feel more like they are here with us…

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BowFlex Back in Stock

Hey AMA Fam, with every one working out from home the last 3 months equipment has been in short supply. We just received world from BowFlex that they have the following items back in stock and are available to ship out to you directly today…

Note: The dojo does not stock these items and you will be dealing with BowFlex directly. We do receive a small commission on sales that go through our site.

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AMA Milton going into phase 3

This Friday the Town of Milton will be going into phase 3 of opening back up, and while this is great news for businesses and public events, it is still our individual responsibility to keep ourselves safe, clean, and protected.

At the dojo we are working diligently to build procedures and processes to keep both our staff and our students safe.

  • Thorough cleaning using hospital grade disinfectant before we open and close.
  • Disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and mats with a sprayer between each use.
  • Cleaning bathrooms between each use.
  • Restricting access to the premises
  • Some facilities will not be available such as the change rooms and the lobby waiting area.
  • We will continue to keep social distancing in place and mask usage as required by law.

As we work through the procedures with our test group and instructors, we ask for your patience and understanding. We are doing these things for you at our cost in time and revenue for your safety.

How does all this affect the karate training?

We are fortunate that our martial art is as flexible as it is. Basics can still be practiced in a restricted space and there is still a variety of ways it can be drilled. Kata can be performed synchronized as a group to maintain distance, and sparring drills can be practiced without contact.

For your part we ask:

  • If you are feeling any symptoms of any illness, COVID-19 or otherwise, stay home and join the class via remote video.
  • Keep your socks on while on the mat (please make sure they are fresh and clean)
  • Wear a mask as required by the new bylaw and be aware of your distancing (we are aware there are exemptions)
  • Arrive in uniform
  • Remove shoes upon entry and head to a designated individual training space. A coach will guide you.
  • Bring your own water bottle and sweat towel.
  • Use your home bathroom before coming. Our facilities will be open for emergencies.

Some of the concessions we have had to make due to these changes have affected our schedule.

  • Class times have been shortened to allow for cleaning.
  • Available class days have been reduced to allow a staggering of classes so each group can work out without crossing paths.
  • And of course class sizes have been reduced due to social distancing.

As of phase 3, we will technically be allowed groups of 50, however practically we can still only hold classes of 16 due to the distancing measures. This means you will need to reserve a space for class each week going forward. This can be done on our student portal which is linked in the menu on our website or through the app. Please note the portal username and password is separate from the website. If you need assistance logging into the portal please email the dojo or use the contact form on the website.

As discussed in previous communications we will be adding more age groups to the class schedule as we progress through stage 3. Starting with our Adults and finishing with our 3-6 year olds. If for any reason you don’t believe your child will be able to follow both the COVID rules above as well as our standard dojo rules pleas keep them home. They can continue to participate via video.

Emails will be sent out, and social media posts will be made, as new age groups are added.