1.) How young do you let children start attending classes?
answer: I have a tiger cubs class that is for 3-5 year olds. Some can handle it some can't. You have to change your expectations. I do 2 to 3 minutes of teaching where they have to focus and then reward them with what they love-line drills, where they kick/punch the focus pad. I also at intervals try to get them to block by trying to tap them with the focus pads. I keep it at a game and do not consider it real martial arts at that point. Some 5 year olds are more mature and can be in my beginning kids class 5-11.
2.) Do you have seperate classes for the different ages (Little Dragons, Kids, Teens, etc.)?
answer: At this point I am too small to have too many different time slots. I have the tiger cubs, beginning kids, advanced kids, ages 12 and above are with the adults at this point.
3.) What is the average class size for each program in your school? 8 to 15 at this point.
4.) How long are each of your classes? Tiger cubs is 25 to 30 minutes, beginning kids are 45 minutes (though sometimes runs over) advanced kids are 1 hour.
5.) What is the curriculum that you offer to each of the different classes? Nothing canned at this point. Try to give them a little of everything. I tend to reward periods of intense focus and learning with fun stuff: sparring and line drills.
6.) Do you offer any upgrade programs for your student (Black Belt Club, Masters Club, Leadership, etc.)? Not yet. Too small at this point. I struggle with ethics of what some schools do.
7.) In regard to your tuition, do you go month to month or do you base it on a term agreement (6 month, 12 month, 24 month, 3 month, etc?) i offer month to month but nearly all of them went for the intro offer of 3 months. I do not offer long term contracts unless it is obvious they are very motivated and committed. I will not offer that option until they have shown strong committment for 6 months. I know this is the mainstay for many programs and is how you make the big bucks but in the conservative town I have classes in I would rather initially establish an exemplary reputation than rake in the bucks in the beginning. I have to believe in what I do because I have to look myself in the mirror.
8.) What is your tuition rate for your programs? As I just started in June 05, I went with a rate that was about 15 to 20 % less than the nearby towns (I have no real competition where I am at. This rate is $90 month to month or $240 for 3 months. For the 1st 3 months they get 10% off and a free uniform. If they only go 2x weekly they get 15% off. I want to encourage families and know how financially difficult it can be for some families so to encourage families to get involved every additional family member after the first one pays full price is 50% off. I may not be able to do this forever but for now it is working. I am up to 50 students after 5 months and am signing up about 3 to 4 each week.
9.) What is the student/teacher ratio in your kids classes? I am trying to get old friends to help but at times is 15 kids and me. I like to have an assistant to handle that many and am working at having 2 instructors at each beginning kids class at least.
10.) Do you teach any sort of lifeskills to your students in addition to their martial arts curriculum? I have started to, and will continue to add more in the next few months. I former career was as a counselor so it blends very well with what I am doing.