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Core Arts Standards and Life Skills

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Our approach to teaching lets children be the artists. Student’s time in the classroom is spent expressing themselves and learning how to make strong artistic choices. Learning to make strong artistic choices will teach them how to make healthy choices for themselves and socially significant choices that will make the world a better place.
The National Core Arts Standards include a series of anchors for arts education. When you teach to these anchors, you are also teaching valuable life skills. When you see a child trying on costumes or reading lines over and over again in different voices, take a harder look, when you see them make a decision that has meaning and context your child has taken a step towards being the kind of person that will change the world.
  1. Creating
  • Self-awareness
  • Teamwork
  • Innovative decision-making
  1. Performing, Presenting, Producing
  • Confidence
  • eloquence
  • resource management  (time and finances)
  1. Responding
  • Critical Thought
  • Valuation
  1. Connecting
  • Understanding social issues
  • ability to understand experiences outside of their own
  • using problem-solving skills to come up with innovative solutions

Family Fun Day: Sept 20, 1-3PM @ BLS

Balanced Life Skills’ Family Fun Day
Join us for a Saturday Open House! Balanced Life Skills is opening its doors to the community on Saturday, September 20th at 1:00 – 3:00 pm! We will have entertainment with special performances and games, food, and board breaks — and it’s all FREE! A raffle will be conducted to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. You have chances to win free classes and private lessons for our various enrichment programs!
Our Red Belt Students will be assisting with a push up challenge and other activities. Come see them as they step into leadership roles in our community and set a strong example of service for younger students. Come seem in action!
September 20th, 1-3 pm
Balanced Life Skills
133 Gibralter Ave
Annapolis, MD

Three Arts, 1 Dojo Method

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Dojo (“Place of the Way”) is a place where one practices Martial Arts. More importantly, it is a place where a person learns to navigate their path. In our Dojo, we combine three arts: Martial Arts, Performing Arts and Visual Arts.  we use the practice of Martial Arts to establish a foundation of core values that teach students to respect themselves (Self Values). Then, in order to accommodate different learning styles and interests we rely upon the three arts to teach the student how to respect the world around them (World Values). This is the “Balanced Life Skills Way”.


Self Values World Values
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Focus
  • Emotional Well-being
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Joy in learning
  • Communication
  • Compassion

Martial Arts is woven into our performing arts and visual arts curriculum through physical and mental exercises, classroom management techniques, system of advancement, and student teaching. Each discipline develops its’ own curriculum, subject area competencies, and methods for achieving fluency in the shared competencies of: Bullying Prevention, Anger Management, and Productive Life Skills.


Why domestic violence victims don’t leave?

black-backgroundAfter this weeks revealing of the rest of the events in the Ray Rice case, I have heard and use to wonder myself – Why do they stick around, Why did she marry him anyway?  Having an understanding of the answer to this question is key to understanding abuse and the damage that is done.

Here is a link to a TED Talk that really helped me understand and appreciate the emotional and mental process that takes place.  I also came to believe even deeper that the targets of bullying are being abused also.  I talk about this in my bully prevention class  “The Truth About Bullying”.

Why domestic violence victims don’t leave?


Life Skills: Confidence – The Definition

Word of monthEach month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Confidence.  This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: Compassion means: “I believe in me and you!”

Older students: Compassion means:  Complete trust in ourselves and others.

Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class.  You can also follow our discussions here on this website.

If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE.   We are not your typical after school activity, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace – through the arts.  We believe in every child and build their self – confidence.  Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.