Tammy’s Education Corner | KSK Martial Arts Academy

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Rachel R

We originally put my son into jujitsu to help him with focus, however after 5 years at KSK we got a lot more than that. Sensei Greg is amazing with the kids and has a great understanding of each of their individual needs. He knows how to work with children who struggle with behavior, those who are shy, fearful, unfocused, being bullied or have low self esteem. He definitely has a good balance between discipline and fun. His sense of humor is very entertaining not only for the kids, but the adults as well. I love that the kids are not just rewarded with belts so easily, they really need to work hard to earn them. My son has learned a lot about respect and how to conduct himself in and out the dojo. Sensei gives the children opportunities to be leaders amongst their peers and that's a great skill to carry on with them. I definitely feel it's helped my son with confidence and he's having a great time learning all these amazing skills. He never wants to miss a class. It's truly a great family owned business that I have recommended to several friends.

Michelle M

So happy we found this dojo! Greg is passionate about his art and in helping the students grow, both athletically and personally. The after-school program is a wonderful service for working parents. Highly recommend.

Octavia L.

My son has attended classes here for 2 years. I remain impressed by the curriculum, the cleanliness of the studio, the quality of the instruction, and the family atmosphere they offer. My son has moved up the ranks gradually (very slowly!), but it has helped him develop character and patience and continues to help him define and polish his commitment to the sport. One thing I appreciate the most is the level of integrity that is displayed and modeled for the students (not just in martial arts, but in life situations). It has been a positive experience for us, and we will continue to be a part of this dojo.

Masahiko K reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

Authentic Japanese way of leading youngsters to the productive part of the community. Even though this style of jujitsu is developed by Japanese judo experts in Hawaii I would consider the style authentic Japanese.

Crystal M reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

This review is long overdue. If I could give 10 stars I would. My daughter started here in January. She has never been very athletic or even really motivated to do anything physical. She is a girly girl to the fullest. Since attending KSK she's so much more confident and disciplined. She gives everything she does 110% effort now. She just wants to be the best at everything and works on her Jujitsu techniques at home because she loves it so much. Sensei does an amazing job at teaching the kids everything they need to know while ensuring all of the students are safe and no one feels uncomfortable or out of place. If your contemplating coming to KSK you won't be disappointed!

david carr reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

I can't say enough about Sensei Greg and the staff at KSK. Jujitsu has been such a great experience for my boys. It gives them a controlled environment to release that "boy energy", they learn discipline and respect, it builds self confidence, they learn self defense/anti bullying tricks and best of all they have fun. Sensei demands respect without being a heavy handed task master. He makes working out fun. And most importantly I think he really likes the kids in his program. As a parent you really can't ask for more. Seeing the successes my kids have had through jujitsu has really been rewarding. There are a lot of McDojos out there. KSK is not that, it is an "old school" dojo teaching the finest aspects of martial arts. I would not take my boys anywhere else.

dennysel17 reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

Great school. Good instruction, has a good feel to it. Only have been going for a short time but very happy with this dojo so far.

Alan Redulfin reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

I'm 44 yrs old and I've been taking classes at KSK. I wanted to wait a year before I wrote this review. I've done martial arts off and on for many years now, Wing Chun and Escrima, and I can honestly say this dojo is a great place to learn. Sensei Greg and the staff teach not only a traditional martial art but also its practical usage. Promotions are based on actual student knowledge and performance and every effort is made to make sure you are ready. The emphasis here is respect, technique, confidence, and camaraderie. I'm glad I found this place, this style of martial art and this team. Now I have my son going here and enjoy watching him flourish.

Avi Rosen reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

Great place to grow within a caring environment and friendship.

Zachary Kauffman reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

The dojo has been a major part of my life for almost 10 years. Every class brings new things and renews my passion for martial arts. I look forward to training every day.

Patrice Curedale reviewed KSK Martial Arts Academy
via Facebook

My sons are 11 and 14 and they look forward to each jujitsu class at KSK dojo so much. It is one of the best things I have done for my kids. For their health, confidence and happiness.

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Tammy’s Education Corner

Tammy’s Education Corner

By Tamara Poretz

Reading Readiness

The basics of learning how to read are not all that basic. Often times we, as parents, try to help our children to learn how to read but just don’t know where to start. Understanding how the reading process works might help you in understanding what you can do to help your child become a confident reader. Reading has five essential components. Therefore this will be a 5 part blog. Each week I will explore a new part of the basic components of reading. That way you can take a week to explore and reflect on each of these components with your child!

The 5 components of reading are: 1) Phonemic Awareness 2) Phonics 3) Fluency 4) Vocabulary 5) Comprehension.

This week we will explain and explore Phonemic Awareness.

Phonemic awareness has to do with phonemes, which are the smallest units that make up spoken language and which we combine to form syllables and words.

Following in a guide to help you know your child’s phonemic awareness skills and what are some things you can do to help your beginning reader. Go through the questions and check to see where your child is currently in his or her reading journey. Once you have identified which areas are their strengths and which areas may need a little more support, you can start reinforcing those areas and helping your child along in their quest to learn how to be confident readers.

Step 1- Phonemic Awareness

  • -Does your child know his letter sounds?
    • Basically, if you say “What sound does the letter A make?” can your child say /a/?
  • -Can your child identify the beginning sound of a word?
    • Basically, if you say cat, can you tell you that it starts with an /c/ sound?
  • -Does your child recognize rhymes? Can they create their own rhymes?
    • Basically, if you say “Do cat and hat rhyme” will they say yes (and understand what they are referring to)?
    • Basically, if you say “What rhymes with cat?” can they answer hat, bat, rat, or any other rhyming word?
  • -Can your child identify the ending sound of a word?
    • Basically, if you say cat, can you tell you that it ends with an /t/ sound?
  • -Can your child identify how many words are in a sentence?
    • Basically, if you ask your child to tap or put a finger up for every word they hear in a sentence like “I like cookies.” Does your child show you 3 fingers?
  • -Can your child put parts of a word together, or blend them?
    • Basically, if you say “listen as I say two small words and then put them together to make a bigger work for me. Rain…bow…, does your child answer rainbow?
  • -Can your child segment, or tell, how many syllables are in a word?
    • Basically, can you say “clap the word rainbow. Can your child clap 2 times and tell you or show you two?
  • -Can your child identify the middle sound of a word?
    • Basically, if you say cat, can you tell you that the middle sound is an /a/ sound?
  • -Can your child identify which word does not belong in a group or category?
    • Basically, if you say “which word does not belong, bus, ball, house? Can your child say house? (it does not start with the same sound as the other two)
  • -Can your child delete a sound from a word?
    • Basically, if you say to your child “say mat. Now say mat without the /m/. Can your child respond -at?
  • -Can your child add a sound to a word?
    • Basically, if you say to your child “say park. Now add /s/ to the beginning of park?” Can your child answer spark?
  • -Can your child change out, or substitute a sound in a word?
    • Basically, if you say to your child “the work is mug. Change the /m/ to /r/ what is the new word?” Can your child answer rug?


If your child is struggling in one or more of these areas, here are a few ideas of things you can do to help them.

  • Play word and sound games with your child. Using letter flashcards or picture cards can be fun!
    • One such game can be found on The measured mom’s blog.  Click Here
  • Play games with beginning sounds. Help your child think of words that start with the /b/, /m/, or other beginning sounds.
  • Make up silly sentences together with words that begin with the same sound. For example “Franny had funny feet”.
  • Play rhyming games. Teach your child that a word rhymes if they sound the same at the end. Come up with rhymes together. You may have to start by having them repeat your rhymes. For example hat, bat. Dog, log. Red, bed. Etc.
  • Play blending games together. For example you can say “put these sounds together to tell me what’s the word, d/, /o/, /g/” They should answer dog.
  • Read books with rhymes and point them out. Say “log and dog rhyme!”
  • Practice the alphabet. Point out letters in everyday activities. Use flashcards, have them point them out to you.  
  • Use apps or a computer to help your child stay motivated. One of my favorites for phonemic awareness is STARFALL.



If your child is pretty good at all of the activities above he or she is ready for phonics, which is the next step in the reading process! Come back for Step 2- Phonics!



Adams, M. J. (1998). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA:

MIT Press.

Phonemic Awareness. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2019, from


Reading, S., & Deuren, D. V. (2007). Phonemic awareness: When and how much to

teach? Reading Research and Instruction,46(3), 267-285. doi:10.1080/19388070709558471