All the moms I know who have school-age kids brace themselves as summer approaches. The routines that work so well for nine months of the year get turned upside down once the kids are out for the summer. The nights are longer, families go on vacation and kids have what seems like unlimited free time on their hands.
As a martial arts school owner, your business is also impacted by the change in summer schedules. Students with perfect attendance during the school year start to miss classes, and if you’re not careful, you could end up losing a few students altogether. But summer break doesn’t have to mean you see your students less frequently. With a few changes tailored to accommodate kids on break, you can head off student attrition before it starts.
Add Day Classes
One of the easiest ways to keep school-age kids involved is to offer daytime youth classes during the summer months. Adding day classes help keep kids busy during the day and frees up evenings so families can do things together.
If you don’t have the instructor availability to run a day class, consider asking one of your apprentices to lead the class. You can also temporarily cancel an evening or weekend class to staff a day class, especially if the evening or weekend class has fewer students in it during the summer. Then, once it’s fall and back to school time, you can bring back the evening or weekend class to accommodate your increased enrollment.
Host a Camp or Clinic
Hosting a camp or clinic is another way to keep kids involved in your programs. Camps give kids the opportunity to have fun, learn new skills and stay active. They also give parents a break during the day, whether it’s so stay at home parents can get some shopping done or working parents don’t have to arrange for childcare. Camps also bring in significant revenue for your school and attract new students.
If you’re not ready to host a week-long camp, offer a few different day-long special skill clinics throughout the summer. Try doing fun things like hand target or weapons workshops, as well as bully prevention and self-defense classes.
Offer a Parent’s Night Out
Consider giving the parents of your students the night off by hosting monthly Parent’s Night Out events. These evenings are easy to plan, bring in extra revenue and help your retention.
Most schools that host Parent’s Night Out events fill the evening with an active class, a movie and something easy for dinner, like pizza. Depending on your group’s dynamic, you can also ask parents to provide the food for their children to get around any dietary restrictions or food allergies.
Don’t let your students’ schedule changes during the summer months lead to attrition. By planning some special classes and events for your school-age students, you can keep your martial arts school busy, your students learning and parents happy.
Looking for additional ways to increase student retention at your school? Get your copy of our free guide, 7 Essential Strategies for Martial Arts Student Retention.