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Explore Jo.Ha.Ku.

Ensuring a Healthier Future


​Jo.Ha.Ku. [jo-ha-ku] is a concept of modulation and cyclical movement, has its roots in Japan, literally means "beginning, focus, elevation", it means that all actions or efforts begin without haste, leisurely, followed by focused work on important elements, and after the focal tasks are solved - growth, targeted development takes place. It is such a harmonious cycle that the Japanese say: “everything in the universe, big or small, living or inanimate, has the rhythm of jo, ha and ku; it is seen even in such things as the singing of birds or the chirping of insects.' Initially, the concept of jo-ha-ku was formed in music and theater art, showing the harmony of the work and the events described in it. Then the concept was reduced to certain gradual steps and received a wider application in various spheres of life.

The overall effect of jo-ha-ku is a rhythm of events, similar to a continuous sound wave, which is not linear, but variable, with ups and downs. It is similar to how a child develops. The wave reflects not only the phases of physical development but also mental, sensory, and emotional development. And each wave has its own pace, acceleration, and amplitude.

  • "Jo" means beginning or preparation, focuses on basic movements, small but extremely important steps, in our program, similar to raising a baby to 1 year old.

  • "Ha" means "focusing" on problematic, difficult, or simply important developmental milestones, which is characteristic of children between the ages of 1 and 3. There is no rush at this stage, the practice of developmental milestones is done perfectly and carefully. This is a stage in which progression does not seem obvious, but it will manifest itself in the next stage of development.

  • "Ku" means "rising, flourishing" fast and targeted growth based on the previously built foundation - for children from 3 to 7 years old. If the foundation was laid correctly, it is only necessary not to deviate from the determined path - and the flourishing of the child's development will be ensured. At this stage, all acquired skills and knowledge are combined into a single system with clear, measurable, and understandable results.


Program Compliance

Jo.Ha.Ku.® program defines the optimal set of developmental, educational, training functions and substantive guidelines for organizing early physical development of children under 7 years old; provides for gradual complications of the content at each age stage.

  • It is compliant with with the modern requirements and international standards of preschool education:

  • Focus on the child's initiative, on creating the learning environment with stimulates kids' harmonious development through individual approach and free play principles;

  • Trustful cooperation between the families and the caregivers;

  • Development amplification: wide deployment and maximum enrichment of specific forms of children's activities.

  • It's is compliant with international standards and norms of child development and achievements.


Program Goals

The main goal of Jo.Ha.Ku.® Program is to provide comprehensive physical training for children and related knowledge and skills to their parents.
The ultimate goal is to stimulate the children to:

  • Explore their body and its capacities,

  • Enlarge and Enrich their motor and sensory experiences,

  • Coordinate and Control their movements,

  • Develop their physical abilities: speed, strength, flexibility, endurance and movements accuracy,

  • Observe and Analyse various situations, choosing the most effective way to implement motor behaviour in relation to specific conditions of interaction with others.

Specific tasks: correct posture formation, prevention of flat feet, special focus on vestibular system development and relaxation techniques.


Program Principles

  • Individual approach: training tasks, exercise load standards and pedagogical methods vary and are selected for each concrete purpose for each student: we work in accordance with the individual characteristics of each child participating in a training.

  • Step-by-step learning: from easy to hard, from known to unknown, from simple to complex.

  • Regular meetings and program continuity: it is known that regular classes with their sequence respect give a much greater effect than episodic.

  • See and touch: we show how to do the movements and why doing them: parents appreciate our visual materials and live tutoring and kids enjoy following example of each other.


Program Methods

  • We show it. It is based on the formation in children of visual representations of exercises by showing physical exercises, imitations, the use of sound and visual guidelines, since infants and children have a limited supply of motor skills.

  • We name it. We accompany motor actions with their verbal description, in particular the use of exercise names that reflect the nature of the movement: «Bridge», «Butterfly» ..

  • We move by small steps. A holistic motor behaviour needed for a concrete situation is trained by dividing a set of movements into relatively independent steps to practice them separately. Once all the steps become mastered by kids, they can be 'assembled' into a more complex sequence of movements.

  • WE PLAY. We distribute roles and imitate life situations to achieve a training goal: we may imitates animals or imagine there is a train, or just to play volleyball, - we learn and practice by playing.

Meet Our Management Team

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Kyiv, Ukraine

Program Author and Founder, 
Program Director, Brand and Product Owner

Natalia is an early physical development practitioner, certified by ChildCare Education Institute (USA), who has been involved in childcare in a variety of settings including practical childcare and education of trainers, instructors, and parents for more than 15 years. Natalia has two higher educations and an MBA grade, she is an author and founder of the internationally represented z-bébé® and Jo.Ha.Ku® Physical Development Programs since 2012. She serves as the Jo.Ha.Ku® Program Director and oversees all instructor training curriculum and course presentations. In addition, Natalia is a member of a private philanthropic organization The Dana Foundation based in New York committed to advancing brain research and responsibly educating the public about research's potential. Her research interests include methods to improve early childcare outcomes and the physical education process for children of early ages. Natalia has authorship and ownership of the production of a line of special sports equipment for early physical development, presented internationally. Natalia brings her enthusiasm and passion for teaching about the brain and gross motor development in early childhood to frequent conference presentations both nationally and internationally.

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Tbilisi, Georgia

Program Managing Director,
Chief Methodologist

Olga Nikonchuk-Darras is an early physical development practitioner, certified by ChildCare Education Institute (USA), and founder of Jo.Ha.Ku Family Center is Tbilisi and its main methodologist and trainer. Olga has joined Jo.Ha.Ku® Physical Development Program since 2018 by bringing its franchise to Georgia. Olga has 3 higher educations and professional and personal experience in 8 different countries. Mother of 2 children, Olga experienced particular health and development issues with her son (birth trauma) in 2016, and since that moment discovered by her own family experienced the crucial importance of early childhood development and of the particular role the parents play in that. Thus Olga has become a faithful follower of Jo.Ha.Ku® Physical Development Program and its developer in the aspects related to the after-birth childcare-related issues. Jo.Ha.Ku Family Center which was founded in Tbilisi in 2019 is a member of Integrated Learning Strategies Centers Network (USA) and CoSe – Collectif Surexposition Ecrans (France). The thing which counts most for Olga is her pedagogical approach and Jo.Ha.Ku Family Center's activities are to empower more and more parents to feel comfortable in their parenting to make their kids happier and healthier.

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