Tesshu, 6; Instructor, Faye Komagata
Six-year-old Tesshu is small for his age but shows maturity and confidence by extending a handshake and saying, “Hello!” and “Goodbye, thank you!” to grownups he meets for the first time.
Just two years ago, however, when he first enrolled at Kumon of Nuuanu in Honolulu, Hawaii, Tesshu’s social interactions were much different. In fact, at age four, Tesshu was not verbalizing at all. Rather than speaking or asking a question, he would take his mother’s hand and move it to communicate what he wanted.
Tesshu’s mother, Ikuko, was concerned about her son’s development, but she was hesitant to enroll him at Kumon. Even though her older daughter, Yu, had started Kumon in kindergarten and was progressing very well, she wasn’t sure if Kumon was right for Tesshu. Ikuko says it was Kumon of Nuuanu Instructor, Faye Komagata, who encouraged her to enroll her son.
“I could see Tesshu’s potential,” said Komagata. “His brain was starving to learn.”
Tesshu began making strides immediately after enrolling in Kumon, and after only several months, he said his first words, “day” and “night,” directly from his Kumon Reading Worksheets. From that point on, Tesshu has made continual daily progress. He has not only gained the ability to speak, but he has also gained fine motor skills, focus, independence and confidence.
Tesshu enjoys coming to Kumon and is confident in his abilities. He says, “I can do math. I can do addition.” Tesshu is currently studying “plus fives” in math; however, he is excited to excel, and asks, “When will I do plus sixes?”
Ikuko believes that Kumon is helping Tesshu reach his highest potential, and she encourages parents in similar situation to believe in their children.
“Parents think, maybe my child cannot do it, but don’t think about that,” said Ikuko. “They have a potential. They have an ability to do it, so never give up.”