How Do You Overcome Stumbling Blocks Using the Kumon Method?
Nikkita Ganatra remembers when the parents of a young girl came in about six years ago to inquire about signing their daughter up for Kumon at her Center in Foothill Ranch, California.
The girl, Kayla, was unsure about whether the program was right for her, but her parents thought otherwise and wanted to encourage her to become an independent learner. It wasn’t obvious at first, but the Kumon Method was a unique way for Kayla to identify some of her educational stumbling blocks and overcome them. Now, Kayla is currently working toward program completion for math and helps other students understand the importance of their studies and the process of the program.
“She is someone who has seen what it’s like to start out, being unsure whether or not this is something that she can do,” Ganatra says. “She has grown over the years to now say, ‘I want to continue, I want to persevere.’ And as she looks back now at her experience, she does talk to students about it. She has become sort of the peer coach, not only to other students but for her own sister, who is still going through the process of understanding why she’s doing what she is doing.”
The Kumon Method provides students with the ability to advance to high school-level material through self-learning.
“So, the Kumon Method really gives students a chance to master their math skills, but do it at their own pace, so long as we’re mindful in our instruction and lesson planning of each student’s personal strengths,” says Ganatra.
From an educator’s standpoint, Ganatra says the Kumon Method allows her to more easily see where children are struggling in their studies and understand why they are struggling because she and her staff can analyze the data from the students’ completed work. From there, they can work together to try again and learn from the student’s initial mistakes.
“I think that is another big component of the Kumon Method that provides students a chance to look at their work and try again. Look at it, analyze it, try and figure out what went wrong, and give them that opportunity through corrections,” she says.
Kumon’s structured and individualized approach to learning can help students like Kayla and others overcome math and reading obstacles through a process that includes guided instruction, independent practice, and mastery-based learning through incremental progression.
When students enter the program, they are given an initial assessment to determine where their current skills are in math and reading. Based on those results, Instructors develop an individual learning plan that identifies specific areas where the student can improve in their studies. Through daily practice and individualized instruction, students can master the skills at each level in the curriculum before they advance.
Pamela Kozak, who is the Instructor at the Guelph-South Center in Ontario, says the Kumon Method was instrumental in helping her children in the program and helping her teach others in her center.
“I am dedicated to the Kumon Method because I have seen how effectively it builds confidence and changes the way students feel about math and reading,” says Kozak. “As a former Kumon Parent, I know that Kumon really works. My three children studied both math and reading and developed strong, independent skills.”
Like Ganatra, Kozak has also had students who came to her skeptical about the program and frustrated in their studies. They told her they felt defeated and were working at a low level. But by implementing the Kumon Method, they were able to strengthen their abilities and turn their grades around.
“This is why I love my job, seeing the transformation of students overcoming their weakness and developing a high level of confidence that affects their grades as well as their feeling and interest level in math or reading,” she says.