Dual Program Completer Publishes Children’s Book
Tarun, 17-years-old, Math Program Completer & Reading Program Completer
When Tarun enrolled in Kumon at the early age of five, it immediately sparked his passion for learning – especially for math. After enrolling, he found that he was much more confident in his ability to take on any challenge. Tarun’s tenacity shone through and acted as a catalyst as he went on to successfully complete the Kumon Math Program in six years, and the Kumon Reading Program only a year later.
Tarun loves to share his passion for math with others. He dedicates countless hours to spreading knowledge to younger students who are interested in competition math, or who simply want to progress in school.
As he started working with these younger students, Tarun noticed that certain children had a mental block preventing them from progressing to new concepts. He will never forget when one particular student told him that he “had a monster,” one that made solving mathematical problems almost impossible for him. It was that very student who inspired him to write his first book.
“At first, this remark was humorous, and we laughed and moved on immediately. That night, I realized what he said may be a problem for many kids around the globe. I then realized that I could potentially make an impact on these children by displaying the strategies to defeat monsters in a way they would understand,” said Tarun.
“I then started on The Number Monster. Writing the book was an enjoyable process, and I always kept that one student in mind. I wanted to show students who struggle with math that they have the potential to succeed in math, especially if they reach out to their teachers for help.”
The Number Monster recently won first place for best eBook on “School Issues” in the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards Contest. While The Number Monsteris his first published title, he hopes to write a sequel soon.
Tarun hopes readers walk away with a powerful lesson that could be applied both in and out of the classroom.
“I hope that readers feel that they never have to be afraid to ask for help in times of stress. Though my book depicts a small boy who is scared of math, it connects to bigger problems that youth face in their lives,” said Tarun.
“Asking for help may be difficult due to anxiety or embarrassment, but it truly is the optimal decision, as it allows you to overcome challenges and make new friends in the process. Raj found help in his teacher in The Number Monster, but this idea doesn’t just apply to math; it applies to life.”
All profits raised from Tarun’s book will be donated to UNICEF and The Conscious Kid. Tarun’s book has garnered positive reviews from parents and is working to develop a relationship with Hip Hop Public Health, an organization building health equity amongst children through the transformative power of music, art, and science.
Tarun shares highlights from his Kumon journey and his goals for the future.
What did you enjoy most about Kumon?
I enjoyed that Kumon offered the opportunity to advance beyond my grade level, which greatly improved my drive and work ethic. Kumon instilled in me a newfound love for learning, as well as a greater confidence to participate in school. This allowed me to form better relationships with teachers and to establish connections with past students at my center that have provided me with great friendships to this day.
How has Kumon helped you outside of the classroom and now as a writer?
Kumon helped me discover my true passion – math. I fell in love with the subject at a young age and this persisted even through challenging long division equations. Outside of the classroom, I have learned the importance of teaching others who share your passions. I have devoted hundreds of hours to spreading knowledge to younger students who are interested in competition math, or simply want to progress in their school.
What are some of your goals as an author?
My primary goal is to make students feel that it is normal to have a monster in their lives that prevents them from learning with classmates. There are ways to conquer your fears of academic topics, as your teacher is always there to help you. Also, carrying-over is a difficult process to master, and I hope that my presentation aids students in embracing the topic more easily.
What was the most beneficial thing you learned during your Kumon journey?
It is quite difficult to try to rank the many skills that I gained from Kumon. Grammar, factorization, or vocabulary all come to mind; however, my ultimate takeaway from Kumon was my lifelong love for learning. Every day, I find myself curious to gain knowledge that I didn’t know about the day before.
If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
At first you will advance at an unbelievable rate, but I promise you there will come a time when you face what seems like insurmountable challenges in your learning. At that point, you must have the mindset that you can move past that stage, but the effort required will be greater than ever before. I promise, every ounce of work that you pour into Kumon will be worth it.
Any other information you’d like to share about yourself or your Kumon experience?
If I had a say, all students should give Kumon a try. It is by no means easy, but I assure you it will all pay off in the end both in school and in life.