How One Student Learned to Love the Kumon Program
Meet Rachel. The bubbly 11-year-old enjoys riding her bike with friends and practicing martial arts. Like many fifth graders, Rachel is studying multiplication and division in school. Unlike her classmates, however, Rachel is not concerned about the prospect of fractions on the horizon. That’s because she already mastered them in Kumon. In fact, she’s studying advanced algebra in Kumon, completing work that’s five years above her school grade level.
Kumon wasn’t always a breeze for Rachel. When she started, she tried any method she could think of to avoid doing her worksheets. And by any method, we mean any method. Rachel would tell her Instructor that the dog ate her homework—even though she didn’t have a dog. She would roll her worksheets into a ball, grind them with a cheese grater, and then throw away the evidence. Once, she chucked her worksheets into a fire pit. She even soaked her worksheets in water, hid them in the freezer, and broke the frozen sheets into pieces.
Eventually, Rachel realized that no matter how many worksheets she destroyed, her Instructor would always have a replacement. She reluctantly started completing her worksheets and soon discovered it wasn’t as difficult as she feared. She began to excel in school, and the tradeoff more than made up for having to do some extra work in the evenings. Rachel is now so advanced in math that she finishes both her classwork and homework during school, leaving her with plenty of time to tackle her Kumon at home.
Rachel’s early struggles in Kumon prepared her for her favorite extracurricular activity, Hapkido. Hapkido is a hybrid martial art that focuses on several techniques, including throwing and kicks. Rachel was already a veteran Kumon Student when she started Hapkido, so she knew her practices wouldn’t always be easy. As a result, she doesn’t get discouraged when she can’t master a kick right away. Instead, when she struggles with a new move, she takes a step back, rests, and then tries again. Eventually, she figures it out and moves onto the next technique, just like in Kumon.
The road to success isn’t always easy. Taking on something new, like Kumon, can seem like an insurmountable task at first. However, with some practice and perspective, what seemed impossible eventually becomes doable. The worksheets Rachel worked so hard to destroy seven years ago could probably be completed in mere seconds now. The basic kicks she learned when first starting Hapkido could probably be done in her sleep. Rachel will continue to face difficult problems in Kumon and learn complex moves in Hapkido, but she’ll keep trying and will master them, too.