Student Uses Independent Learning Skills to Thrive

Student Uses Independent Learning Skills to Thrive

Aria, 10 years old, Kumon Math Level I

Imagine having to make new friends after skipping a grade in school. Luckily, for 10-year-old Aria, conquering challenges is a skill she has mastered over time. After her second-grade teacher discovered her potential and capabilities, Aria was qualified to take third grade math in second grade. Her second grade teacher, however, who had taught for 26 years, was convinced Aria needed more and advocated for acceleration. Aria’s success and progress gave her the unique opportunity to completely skip the third grade – one of her proudest achievements.

When Aria enrolled in Kumon three years ago, it was initially to offset the boredom she felt at school. “The math we were learning at school was so easy; I wanted something harder and new,” she says. Excited by the progress she was making, Aria was determined to learn more math and Kumon soon became a big part of her life.

“Challenging” is the one word Aria uses to describe her Kumon experience. Aria says, “The worksheets are challenging and the time commitment is challenging; you really have to pour your mind and heart into it.” Aria’s motivation in Kumon is driven by the understanding she gains at the end of the learning process. “In the end, there is a sense of accomplishment and that rewarding feeling is what empowers me to keep going,” she says.

Studying advanced math has allowed Aria to stay ahead of what is being taught at school. She has been able to complete schoolwork quickly, and even become a resource to help other students who may be struggling. Aria says, “Kumon has helped me progress faster academically than I may have without it.”

Thanks to Aria’s strong independent learning skills, she found it easy to transition to online learning during the pandemic. Aria says, “I didn’t struggle when schools closed because I was already in the habit of completing work on my own. In fact, I took the initiative to run for Treasurer of my school’s Student Council and now serve on its Executive Board!”

This year, Aria was one of 155 students selected from Canada, USA, and Mexico to attend the 2020 Kumon Student Conference. Aria was invited to apply because of her advanced study in math, and accepted because of her achievements both inside and outside the classroom. 

The Student Conference was motivational and inspiring to Aria. She says, “Hearing the Kumon Ambassadors speak about their experiences inspired me to set new goals for myself, such as reaching Level J by the end of 6th grade and finishing the Kumon Math Program.”

We wish Aria the best of luck as she continues to reach for her goals. We have no doubt that her determination and independent learning skills will help her navigate through any challenges in life. 

Learn more about Aria’s interests and aspirations:

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Although I love the entire Harry Potter series, I especially like this one because of the bravery and strength Sirius Black and the other characters show. It is very admirable and lots of lessons can be learned from the story. I also think it was a turning point in the series because Harry learns so much information that is useful to him in the later books.

What are some activities you enjoy doing outside of school and Kumon?

I really enjoy playing piano, especially classical music! I have been learning piano for four years. I currently enjoy playing music by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Czerny, and Kuhlau. I also take regular religious and Hindi language classes. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed G.A.T.E (Gifted and Talented Education) programs and swimming, but those are on hold now. When I have free time outside of those activities, I enjoy baking, playing games, watching movies, hiking, biking, and spending time with my family and friends.

What do you enjoy most about Kumon?

I enjoy how Kumon gives me a challenge and then a reward. When faced with a new topic, I often struggle to solve the equations the first time. However, once I understand the material, a feeling of accomplishment (my reward) takes over and makes all the hard work feel worth it. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I grow up, I would like to be a teacher. Improving my math skills at Kumon has given me the ability to help my peers in and out of school. For example, last year, my teacher went on maternity leave and I pretty much taught the class for the first few days. This year, I was asked to help other students in my math class. My piano teacher even asks me to make music worksheets for my younger sister. All of this has given me experience in explaining concepts to other people. Also, I love social interactions with children who are younger than me and I believe I will continue to like this association as I grow older.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My grandparents are my biggest inspiration. My grandmother, whom I call Nanisa, is a two-time cancer survivor and an immigrant from India. The strength and bravery she has shown throughout her life is incredible. My grandfather, Nanasa, is a fountain of knowledge. You can pretty much ask him any question and he will give you a detailed, researched, and thought-out answer. They inspire me to be the best I can be.