Self-learning Has Helped This Boy Scout Overcome Challenges

Self-learning Has Helped This Boy Scout Overcome Challenges

Ryan poses in a chair at the student conference

Ryan, 13-years-old, Math Level L, Reading Program Completer

For over 100 years, The Boy Scouts of America has aimed to foster the youth of America by developing responsible citizens through outdoor activities, educational programs, philanthropic work, and career-orientated programs. The scouting method instills the values of trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoor skills in every scout. To advance in ranking, scouts must follow the scouting method which encourages members for continuous involvement and commitment – in order to grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others.

Ryan stands in front of an American flag in his Boy Scouts uniform

For Ryan, he found that he was able to use many of the valuable skills he acquired from Kumon, such as self-learning, in scouting. In the advancement of ranking, he has seen many of the challenges as learning opportunities just like advancing through each level of Kumon.

Three years ago, Ryan began his Kumon journey and has since made remarkable strides. Currently, he’s studying the introduction of calculus and working on concepts like basic differentiation and integration in the Kumon Math Program. Committed to reaching a goal, Ryan persevered and completed the Kumon Reading Program in under three years. Before even entering high school, he now has a solid grasp on literature, having already analyzed notable literary works such as William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman.

Ryan’s academic edge has set him apart from his peers and paved the way for continued academic success. He credits Kumon for gaining a sense of independence and being able to work through any challenge whether it’s in school, boy scouts, or sports.

“Kumon has helped me outside of the classroom in many different ways,” said Ryan. “Whether I am in boy scouts when I am learning a new skill for a new merit badge, or practicing my shooting skills in soccer, I have learned to persevere even when it becomes challenging. Like in Kumon, I learned that repetition and practice have helped me master skills.”

Ryan plays the cello on stage

In scouts, Ryan has found great joy in outdoor activities such as camping and receiving new merit badges. When he’s not on his next camping trip, Ryan is embracing his talents as a musician. Two years ago, Ryan began playing the cello and already has reached monumental moments early in his career. He is proud to say that he passed through the rigorous audition process to have a seat in the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s Junior District 12 Orchestra. The top middle school-aged musicians from the audition are selected within the district to play with this prestigious orchestra. The musicians are judged on sight reading skills like harmonic structure, rhythm, and style.

Ryan’s advanced math skills were noticed by his teachers in school – resulting in him being selected in sixth grade to represent his school at the MATHCOUNTS Competition. This non-profit organization prides themselves on making math fun and getting students to overcome any fear they have of it. In their competition, the brightest students from across the country come together to compete in a unique competition series – challenging students to further build their problem-solving skills.

Ryan’s drive and desire to help others will help him reach his goal of one day becoming a doctor.

“When I grow up, I want to be a doctor because I want to help people,” said Ryan. “I always find joy in talking to people and finding out what kinds of interests they have. I have always wanted to help people, and I feel that seeing a smile on someone’s face is always worth it.”

Ryan’s hard work and discipline didn’t go unnoticed, as he was one of 55 students selected to attend the 2018 Kumon Student Conference in Calgary, Canada. We had the opportunity to speak to Ryan about his Kumon journey.

How has Kumon helped you academically?

Ryan shakes hands with Kumon North America President Mino Tanabe

Ryan shakes hands with Kumon North America President Mino Tanabe

Kumon has helped me in a lot of ways academically. I have improved on self-learning, time management, math skills, and reading comprehension. When it comes to self-learning, some of the electives I take in school require me to figure things out on my own. I feel that because of Kumon, I was prepared for this class and what I must do. For time management, I have learned how to better balance my extracurricular activities and school work. In school I feel that I can quickly understand concepts that are being taught, having already worked through it in Kumon.

If you could sum up your Kumon experience in one word, what would it be?


What did it mean to you attending the Student Conference?

Attending the Student Conference gave me an opportunity to meet other students across North America and learn from them.

What advice do you have for other Kumon Students?

My advice would be to never give up no matter what. Even though you may not enjoy it or find it challenging, it will make such a positive impact on your future. There are limitless ways that Kumon can benefit you, and you will end up thanking yourself when you look back at your journey.

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