The Three People You Meet at Kumon
February 6, 2012 ~
Toru Kumon believed all children have the ability to reach for and perform at their highest potential. For a child to truly reach that potential, it takes a village. At Kumon, it takes the involvement of the student, parent and instructor to write a child’s personal success story. Clear communication among this trio, along with defined roles and expectations, will ensure a Kumon Student’s happiness and success in the long run. It is important for every Kumon Parent to understand the roles of each person involved in this journey of learning and achievement.
The Kumon Student
The Kumon Student is the heart and soul of Kumon. It is the belief in a child’s unlimited potential that drives instructors to open centers and parents to enroll their children. The student starts at the level where he or she is most comfortable and already experiencing success. At first, Kumon may seem quite easy. Kumon is intentionally designed to begin where the student feels most confident. As a student progresses, that confidence should only increase. It is important for the Kumon Student to stay diligent and positive as the program progresses and work becomes more difficult. The more dedicated the student is to completing the work every day, the better the results will be in the long run. Each Kumon student experiences difficult periods in the program and may wish to quit. It is possible that, as his or her work escalates in difficulty, the student may complain regularly about having to do his or her Kumon. However, when a student feels overwhelmed, the lines of communication to the rest of the trio must be open. Through the daily practice, the student builds solid study skills, perseverance and the motivation to solve problems independently.
The Kumon Parent
The Kumon Parent plays a critical role in a child’s success in Kumon. Parental involvement is the key factor in a student’s success, be it at Kumon or in school. Involvement doesn’t stop after enrollment. The majority of Kumon worksheets are completed at home, where it is incredibly important for the parent to stay engaged to ensure completion of the daily assignments. When a parent stays engaged, he or she is able to give specific praise that is directly related to the student’s current level and the challenges he or she is facing. This kind of daily praise and encouragement is more meaningful and can provide a genuine boost to the student as the levels become more difficult. To assist in keeping the parent up-to-date about the student’s progress, the instructor can provide a level summary sheet or a table of learning materials to ensure that parents understand the goals for each set of 10 worksheets and the entire level.
The parent is also a great resource to the Kumon Instructor, providing valuable insights into each child’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. This information helps the instructor understand each child’s needs in greater depth and allows for time spent in the center to be more efficient and well spent. The more involved and committed the parent is in the student’s progress, the better the experience will be for everyone. As levels get harder, and children advance through the program, having routine meetings with the instructor about a child’s progress is valuable for both the parent and the child. Check in regularly with the instructor to ensure that the student is on track to reach his or her annual goals in Kumon.
The Kumon Instructor
The Kumon Instructor is the student’s and parent’s guide through the process of academic enrichment. When questions arise, whether about helping the child at home, what techniques can be used to tackle specific challenges or the general pacing of the student’s progress, the instructor is the go-to expert. Working with the student in-center and having intimate knowledge of the Kumon Method allows instructors to create a truly personalized program for each student. If anything becomes unclear or the student begins to struggle, the instructor is there to help each student work through issues. Instructors are also wonderful cheerleaders for students, communicating when things are going well, helping encourage and celebrate those successes along the way. As the student progresses through the levels, the instructor individually tailors personal lessons to meet his or her needs.
The Final Goal
When student, parent and instructor work in harmony, the student has every opportunity to reach his or her potential and complete the Kumon program. Becoming a Kumon completer is the final stage of the program, but the benefits of learning and growing with Kumon will last a lifetime. Better focus, confidence and grades are just some of the many benefits of sticking with the program and working as a team.