This Accomplished Pianist Has an International Journey with Kumon

This Accomplished Pianist Has an International Journey with Kumon

Sophie sitting

Sophie, 11-years-old, Level J Math

Meet Sophie, she’s a second generation Kumon Student. Sophie’s father grew-up in Tokyo and was enrolled in the Kumon Math Program as an elementary school student. He actually had the honor of attending an award ceremony with our founder, Toru Kumon.

Sophie headshot

Sophie was born in Connecticut, but when she was in the first grade, her family was living in Shanghai due to a job transfer. Unfamiliar with international school curricula in Shanghai, Sophie’s mother wanted to supplement her education and decided to explore Kumon since Sophie’s father experienced success with the program as a child. Sophie spent two years in the Kumon Program in Shanghai before her family returned to the United States.

“When we repatriated back to the United States, I knew that we wanted Sophie to continue doing Kumon, not only because it was helping her achieve an academic advantage, but also because it was a source of constancy for her,” said Susannah, Sophie’s mother. “We were amazed when she enrolled in Connecticut and we realized that it was the exact same material for the same level, but just with instructions in English, instead of Chinese! Sophie

was able to pick-up right where she left off.”

Sophie with the Kumon North America presiden

Sophie shakes hands with Kumon North America president Mino Tanabe


Sophie, now 11-years-old and heading into the sixth grade, was invited to attend the 2018 Kumon Student Conference because of her accomplishments both in-and-out of the classroom. Not only is she studying three years above her grade level, she’s also an accomplished pianist who has been recognized for achievement in her age group.

How has Kumon helped you beyond academics?

Kumon has helped me by emphasizing the importance of practice, organization and follow through in any endeavor—whether it’s something in school, a sport or music. It’s not enough to say you want to do something. You have to have a plan to achieve your goals and systematically dedicate time on a regular basis to get there. Kumon has also helped me manage my time. This has been a valuable lesson as my school work and other commitments continue to grow.

What keeps you motivated in Kumon?

I want to keep growing and learning new material in math. I really like the feeling of accomplishment and that I’m making continuous progress through Kumon. To me, math is like a sport. I need to keep exercising those muscles in my brain to keep in shape and become stronger.

What did it mean to you to attend the Kumon Student Conference?

It was really exciting to meet other Kumon Students who are also studying at a very high level. I really enjoyed getting to know other kids who have similar interests as me. It was a very inspiring day.

Discover even more Kumon success stories.