Young Kumon Math Student’s Self-Learning Skills Help Him Flourish
10-year-old Julien, Math Level J
Julien’s advanced math abilities were noticed very early on in his life, when it was discovered that math was his gift. At just four years old, he started mental addition of double-digit numbers before teaching himself to do mental multiplication.
Once he reached first grade, Julien asked his parents to find something that provided him with more advanced math opportunities to continue to develop his skills. His above average ability for quantitative reasoning ultimately led to his enrollment in the Kumon Math Program. The program allowed him to work at his own pace while conquering new challenges.
This year, Julien was proud to have been selected to attend the 2020 Kumon Student Conference. One of his favorite parts of the event was listening to the inspiring stories of other students.
His math skills were recognized as they have flourished throughout his four years in the Kumon Program. He has won several math awards, earned first place in grade 4 for the MOEMS Math Olympiad last year and scored in the 99th percentile in Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
Julien said, “I love the challenge of solving complicated math equations. I like the feeling of being able to work out a problem, especially with many steps.”
He credits Kumon for helping him improve his independence and focus. As he moved up through the levels in the program, he was able stay focused to solve the multistep math problems mentally. This allowed him to think through tough problems on his own and uncover the solution.
“I learned that no matter how difficult or challenging something may seem, as long as I work hard and don’t give up, I can work through it,” said Julien.
His ability to focus has enhanced all of his other passions. He has become more confident in other subjects in school, and doesn’t fear giving the wrong answer. Julien now has the confidence to solve problems and to learn how to get to the solution.
When Julien decides on a career path in the future, he hopes to choose one that allows him to apply his love for math.
“As of today, I want to be a civil engineer when I grow up, but I am open to changing my mind. I know that I want math to be a part of whatever I am doing. We use math in pretty much everything we do each day, sometimes without realizing it,” said Julien.
In his free time, Julien enjoys reading, collecting comic books, playing chess, swimming, and riding his bike. He also plays two musical instruments, the piano and violin.
Learn more about Julien’s inspiration and advice to Kumon Students.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration is Mileva Meric (Albert Einstein’s first wife). I have read that she was also an excellent mathematician and physicist and that she worked with Einstein during the time in his life when he made his greatest discoveries. During that period of time, because she was a woman, she didn’t get the attention that she deserved. Her work was taken for granted and even lost to history but it’s very possible that she actually was a better mathematician than Einstein.
What is your favorite book and why?
This was a really difficult question for me to answer but I would say at least one of my favorite books is The One and Only Ivan. I enjoyed this book because it was a good example of the importance of friendships.
What advice would you give to kids just starting Kumon?
I would tell kids just starting Kumon to just do the best that they can. Over time, they will learn what areas they need more help in and feel good about what they have already learned and are able to do. If they feel overwhelmed, I would remind them of that great feeling that comes with overcoming something that they thought they couldn’t do.
How do you continue to stay motivated in Kumon even when work becomes challenging?
I actually really like it when the math problems become challenging and are difficult for me to solve. Sometimes it’s like solving a 3D puzzle, I look at it from different sides. I feel really good when I eventually solve them.