Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kumon's 3 Achievements

Mrs. Mary Jane Chan
(Delivered during the center's ASHR Awarding in December 2008)

A couple of weeks ago, we attended a yearly talent show at my daughters’ school, where prep students are asked to show off their talents. My youngest daughter, Gabie, was a participant in a Math Contest.

Gabie won the math contest and also got another award in creative writing. One of the mothers approached me and asked, “Maganda ba ang Kumon?” Another parent commented that there were other contestants who were also doing Kumon but did not win or didn’t even belong to the outstanding students in class.

My answer to the first question is that, Kumon as a co-curricular activity, is a good fit for my daughters, Claire, in Gr 4, Ella in Gr 3 and Gabie. Our main objective for enrolling them in Kumon was to eliminate Math Scare, which is common among students and even for people in the corporate or business world. At an early age, doing math mentally will give them confidence and a different perspective about Math.

As to the comments made by the other mom, this was my response: Kumon is not a guarantee of winning Math Quizzes and getting medals in school. It is merely a tool. The rest lies in the attitude and inspiration that the students get from school and at home.

In the past four years, Kumon has helped achieve three things for my family. First, it has become a training ground for my kids to develop efficient study habits. By the time we get home from work, my daughters’ Kumon worksheets and homeworks are already done. The only task left for my husband and me is to check their work and discuss possible mistakes.

Second, Kumon is a practice of patience and determination. Doing activities repeatedly with time pressure had caused teary moments in our household. This happened in our early Kumon days, and now, it’s happening with Gabie, my youngest. I reached a point where I thought of dropping Kumon because the kids didn’t seem to be enjoying it. But once the difficult part of math and reading worksheets were done, my kids told me, “It’s okay mom. Tomorrow it will not be that hard anymore”.

Lastly, Kumon provides an avenue to realize the importance of setting goals and the value of time. I remember Claire, my eldest, telling me that she wanted to achieve gold in Math before May, so she can join the awarding in Baguio in October or November. Ella told me the same, because she doesn’t want to be left behind.

Surprisingly, the kids found time to schedule their daily activities for Kumon, homework, play and TV. Even schedules of trips and vacations were part of the family’s discussion over dinner. And the kids have a big say on it.

There is a lot to be thankful for today. I thank God for my daughters’s perseverance and hard work. I thank the Kumon teachers who have been patiently guiding the kids. I thank the Kumon students for the smiles they give my kids as they go to the center. I thank the parents of Kumon students, with whom I shared many experiences during the two hours of waiting in the center, turning the agony of waiting into pleasant conversations. And to Teacher Maribel, thank you for the inspiration and for the sincerity to impart knowledge not only for the kids but for parents as well. Thank you and a Blessed Christmas to all.

Name of Parent: MRS. MARY JANE CHAN
Center: ANGELES CITY CENTER (Philippines)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kumon's Long-Term Benefits

By Mrs. Trixie Fajardo

My elder daughter Nicole (Gr. 4) has been with the KUMON program for 5 years now. She started with Level 3A (basic addition) when she was about to enter Prep school and is now halfway through Level G, Algebra. Ysabel, her younger sister, also enrolled in the Math program last summer… Even before I enrolled my children to KUMON, I have already heard of the KUMON Learning Program from a few friends and have read a couple of its ads in major newspapers … in Manila…Actually, my mother and I had difficulty tutoring my nieces in Math when they were in grade school perhaps because they did not have sufficient background of the basics in Math so we though KUMON might help. Curious also of the program after attending the Orientation, I then enrolled Nicole together with my nieces.

I really did not see the long term effect of the program until Nicole entered grade school. Since she was already 3 levels higher than her grade level she really did not have difficulty with her Math. Having mastered her addition, subtraction, and multiplication, she would do her seatwork and quizzes way ahead of her classmates. She could already do exercises from the book even before the teacher introduced a new lesson. Sometimes, during exams, we would skip reviewing Math because she fully understood the lessons…we would then review only Math concepts she has not taken up at the center…Nicole’s journey with the program was not all smooth though. Whenever she would move to the next level, and had difficulty doing it, she would nag me about quitting the program. Crying, she would question why I enrolled in KUMON and would give me a litany of reasons why she need not go to KUMON…the worksheets would mean additional work…, not to mention the fact that she needed to review for quizzes the next day…I must admit that whenever she would nag me about quitting I would tell her to quit dance classes too, to unload her of the many things she is into. Of course, she would refuse because she loves dancing so much, so KUMON lessons had to continue without question. But as soon as she understood the lesson and could solve them then she would do the worksheets faster and would look forward to coming to the center again.

I believe that apart from the technical point of view, KUMON has helped Nicole in many ways. With the skills she has attained, she has gained confidence. She has not only represented the school in a couple of Math competitions, just recently, she participated in a cheer dancing competition. She is also into Polynesian and hiphop dancing and a member of the Discovery Club in school. Despite her various activities, she has maintained to be in the honor roll…Before KUMON, Nicole was so timid but now she is not afraid of discovering her other skills and developing her talents. Her enrollment with the KUMON program also helped her to become independent. Now, she would do assignments and review her lessons on her own especially when I am not at home. She would also volunteer to do other household chores aside from her usual duties at home…To Nicole, I hope that she would continue believing and learning because only in believing that she would achieve. And what she achieves, she becomes. And I am sure KUMON plays a very significant role in the development not only to Nicole, but also, I am sure, of every student at that.

Name of Parent: TRIXIE FAJARDO