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