Math is a subject that has a stark division between the ones who love it and the ones who hate it – but Kumon aims to subtract the ‘dis’ from dislikes through their teaching methods! They believe in and are fully dedicated to bringing out the potential of each individual student.
Their instructors provide the right amount of help and guidance for their students to complete the math exercises on their own – thus instilling the values of trying, learning from their mistakes, self-esteem and confidence, and the mindset of tackling new challenges on their own.
Building Independent Individuals
Kumon believes that the best thing that they can do for children is to give them the capability to self-learn as early as possible in their life. Using the Kumon Method, students study independently and develop both in academics and independent learning.
They encourage students to discover how to solve problems for themselves without asking for the answer. Through doing exercises on their own, students gain confidence in their studies and develop the desire to advance even further.
When each child is given worksheets appropriate to his or her ability, concentration can be improved by doing a certain number of worksheets in one sitting. Students feel a sense of achievement, which motivates them to keep progressing to more advanced worksheets.
When students get stuck in certain areas of the worksheets, or take a long time to complete their study, they repeat as necessary, which helps them to master the content and move on to the next step.
Kumon’s worksheets have been constructed in a manner that enables students to progress in small steps, from easy to difficult. Great importance is placed on children learning how to understand the learning focus and finding solutions and answers on their own.
Therefore, students are no quickly given answers when they approach instructors with questions; instead, instructors carefully guide the students in a way that enables them to be aware of the focal point and solve problems by themselves.
Laying the foundations for not just school but in life as well, Kumon alumni are able to think of solutions on their own even when they’re faced with challenges – the skills that students gain through Kumon help them to achieve their goals and dreams later down the line.
Catered to their Academic Ability
Putting aside judgements on their students’ age or level at school, Kumon lets their students begin math from a point where they can easily do the worksheets, building their confidence and letting them enjoy the joy of learning.
They don’t prevent students from advancing to secondary school math just because they’re still in primary school – as long as the student is capable of understanding and solving secondary school level math.
For example, when they are studying comfortably, students can do the work by themselves, get full marks, enjoy their study, and then advance to the next level of worksheets without difficulty!
Kumon calls this the ‘just right’ level of study – the optimum level for each student to develop academic and self-learning ability. It can be a comfortable or challenging level, depending on what’s best for each student at different stages in their studies.
Students begin their Kumon study at a level that they can easily handle, which is often lower than the level of material they are studying at school. Before long, through continued study at the ‘just right’ level, they reach their school grade level and then advance beyond the material being studied in their school classroom.
The constant factor is that worksheets must always be at a level where students can repeatedly experience a sense of accomplishment and progress on their own without being taught. Keeping this in mind, Kumon Instructors continuously challenge students to grow by gradually increasing the level of difficulty of the worksheets, while also taking into account each student’s improving academic abilities.
While studying at the ‘just right’ level, students are provided with a suitable amount of mental stimulus, similar to working out in order to build a stronger body! Through continued study at the ‘just right’ level, students gain self-confidence and an understanding that they can accomplish something if they give it a try.
Kumon’s worksheets are laid out in very small steps, enabling each student to advance smoothly from easy to difficult problems. All of these worksheets were carefully designed to take students from counting, up to advanced maths – all while the level of difficulty increases in small steps. This enables students to steadily move up to higher levels on their own.
Their worksheets have also changed with the times, as more information and feedback were gathered from both the students and instructors. The worksheets are always being updated and revised to make them easier for students to do independently.
The worksheets are designed to allow students to advance by self-learning. However, there are times when students encounter problems that they don’t understand or are unable to solve on their own.
When this happens, Kumon instructors step in to help out but do not immediately give students the answers to the problems. They instead find out where the student’s level of understanding is at before giving them hints. Instructors might also show students example problems or previously studied material to help them solve difficult problems on their own.
Instructors focus on guiding students to complete exercises on their own so that they’ll experience a sense of achievement and are able to master new material independently. Instructors also pay careful attention to their individual students’ academic ability and personality, providing effective support to ensure that their student can always study at a level that’s ‘just right’ for them.
Kumon instructors acknowledge the growth of each student without comparing them to the others, while offering praise and encouragement. At the same time, they cooperate closely with parents in monitoring the growth of each student.
Discover More about Kumon
Kumon is also celebrating their 60th Anniversary globally – 60 years of tutoring children all over the world, 60 years of refining their teaching processes, all to ensure the best for our children! They will be running campaigns this year so do follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/KumonSingaporeOfficial to keep up with the updates!
Recommended read: KIDZANIA SINGAPORE: EDUTAINMENT AT ITS FINEST
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