“Yung Kumon, parang tutorial diba?” “Ah, Kumon. Preschool ‘yan diba?”
These are just two of the common misconceptions that people often have of the Kumon Method of Learning. This does not come as a surprise because learning centers abound nowadays, with Kumon often identified as just one of the tutorial centers or small preschools.
What sets Kumon apart from tutorial centers and preschools is the program’s goal to develop strong academic skills that will enable a child to advance beyond his current school grade level. The program also aims to nurture a child’s character through developing confidence, discipline, and good study habits, among others.
There are key features of the Kumon Method that greatly contribute to the mentioned goal and that make it different from tutorial centers and small preschools. Here are four:
Easy Starting Point
A child starts at the most comfortable starting point which is suggested by the Diagnostic Test he takes before enrollment. This starting point is usually a level lower than his current school grade level which allows him to attain a perfect score. This is to make sure that the child can answer the worksheets with the skills he currently has. It also develops his confidence and motivation since he is familiar with the topics he is working on.
It is acknowledged that each child has an individual set of abilities and needs, and that one child’s work pace differs from another child. With this, his workload and progress is tailored to his ability. He is not rushed from one topic to another which allows him to develop the needed abilities and to master topics needed to build a solid foundation. The child not only gains strong academic skills especially in the basics, but also a stronger motivation to keep on learning and moving forward.
Studying everyday, specifically for short periods of time, allows a child to retain knowledge for a longer period of time. Kumon worksheets are done everyday – there are no holidays. This allows the child to be more familiar with the study routine and with the topics since he studies it regularly. Also, he develops good study habits and time management skills which allow him to easily differentiate between study time and play time.
Being able to learn a topic on one’s own allows a child to easily remember how to do or solve it even after a long period of time. The design of the Kumon worksheets allows a child to self-learn, or learn topics independently. Each topic is presented in minute steps, which allows him to master one topic before moving on to the next topic. Also, new topics are introduced through the use of examples, which allow a child to figure out how to solve problems on his own. A child develops perseverance, confidence, independence, and the eagerness to try challenges with a ‘never-say-die’ spirit.