Van, started at 9 years old (Grade 3)
I started the Kumon Math Program when I was still in my third grade. At first, I was hesitant because enrolling in it would mean less time for me to play, watch, and enjoy whatever I wanted to do during my free time.
After a few center visits, I gradually started to enjoy my Kumon worksheets. I remember the time when with every center visit, I would be excited not only because my parents would take me to the mall, but also about being able to answer my worksheets quickly and accurately.
Kumon made me realize that I have a remarkable talent in math. I usually got high grades in my math tests during my elementary years because my lesson in Kumon Math then was the same, if not advanced, compared to what we tackled in class in our school. My Kumon Math journey then was very smooth sailing. It was also then that I was really convinced that Kumon would help me become an advanced student in the field of mathematics.
Now that I have finished my Kumon Math journey, I feel proud that I have truly lived up to my name. I am glad that I did not just learn the math concepts in the process but also the values of determination, patience and hard work.
After accomplishing the higher math topics in Level O (which by the way, I am still not yet tackling in my current math course in college), I really feel I have indeed advanced myself not only as a student but also as a person because of the life skills I have learned along the way.
Gianna, started at 6 years old (Kinder 2)
The Kumon Reading Program helped me develop my vocabulary and comprehension skills which I believe are some of the most important aspects for success in this field. The challenging language and words used in the stories in Level L taught me to be more patient and persevering.
And I believe that reaching this goal was realized through hard work, patience, and maintaining the right attitude towards success. My goal was not just to finish the Reading Program, but most importantly, to apply what I had learned from it. As Stephen Brennan once said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
My experience with Kumon has truly made a big impact in my life, particularly in the academic aspect. The morals Kumon has taught me can be applied in various ways and situations. Some of the important life lessons Kumon has taught me are goal-setting, time management, striving for excellence and going beyond my comfort zone to achieve my dreams and aspirations.
Rusell, started at 5 years old (Kinder 1)
Throughout my Kumon journey, I have learned and experienced a lot. Aside from the studies, Kumon has taught me self-discipline and perseverance.
These two have also helped me in my everyday life, from doing homework to becoming independent in whatever I do. Through Kumon, I was also given the chance—an opportunity which only a few can have—to be an exchange student in Japan. I really had a great time meeting new friends and exploring the culture there. This is one of the most memorable times I will treasure forever in my life.
I feel so happy because through my determination, perseverance and hard work, I was able to achieve my goal.
Studying Kumon is indeed a great experience for everyone, but finishing Kumon gives the feeling of accomplishment and not everyone is given this chance. After this great accomplishment, my life journey still continues and I know that my experiences in Kumon will help me become successful someday.
Prue, started at 3 years old (Pre-school)
According to my parents, they enrolled me in Kumon because of one thing: “to learn to read.”
I didn’t really care about this learn-to-read-thing they were saying back then. I just looked forward to the happy moments (a.k.a. playtime). I remember mingling with the nice little kids inside the Center while waiting for my dad to fetch me. I didn’t even know the meaning of low starting point at that time. All I knew was that Kumon was fun and easy. Still, I would always wait for the activities that bring more excitement than the worksheets (e.g. computer time, Nickelodeon break, new addition to my Pokemon collection and of course, ice cream day!)
When the worksheets got harder, I was forced to act like a grown-up. But despite the hardships, the rewards were amazing. My handwriting developed and improved satisfactorily even without school. I was also able to enjoy the world of books at an early age. It’s a rewarding world. I’ve been a resident of Longbourn in Hertfordshire, hunted the giant marlin in the sea with Santiago, fought alongside Hamlet, and sailed in a raft with Huck and Jim.
Doing the last two levels of the Reading Program, I realized that life is not a bed of roses. I would always spend half of my Kumon time whining and begging my parents to let me quit when faced with difficulties. My mom would just say, “No problem. Teacher Monette is just a text away. Let me know if you’ve made up your mind.” Behind the cool, calm, and collected mom lies a crying heart. I would always feel guilty about complaining every time she says these familiar lines and would just go back to my worksheets.
After three years of battling Kumon, the difficulties finally surrendered to my discipline, determination, patience, and perseverance. These life skills that I learned in Kumon made me win. One of the best things about completing the Reading Program is having more time to do my Math worksheets which motivated me to finish the program aside from the fear of getting F’s in class. I’m glad that there’s Kumon and I’m happy that my parents didn’t let me quit. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to share this experience.
Now I know why my mom and dad enrolled me in Kumon. It’s because of another thing, and that is “to learn by reading.”
Katsuya, started at 5 years old (Kinder)
My Kumon journey started when I was 5 years old, way back in May 2003. It was my dad, Satoru, who gave me an idea of what Kumon is. My mom and I then agreed that we should try it out. I thought it was all about numbers. I started at the Level 4A (Writing Numbers and Counting Dots). I was also very shy then. However, I slowly got used to my surroundings and interacted with others.
The worksheets started easy, but it got harder as I moved up to higher Levels. I realized that my task was difficult when I was on Level D (Multiplication, Division, Fractions). When I reached Level J (Algebraic Expressions, Factorization, Quadratic and Simultaneous Equations), I began having a difficult time balancing my school work and school projects together with my Kumon assignments. Also, during summer vacations, my family and I usually go out of the country so I take my worksheets with me. I learned to divide my time enjoying and answering my Kumon worksheets during summer.
I have also learned to balance my Kumon and regular school. To be honest, there were times when the thought of stopping crossed my mind. But when I reached Level M (Trigonometric Functions, Equations of Straight Lines and Circles), I had a concrete goal of finishing the program, although I would sleep late just to do one worksheet. I overcame it by remembering that if I didn’t do it, I’d have to answer all of my assignments in one day. Besides, I am so close to finishing the program and I would have wasted my time if I stopped. After all, my desire to complete the program was very strong.
Being one of the youngest Completers in the Philippines, I would like to impart my experience and serve as an example not only to Kumon students but to all children as well. I have realized that my Kumon journey has molded me to become a good role model, who is responsible, focused, and determined. Kumon has taught me to be patient and to persevere. It taught me the value of discipline. To all students, do not forget that to be a Kumon completer, you must be hardworking, diligent, and most of all, one who pursues his or her dreams in life. I am proud to say that I have completed the Kumon Math and Reading Programs. I believe that you can too!
Errol, started at 7 years old (Grade 1)
I did not have a low starting point during my enrollment in Kumon Math. I started at Level A1 (Addition and Subtraction) during the Free Trial last September 16, 2006 and moved to the next Level after one month. But even if I had a low starting point, it would have not discouraged me either since it would make starting my Math Program easier. My opinion on the low starting point is that it is for students to gain self-confidence from doing easy exercises and to develop the habit of daily study.
Kumon helped me develop the habit of studying and acquired the love of learning. I used to be very lazy to study but now I love it. Because of this development, I got the first honor when I was in grade one and grade two with an average of 95%. I also bagged two consecutive gold medals for the MTAP-DepEd Math Challenges and two certificates of merit for achieving the second honor in the written exam. I always rank number 1 during the team oral competition. I also won a gold medal in the Division Math quiz bee.
My life outside Kumon was also influenced by my Kumon study because some people would call me “Einstein” or sometimes, “Genius.” There are a lot of expectations from other people. [For example], if I join a math competition, everybody expects me to win.
I have experienced difficulties when I reached Level F (Fractions and the Four Operations) and G (Introductory Algebra) of the Math worksheets because it takes three to four months to accomplish the worksheets and pass the achievement test. I also had a hard time balancing Kumon and school when I reached Level O (Advanced Differentiation, Calculus, Differential Equations). To overcome this, I did my worksheets during lunch break, lessened my time spent on watching TV, and totally stopped playing game boy. I overcame this problem with a little sacrifice and lots of hard work.
I had the motivation to complete the program since the very beginning because my father had challenged me to follow the footsteps of Katsuya, one of the Philippines’ youngest Math Completer. My father helped me make a plan and time table with the goal of completing the program and passing the completion test.
Completion of the program made me happy and joyful. It gave me the desire to excel in all my academics and pass all the qualifying examination in the coming years. After completing the Math Program, I now have my eyes on finishing my Kumon Reading Program.