It is amazing to see how a child as young as 3 years old coming into class, not being able to sit still for more than five minutes,” muses Jaslyn Hoon, who’s been a KUMON instructor in Singapore for seven years.
“But, with time, that student starts to transform into one who clambers onto the stool and starts writing independently, fully engaged and on-task for 20 minutes at a go.” The best part? “Such transformation is not an uncommon sight,” she says.
Sounds incredible, right? Well, ever since the KUMON method was first developed 65 years ago in Japan by a math-teacher father for his own son, it has excelled at discovering the “boundless potential” in children through individualised instruction. In Singapore alone, there are more than 13,500 active enrolments at 86 centres around the island (compared to just one centre when KUMON came to Singapore in 1995!).
KUMON performs an initial diagnostic for any potential student. Hosted by a KUMON instructor in one of its centres, these gently led exercises determine the child’s “just right” level – the level where the child can easily obtain a perfect score of 100, regardless of his or her age or grade in school.
KUMON is also well-known for its effective worksheets. When children get stumped by a particular question, they are encouraged to study examples at the top of each one to figure out their own solutions (a.k.a., “self-learning”). Children progress, level by level, doing worksheets at the KUMON centres, as well as at home for a certain number of minutes each day.
Jaslyn, who runs the Kumon Learning Centre at Bedok Reservoir, remembers one past preschool-aged pupil who completed the entire programme. The young woman is now in college, and recently earned a scholarship for an overseas internship. “She told me that her journey in KUMON gives her an edge,” shares Jaslyn. How so? “It taught her time-management skills, and made her learn resilience in working towards her objectives.”
Keen to find out more? Sign up for a KUMON orientation on its website today!
by Sara Lyle Bow, From The Finder (Issue 300), September 2019
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