Kumon - Teaching Children to Learn
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/24/2006 | Education
Are you anxious to see your child learn to read and write? Whether they are already enrolled in a school program or you are spending time teaching your child at home, it is every parent's hope that their child will master these and other skills with ease.
The fad of creating super-genius children may be out, but concerned parenting will always be in. Encouraging your child to learn in a manner that makes learning rewarding and fun will help him or her to build confidence and self-reliance.
WHAT IS KUMON?
Kumon was created 50 years ago in Japan by a father and teacher. It is just one of the many programs available that help children improve their reading, writing and math skills outside of the school system.
The Kumon system is self-taught. The work is illustrated on the worksheet and the student is given assignments to be completed over several days. Students attend the Kumon centers about two days per week for marking and new assignments. Assignments are short (about 20 minutes per day) and parental involvement is encouraged.
HOW IS KUMON DIFFERENT?
Instead of frustration and pressure, the Kumon learning system is geared to build confidence and create a positive learning experience. Part of that comes from using self-motivation rather than a class or tutor to guide the student. This system works by evaluating the student's level of understanding and starting them with familiar work they can easily complete.
Starting the student with work that is easy builds confidence. The work gradually incorporates more complex lessons so the student can learn new skills on their own without assistance.
When an assignment is turned in with errors, the student will redo the assignment until it can be completed without error before moving on. This is very different from traditional schools where assignments are marked and returned and the class moves on to new work regardless of the abilities of individuals within the class.
Since Kumon is self-taught, there are no pressures to keep up with a class. Each student moves at their own pace. Working on one assignment until completed accurately ensures the student understands the concepts and is ready to move forward. Each student is therefore working at 100% of their potential.
HOW CAN MY CHILD LEARN WITH KUMON?
Whether you want to use Kumon to build on what your child already knows or to help master skills that they are behind on in school, you can find a Kumon center online or look for Kumon materials sold in bookstores or online.
Kumon is just one way parents can help their children to learn. Looking for a program that builds confidence or using similar techniques at home all work towards helping children learn to teach themselves - a skill that will reward them throughout their lifetime.