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The Kumon Method and Its Strengths

At Kumon we are dedicated to fully pursuing the potential of each individual student. Kumon Instructors provide just enough guidance for their students to be able to do the exercises on their own. As a result, our students learn that they can do anything if they try, build self-esteem, and develop the ability to take on new challenges for themselves.

Kumon aims to foster sound, capable individuals who are able to independently carve out a path for themselves in life.

At Kumon we believe that the most beneficial thing we can do for children is to furnish them with the ability to advance to high school level material through self-learning as early as possible in life.

With the Kumon Method, students study independently from an early age and develop both a high level of academic ability and the ability to learn independently, or what we at Kumon refer to as “self-learning” ability. As a result, after children who have done Kumon grow up and enter the workforce, they are able to think of solutions by themselves even when faced with difficult challenges. All in all, the skills that students gain through doing Kumon go a long way to helping them to achieve their goals and dreams.

The Kumon Method was born from a parent’s love for his child.

When first developing the Kumon Method, its founder, Toru Kumon theorized that as long as his son was able to do maths easily in high school, he would have plenty of time to spend on whatever other pursuits he was interested in. So he thought about what he could do at home to help his son gain proficiency in high school maths.

With the aim of helping his son gain independence, Toru Kumon prepared his own learning materials and study method. He wrote out calculation problems on loose-leaf worksheets and combined them with a self-study method that would enable his son to advance by himself.

In effect what Toru Kumon did was to create the prototype for Kumon Method education. He had laid the foundation for Kumon’s individualised approach that enables each student to learn in accordance with his or her academic ability, and for Kumon’s pursuit of potential; both of which we continue to place the utmost importance on.

With the Kumon Method students begin study from a comfortable starting point that is suitable for each student’s level of ability, without taking their age or grade level into consideration.

With the Kumon Method students learn by doing the worksheets independently without being taught.

Letting students begin study from a point that they can do easily, without making judgments based on age or school grade level, enables them to experience the joy of learning. For example, when they are studying comfortably students can do the work by themselves, they can get a 100 percent score, they enjoy their study, and they can advance to the next worksheets without difficulty. So the comfortable starting point is essential for creating a solid foundation for study, with which students can independently develop their academic ability.

At Kumon, we enable students to develop advanced academic and self-learning ability by ensuring that they are always studying at a level that is “just right” for them.

So what is the “just-right” level of study? It is the optimum level for each student to develop academic and self-learning ability. It can be a comfortable level or a challenging one, depending on what is best for each student at different stages in their Kumon studies. What remains constant, however, is that it must always be a level at which students can repeatedly experience a sense of accomplishment and progress on their own without being taught. Keeping this in mind, Kumon Instructors continually challenge students to grow by gradually increasing the level of difficulty of the worksheets they assign, while taking into account increases in each student’s level of academic ability.

When studying at the “just-right” level, students are provided with a suitable amount of mental stimulus, just as they would have to attempt appropriate physical tasks in order to build a strong body. Through continued study at this level students gain self-confidence and an understanding that they can do something if they give it try, which enables them to build up a high level of academic ability.

The Kumon Method aims for students to go beyond their school grade level through self-learning and advance to studying high school level material at an early age.

When studying at the “just-right” level students think for themselves and complete the exercises. When they get stuck they look at the hints and examples incorporated in the worksheets and figure out themselves how to do the exercises. In this way, continued study at the “just-right” level fosters the ability to learn on their own, or as we say at Kumon, “self-learn.”

Students then use that self-learning ability to advance independently beyond their school grade level to higher levels and more difficult exercises.

Thus Kumon study makes it possible for students to advance to high school level material at an early age.

To sum up, the Kumon Method is a learning method that pursues the potential of each individual student and develops his or her ability to the maximum.

We at Kumon believe in the vast potential of our students and want to further develop each student’s ability. Born out of the bond between a parent and child, the Kumon Method of learning faithfully carries on the thinking and ideas of its founder Toru Kumon. At the same time, we constantly strive for something better by continuing to develop our worksheets and instruction method. And today, this learning method continues to go beyond the borders of countries, race, culture and traditions, to reach more and more countries and regions throughout the world.

The following four strengths enable Kumon to achieve all of the above.

1. Individualised Instruction
Kumon is an individualised learning method that allows each student to study at a comfortable level, regardless of age or school grade, and advance beyond his or her current school grade level. At Kumon, students become enthusiastic for learning and experience a sense of accomplishment as they increase their academic ability and develop their potential to the maximum. Read more here

2. Self-Learning
Kumon places great importance on self-learning, encouraging students to read the worksheets, think, and do the exercises on their own. The ability to study independently helps students become proactive and assists them in the pursuit of their goals and aspirations. Read more here

3. Small-Step Worksheets
Kumon worksheets are designed to take students from easy problems to difficult problems in very small steps. This enables each student to study at an appropriate level and advance smoothly through the program. Read more here

4. Kumon Instructors
Kumon Instructors discover what individual students are capable of and bring out their potential. Instructors pay careful attention to each student’s academic ability, personality and how he or she solves the worksheets. Based on their observations, Instructors provide effective support to ensure study at a level that is “just right” for each individual. Read more here



Radio Interview with Kumon Singapore General Manager, Mr Masahiro Takatsu, on 938NOW

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Kumon is the world’s largest after-school learning programme, with over 4 million students in more than 50 countries and regions.