Founder Toru Kumon believed that language is the foundation of all abilities. Thus, alongside with the Kumon Math Program, he placed equal weight on the importance of the Kumon Reading Program.
Similar to the Math Program, the Kumon Reading Program also aims to have students study materials that are three years or more beyond their school grade level. Thus, in Kumon, it is but natural to see how a grade three student look forward to the adventures of Huckleberry Finn or even memorize lines from William Shakespeare’s classical sonnet.
Comprising 27 levels starting from 7A through L (Levels A to I are split into two sections – I and II), the program improves the students’ reading comprehension abilities by targeting its three main facets: reading aloud, reading fluently, and vocabulary power.
Regarded as the yardstick to assess reading difficulties, reading aloud is practiced as early as Levels 7A-2A. By listening to how students read, the Instructors can assess if the child is learning topics that he can still finish despite the difficulty aka the “just-right” level of the child. Furthermore, a child who reads aloud can fully understand the content of the passages and, at the same time, develop a positive attitude towards reading.
The Kumon Reading Program also encourages reading books from the Recommended Reading List (RRL) to develop reading fluency, or the ability to read aloud and read rapidly, in the child. Each level has recommended reading materials that suit the reading ability of the child. This orientation to a wide variety of books introduces the child to the enjoyable side of reading.
As the child progresses in each level, he also expands his vocabulary power. The Reading Program does this by introducing the child to new words with the correct denotations and usage.
So, why invest in the Reading Program? As Mr. Toru Kumon once said,
“Such well-read children will eventually grow into the type of people who are capable of living happily and productive, and actively striving to help make the world a better place.”