Robert Bryan Yee did not have any plans to enroll in Kumon. His mother just told him to try the program at a nearby Kumon Center. What made him excited was when he found out about the topics per level and the level of difficulty for each. This was because he loves to take challenges, especially the mental ones. From there, Bryan realized that math is not a boring subject, after all. What makes a big difference is how the topic is presented and how he deals with it.
Developing Skills in Kumon
Kumon developed Bryan in several ways. It taught him to be independent in his studies, manage his time properly, and gain self-confidence when it comes to academics. Kumon also gave him an upper hand in dealing with mathematics when he reached college. Bryan feels happy because through his determination, perseverance, and hard work; he achieved his goal.
It was easy for Bryan to understand mathematical problems, even the complex ones; thus, it gave him more time to focus on other subjects and activities. As a result, studying in school became less stressful for him, and it gave him more time to cool off his mind.
“I was getting high scores in math, particularly in college algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, even if I did not make much effort in reviewing my lessons. Kumon had already instilled in my mind the mentioned topics before I went to college.”
Kumon also changed the way Bryan thinks. He became more analytical in thinking, and he made decisions clearer and faster. In his chosen career as a quality assurance chemist, it is imperative to think fast and be analytical in approaching problems. From answering tons of problems, Kumon shaped him into a person with strong determination and passion.
“If there is something I would love to do, I would do it with passion and I am determined to finish it until the end. I may experience many failures in life; but for me, it is all right to fail. Failure is like a part of a jigsaw puzzle. The more failures I have, the more I will know what is right for me, which will complete the whole puzzle that is success. “
But most of all, because of Kumon, Bryan developed positive thinking in all matters. Whenever he faces a challenge, be it in life or school, he can calmly say that he can make it through, and there is no need to panic. He developed the thinking that if others can do it, so can he.
Aside from financial support, Bryan‘s parents supported him by giving him space in studying. “After I came home from school, they would always let me do my own thing. It is hard to focus while studying for both Kumon and school as it demands great effort, so I think they understood the situation I had since they would avoid disturbing me or giving me chores until I was done.”
For visits to the Center, Bryan’s father would always make an effort to fetch him together with his brother even if he had work to attend to. He is thankful for his father’s unconditional love and support. On the other hand, his mother would always encourage him to achieve more. She would always tell him to do his best so that he can create a milestone. Also, because of her, Bryan took up the elective math levels in Kumon – Level X. “She told me that what I would learn would be relevant to me, and the additional knowledge gained would be helpful when I reach college.”
This guiding principle led Bryan to become successful. He graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Luckily, he made it to the top 8 in the Chemistry Board Examination last October 2016. “I am very thankful for my mother’s continuous push for me to finish the program. She is the wind beneath my wings that helped me to fly high, achieve my ambition, and pursue my dreams in life.”
Road to Completion
The advice that Bryan can give to those who are aspiring to become Completers and experiencing difficulties is never to think of giving up. Having this kind of thought could lead them to a dull mentality, and it will be harder for them to think clearly.
“If you are having any difficulties, always remember that you did not reach that point if you did not understand the previous topics. Always be mindful of the basics when dealing with complex topics – that is the most fundamental rule when learning new material. If the topic still overwhelms you and needs extra effort to be analyzed, seek help from your instructor and vent out your frustrations to your parents.”
And most importantly, Bryan encourages aspiring Completers to enjoy the program.
“Continue to strive for greatness. Always remember that hard work, perseverance, diligence, and dedication always follow success. Make that your motivation, and you are good to go.”
Bryan’s inspiration to complete the program then was the Completers who came before him. When he saw the names and faces posted on the list of Completers in the Kumon Center, he said to himself, “I want to be in there, too.” He wanted to finish the program just like them, but he never thought that he could finish it sooner than they did. And miraculously, Bryan did achieve that – and so much more.