Jordin Margaux Tayag was just two and a half years old when she was introduced to the Kumon Program. Mr. Jess and Mrs. Mia Tayag, both full-time government employees and part-time teachers, were looking for a pre-school where Jordin could adjust to the idea of structured learning before enrolling in a big school. According to Mr. Tayag, “Jordin was already familiar with the signs she sees around her. She could already read McDonalds, Chowking, etc. I told my wife that we should try enrolling her into a learning program. It was perfect that there was a Free Trial Campaign at that time which we found out through a television advertisement.”
Jordin was enrolled first in the Reading Program because of Mr. Tayag’s belief that reading is essential for understanding word problems in math. “I know this because I teach math, and I have observed how the youth find this specific topic difficult due to lack of comprehension skills,” he adds. But after six months, Jordin was enrolled also in the Math Program due to her curiosity with other students who were answering Math worksheets and her interest in numbers. Mrs. Tayag was apprehensive at first, specifically considering if Jordin was ready for it. “We consulted with Teacher Rica, the Instructor, first to see if Jordin could do it. Teacher Rica’s yes and my husband’s strong belief in Jordin’s capability to do both subjects led us to where we are now – Jordin being enrolled in both subjects prior to big school.”
Changes in Jordin
Kumon has contributed a lot to Jordin’s character development. For one, she has become a self-starter with her tasks. Before, Jordin’s morning routine was simple. She would wake up and not do much because she does not have anything planned for the day. Now, Jordin has goals and Mrs. Tayag sees how Jordin makes it a point to write her goals down. “She has also learned to list things down, to read instructions before starting anything, and to complete her homework independently. She would only want us to help her when she asks for help; but other than that, she wants to be left alone to learn, do, and discover.”
In school, the constant feedback from her teachers is Jordin’s willingness to help her classmates out, especially when she observes that they are having a hard time on a certain topic. She does not have this concept of competing with others. Instead, she has this concept of competing with herself to be better – which Mr. and Mrs. Tayag always emphasize by not comparing her with others.
Mr. and Mrs. Tayag can recall how Jordin’s first six months were difficult for her because she was not used to the strict nature of her teacher. “We simply explained to her how teachers impose rules in order to develop discipline in their students, and we see how this greatly benefitted her since she has now developed good study habits and focus.”
Lately, Jordin has developed the habit of doing her homework later, especially when the worksheets are too long to finish and when she recently discovered online videos and other distractions. Mr. and Mrs. Tayag compromise with her by letting her do one or more worksheets before taking a quick rest to gather more energy and then resuming homework time. They also make it a point to create an environment conducive to learning. “Jordin likes it when everyone is working on something at home (same as the Center where all students are busy with their Kumon work) and there is absolutely no use of gadgets or any forms of distractions.”
Words of Wisdom
There are four points that Mr. and Mrs. Tayag want to share with their fellow Kumon parents. Firstly, support your children’s aspirations. “What is important is that we encourage them to say what it is they want to do and we listen to them – we do not tell them what they have to do, and we do not force something they may not like.”
Secondly, wait for your children’s readiness to do anything – be it Kumon, homework, school work, etc. “They will do it when they are ready. If we push too much, this will result to them doing things halfheartedly.”
Thirdly, understand the Kumon Method. “Ask teachers about the program, the topics and the children’s progress. This helps you better understand what they are going through; plus, your knowledge shows them that you are interested in and supportive of what they are doing.”
Lastly, show full support all the way. “Doing this motivates your children to give their full effort and hard work too. Doing this pushes them to give it their all until the end.”
*At present, Jordin is a seven-year-old girl, five years advanced student in both the Math and Reading Programs, she is steadily progressing through the Kumon levels and enjoying what the Kumon Method has to offer.