By: Mrs. Myra Menguito, Mother of Paola, Joaquin, Tanya of Kumon Countryside (Pasig) Center
As an educator, I believe in the value of hard work through the virtues of industry and patience. Seeing how the Kumon Program is nurturing the learners’ perseverance through repetition to achieve accuracy, I continue to see how it develops one’s desire to continue until learning is achieved. I also see how it is not just all about accuracy, but also about comprehension. I believe that the desire to continue in spite of the challenges and the ability to comprehend are values an individual needs to develop in order to be a person capable of adjusting and adapting to every circumstance one finds himself/herself in.
My husband and I enrolled our children in Kumon because we believed that reading opens a beautiful world for children. Through Kumon, we knew that our children would not only develop a love for reading, but their skills in comprehension and accuracy would be enhanced as well.
I personally see the Kumon way as providing the necessary “little steps” for learners to discover what they are capable of achieving. I sincerely appreciate how Kumon teachers support and encourage my children’s studies. The “little steps” provided by Kumon developed in my children the love for the wonderful world of the printed text, aside from their continuous journey to comprehend whatever they are reading, and analytical thinking.
The stories they encounter through the worksheets and the age-appropriate reading materials provided by Kumon truly expose our children to the beauty of literature. Although we continue to be challenged by the influences of gadgets, it was never a struggle for us to shift our children’s attention from the fast-paced world of electronics to the more relaxing world of books.
Challenges and Difficulties
There were several occasions when my children either fall asleep while doing their worksheets at home, or insisted on quitting. It helps to be positive about this, reminding them that quitting is not a solution. So when they fall asleep, I simply whisper, “It’s okay, you can always continue tomorrow.” They are also encouraged to do worksheets in advance when we check the calendar and see that there are forthcoming activities, or when we anticipate that they will have tons of schoolwork to do.
When they insist on giving up because Kumon “gets in the way” of their studies and play time, it helps when we make them realize how blessed they are. It all boils down to being blessed for this learning privilege. Eventually, they experience the reward for persevering and for working hard, especially when they take the Achievement Test and move up to the next level.
Amidst the challenges, the biggest influence in our decision to keep on going with Kumon is our belief in the program and its benefits. We see how it enriches learning and development. We also note how the program helps develop virtues in our children. We believe how it opens doors for them to love both reading and learning.
Reaping the Benefits
We saw to it that all our children enrolled in Kumon because of the discipline that went with the program. This discipline, along with our faith, is among the things that have helped them be who and where they are now. For whatever they have accomplished and will accomplish, we give all the praise to our Heavenly Father, through the intercession of our dear Mother Mary, St. Joseph, and our Guardian Angels.
Our eldest, Paola Maria, was with Kumon when she was around five or six years old. She was a Completer by age 10. Growing up and until now, she is a certified bookworm! She has a wide collection of books on different genres. Back in grade school, she was tagged, “the spelling bee princess”.
Our second, Joaquin, enrolled in Kumon when he was four years old. He was rewarded by being part of the honors list since he was in grade seven. This is a milestone, considering that he was tutor-dependent as a child. By grade six, he came to a decision to study independently. He does this with so much passion and diligence. Upon graduating from grade six, he was nominated as a candidate for the Antonio Montemayor Anievas Foundation, Inc. Awards, giving him the “distinction of being a well-rounded pupil in the La Salle Green Hills Grade School”. He’s also active as a Knight of the Altar in LSGH and St Jude Parish Pasig. He is also very dedicated in his chosen sport – archery.
Our youngest, Tanya Maria, began Kumon when she was three or four years old. In spite of the temptation to be hooked on gadgets, she is learning to discipline herself, allotting ample time for reading the books likewise enjoyed by her older siblings, particularly books on Geronimo Stilton, Thea Stilton, and those authored by Roald Dahl. She has likewise developed a fondness in keeping a journal and writing personal notes for family and friends.
My Personal Learning
I learned how vital it is for me and my husband to place prime value on learning and studying through diligence and hard work. We try our best to build a home environment where a love of books or anything printed is nurtured. I also learned the following with regards to my children and their Kumon study:
- Realizing the importance of consistency. For instance, consistently reminding my children accomplish their worksheets and academic requirements.
- Relating to my children how patience and comprehension are actually helping them in studying and fulfilling their academic requirements.
- Explaining to my children that the effort and patience they exert in every page of their worksheets will benefit them as students and persons.
Lastly, I learned how Kumon is a commitment: it is a commitment to always desire learning and love learning itself, and not merely a commitment in the accomplishment of the worksheets. We continuously see how this same commitment leads them to discover their gifts from the Lord. I am deeply thankful to God for everything. All these are His. All these are not by my efforts as a parent, but by His amazing grace.