For a mother of three with a husband working abroad and two children enrolled in Kumon, the life of a Kumon parent may not be as easy as some parents have it. Even though Mrs. Shiela Remollo and her daughter, Robin Alexandra of Iligan City found Kumon easy at the first few months of enrollment, they eventually found out that it wasn’t a walk in the park. Still, they both persevered through the program. It just goes to show that with the right attitude and the commitment to having your child succeed, every challenge, especially in Kumon can be worth taking.
Preparing for the Best
According to Mrs. Remollo, Robin has always been energetic and very inquisitive as a child. She was always thinking of fun activities for Robin to do, such as swimming, piano, and painting class since Robin couldn’t sit still or focus on an activity.
“To prepare her for formal education and at the same time burn off that excess energy through mental exercise, we decided to enroll her in Kumon at the age of four. Kumon eventually helped her focus and be more confident with herself.”
The first few months of Kumon were a breeze for Robin. She enjoyed the colorful worksheets (since she likes to draw), and she found the worksheets fun. But as she progressed through the levels and the topics got harder, Mrs. Remollo began to observe that Robin was slowly losing her interest in her Kumon study. It became a daily struggle and there were constant squabbles just to get her to answer her worksheets.
“Robin started to make excuses just to get away from doing her worksheets. We resorted to bargaining and even offering rewards. I would explain to her the importance of doing Kumon but she would not understand. I would tell her that what she was doing was easy but Robin would not budge.”
It was frustrating when Robin wasn’t able to get the topics quickly. She would resist the worksheets whenever she found a topic difficult. Mrs. Remollo would always motivate her by saying that the topics were easy. Eventually, her Kumon Instructor, Teacher Grace Quijano, explained that a parent shouldn’t keep telling a child that the worksheets are easy. Instead, it should be acknowledged that, for a child her age, the worksheets may be difficult.
“When I acknowledged and understood that Robin finds the worksheets difficult, she became more receptive to my reminders and encouragements. I would tell her that the worksheets are difficult at first but she would have to persevere and focus to get the answer.”
Change in Mindset
Mrs. Remollo has noticed changes in Robin. In terms of academics, she is a consistent honor student. “She doesn’t cry as much anymore when doing the worksheets. She still grumbles though, but only when faced with topics she finds too difficult which is normally at the start of a new level. She also assists her little brother with his worksheets.”
In terms of character development, Robin is now more confident with her studies and has the initiative to study on her own. “I don’t have to constantly remind her anymore. She has shown independence and maturity at a young age. This can be attributed in part to the training and discipline unique among Kumon students.”
All for One, One for All
Even though he is based abroad, Mr. Remollo finds time to get involved in their children’s Kumon activities. Robin would regularly consult him through Skype or FaceTime, especially if she is having difficulties. During the low moments, he would intervene, speak to her, and try to uplift her morale. According to Mrs. Remollo, hard as it may seem, it does work every now and then.
Making sure that the worksheets should be accomplished on time, difficulty in explaining some of the topics in the worksheets, and constant reminders to do the worksheets are just some of the experiences Mr. and Mrs. Remollo had to endure.
“To say one has to be patient is an understatement. Still, it is heartbreaking to see our children struggle, with tears in their eyes and on the verge of giving up. We too feel the same way. And oftentimes, the thought of giving up is just too real. But then again, we want to develop in them a sense of resiliency and the attitude to never give up in the face of adversity. “
One thing that Mrs. Remollo has learned from their family’s Kumon journey is the parents’ role as partners of the Kumon Center.
Kumon is preparing our children not just for excellence in their academic life, but in real life as well. If we are able to guide them to surpass the challenges in their Kumon journey, then we can say that we have already prepared them enough to face life head-on. For every math problem they have struggled on and eventually resolved, there is a valuable lesson learned. No matter how hard the problem, no matter how tiring it may seem, no matter how tempting it is to give up – you just quit don’t because quitting is not an option. You persevere, work hard, and then you reap the fruits of your hard work.