Four Secrets to Raising Smart Kids

By: Mrs. Melissa Villanueva, Mother of Zelina, Pauline, Mary of Kumon Mabini (Tagum) Center

1. Know your kids’ needs and create a plan to work on it.

Mrs. Villanueva has always dreamt of having children who are good in math because it was one of her frustrations as a child. Since she and her husband wanted their kids to face math with confidence, they wanted them to explore and love the subject at a very young age. “So, six years ago, we started to research on parenting advice related to our dream and we came across Kumon. We also asked relatives and friends who had experienced the program.”

They were also able to come across Teacher Jane Doce, who happens to be their friend and the Instructor of Kumon Mabini (Tagum) Center. “We saw this opportunity as God’s will because everything came into places at the right time.”

Mrs. Villanueva’s children were pioneer students in the Center. “My children are very enthusiastic to learn and discover new things. From orientation up to their first day in Kumon, I found them very happy and they said it was everyday fun.”

2. Listen to your kids, especially during tough times.

“It was a tough journey for my children.”

As Mrs. Villanueva’s kids grew older, their concentration and time management skills changed as there were more demands in school activities plus daily commitment with Kumon.

“I have always been thankful to the Lord for His guidance to my children. Even though it was a very challenging journey for them, they learned the importance of the right balance between study and fun and the ability to focus. They learned to work productively and consistently, to follow the system diligently, and to embrace the challenges completely – all important factors in achieving success academically, emotionally, and mentally.”

3. Be their best and no. 1 cheerleader.

“Never give up. Aim high. Dream more.” These are the phrases Mrs. Villanueva always hear from her children. These are the same magic words she would like to share with all parents out there as well.

“Work as a team. Work with your children and always make them feel that you are with them in their journey. Provide a praise and reward system to keep them motivated during challenging moments and when they start to think of quitting. Never stop reminding them of their commitment to succeed.”

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” This is the quote Mrs. Villanueva uses to empower her children to do more, learn more, and aim more – to become an achiever.

4. Acknowledge help; we have extended arms.

Mrs. Villanueva owes her thanks to Kumon for creating a big impact to their family – from the test of patience to the love of teaching and learning.

“Despite our busy schedules, my husband and I made time to assist and guide our children during homework time. We developed a stronger family relationship, as well as everyone else in the family, got involved. This is just one of the ways how we support them in their dreams and we are happy that we can also feel the success they aim for each day!”


Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 300 Kumon Centers nationwide.

Leave a Reply