Mistakes are learning opportunities, not setbacks

Have you heard someone say, “Life is a rollercoaster? It has its ups and downs, but is it your choice to be scared or to enjoy the ride”?  

Maybe you felt a little down when you had a few tick marks in your last worksheet or a few misses in your recent test. But as the saying goes, you’ll indeed have your ups, too, and your mistakes are just the thing you need to cheer you back up — just like Takeshi and his father, Toru Kumon.  

Even before the Kumon Learning Method helped millions of children like you, it all started when his mom, Mrs. Teiko Kumon, found his math test paper in his pocket. With this, his dad created exercise math problems for him to answer daily.  

From these exercises, Takeshi would commit a few mistakes here and there. But he and his Dad looked at these as an opportunity to further sharpen and advance his skills. With constant practice and the right mindset, Takeshi was able to excel and answer calculus just a few months before the sixth grade. Now, the rest is history. 

Mr. Toru Kumon’s son is just like you and all other Kumon students. So when you get those tick marks, it’s okay to feel sad for a while. But when you feel down, here are a few tips to help you get back up on your feet: 

Trying means you’re growing. 

While it seems like the situation is not in your favor, you should take time to pat your back for all your efforts and hard work. Motivating yourself to find the correct answers again and again is a strong sign that you are growing academically and personally.   

Study your answers carefully. 

As soon as you’ve crushed the doubts in yourself, put your game face on. Try to increase your focus as you study the examples, look into the items you got correctly, and carefully review the ones with tick marks. As soon as you arrive with the correct answer, remember the process you followed so you can apply it on your next homework or class day. 

Practice the problems you find difficult 

If you find a particular topic extra challenging and it leads you to commit mistakes often, don’t be disheartened. Practice answering when you repeat your worksheets or whenever you have the time. 

Repetition and continuous practice will eventually lead to mastery. Once you master a certain topic, you will be equipped with the ability to advance smoothly and study higher-level topics with ease! 

Remember that the more you practice, the better you get. And know that mistakes are part of the learning process—a process we all go through, even Takeshi and the greatest mathematicians and poets of all time. 

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

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