Pep Talk to Advancement

You may have already read all the articles on what you and your child need to do for him to become an advanced student. Be it the people you need to communicate with, the steps you need to take, the plans you need to follow, and the goals you need to achieve – almost everything about becoming an advanced student has already been discussed – except for one: character.

What traits must your child have and continue to nurture in order for him to transition from being a regular Kumon student to becoming an advanced Kumon student? What must he always keep in mind in order to reach success every time he sets a goal? What mantras will lead him to becoming advanced and then eventually becoming a Completer?

Here are four basic things that you can share with your child as a pep talk for his journey to advancement:

Do not be afraid to make mistakes.

A mistake has always been viewed as negative in nature. Yes, wrong is the opposite of right and a mistake is the opposite of a correct answer; however, there is learning that takes place when your child makes a mistake. Making a mistake is one way for your child to learn what to do and what not to do next time he encounters the same problem. He also learns the value of taking his time and being extra careful, especially in deciding what to write down and assessing the small yet important details. The next time your child makes a mistake, make him understand how it is nothing to fear and how it helps him become better.

Ask for help when needed.

Admitting that one does not know something is hard. But it is ten times harder for your child who knows what you and his Instructor expect from him. There may be times when he is either ashamed or shy to ask for help. Encourage him by explaining how getting the help he needs will make him a step closer to reaching his goal. Asking for help is the best way for your child to get the help he needs and for you and his Instructor to discuss on the adjustments that need to be made in his Kumon progress.

Try even when it seems scary.

Doing something one has not done before is always nerve-wracking. But good things and experiences would not come to be if one did not try. Being young, your child will always have apprehensions on trying new things, especially those that seem difficult and that challenge his current knowledge. Assure him that he will gain a lot by trying and that you will be present to support him no matter what the outcome be. Also, remind him of how it will all be worth it once he reaps the results. As the late founder Toru Kumon said, “You will never know unless you give it a try.”

Do not give up.

With mistake after mistake and challenge after challenge plus the endless requirements for school and other activities, the whole journey may take a toll on your child. He may come to a point wherein he would just want to throw in the towel and give up. When that time comes, you must be the first one to listen to your child’s feelings and console him on what he is going through. Acknowledge the hardships he is experiencing and the effort he is giving as this makes him realize that you see and appreciate his hard work. At the same time, encourage him to keep going on his journey by making him see how much he has improved, how near he is to his goal, and what more he can gain. Most of the time, a little nudge and a few reminders is what your child needs to go the distance.

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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