It’s been years since the pandemic caught the world by surprise. Since 2020, many changes have taken place, especially in the learning landscape. In some countries like the Philippines, students suddenly had to make the most out of online learning and then transition back to face-to-face learning or a mix of both.
To continue learning amidst everything happening, students braved these uncertainties and fought through the hurdles. With proper preparation, skills, and mindset, they can bounce back, go beyond challenges, and learn. Take it from Kumon student Celine Kirsten Mercado.
Celine’s parents enrolled her in Kumon in 2018 to sharpen her skills in math. They knew this was a wise investment as it would help her with her academics today and throughout her life.
“My mother said that with Kumon, I can aspire to further my potential and talents,” she recalled how her journey in Kumon started. “So when I answered my first worksheets, I felt happy, curious, and excited. It was quite different and new to me then. I found my first worksheet easy because I started at Level A (Addition).”
The excitement fueled her to stay consistent. This consistency became the key that unlocked her skill to mentally calculate fast and carefully analyze problems. Her dedication to learning with Kumon, meanwhile, enabled her to gain future-relevant skills, such as self-learning. All these skills were advantageous to her not only in school but also during her math competitions, which are usually time-pressured, and in preparing for the new normal in learning.
“Kumon instilled independence and self-learning, which helped me with my studies whenever I joined contests. I could excel in class and competitions by just self-learning and maximizing the knowledge and skills I learned from our school and in Kumon,” she shared.
Prepared for whatever comes ahead
Just like most students, Celine was in the midst of attending school and Kumon when the world suddenly came to a standstill in 2020. She was about to graduate then and was even vying for class valedictorian.
“I felt shocked and anxious because it was sudden and unexpected,” she said. “I thought I would never be able to do Kumon again. But thankfully, Kumon made a way to continue what we started. The pandemic did not stop us from continuous learning.”
“Kumon taught us to become resilient and that whatever comes our way, we must have courage and hope. We must never stop putting our dreams into reality because of an unseen enemy. We must continue learning and seeking knowledge and skills,” she added.
And so, when online learning started and even when she was met with a myriad of changes, such as limited interaction with classmates, unstable internet connection, and distractions at home, she persevered. Indeed, the continuous Kumon study gave her an edge.
The math skills she learned from Kumon helped make her lessons much easier. With less time needed to review the said subject, she had more time to study Araling Panlipunan and Filipino, subjects she had found difficult before.
When things get tough, quitting is not in her vocabulary. She uses this opportunity to put her Kumon skills into action. She admitted, “On top of the numerous activities and performance tasks in school, I was busy with the Philippine Young Author Awards, international math competitions, and my daily Kumon worksheets. At one point, I felt overwhelmed with all the deadlines and mind-boggling topics I had to review. I felt like the burden was too heavy to carry.”
“I bounce back by watching videos about the subject I find challenging or by asking my parents or teacher. Luckily Teacher Evelyn, my teacher in Kumon, is very patient and dedicated to teaching and guiding me. I also keep thinking that I should learn to manage difficulties now that I am still young so that in later life, these troubles will be easier for me to manage,” she added.
The values she developed through Kumon helped her strive more in all areas of student life. In fact, by combining great academic capabilities and mindset, she learned how to balance student life and shared the skills she learned from Kumon with her classmates who were struggling in math.
“Thankfully, Kumon trained me to have patience, perseverance, and be hardworking. I learned how to manage my time well and set priorities. I am glad I was able to graduate as the class Valedictorian, win all the international competitions I joined, have my own published book, and accomplish my daily Kumon worksheets,” she said.
Now that schools are reopening, Kumon also continuously helps prepare her for a brand new year of face-to-face learning.
“The first time I entered Kumon again after years of online learning was a signal to me that we are now in the new normal,” she said. “And since Kumon started face-to-face before my school did, attending face-to-face classes in Kumon prepared and conditioned my mind and body again for in-person classes. It reminded me to focus more and rekindled all my previous motivations.”
Ready to go above and beyond
A bright future awaits this Kumon student and class valedictorian. She’s a few levels away from completing the Kumon Math Program. In school, she’s about to embark on a new adventure–high school–with an ‘I Can Do More’ mindset and move an inch closer to becoming a successful accountant and lawyer.
“I learned that patience is key and that we must keep trying no matter what. I learned that we must never give up because surely there is a solution for every problem. Now, I will strive more and do my best in my next school years. I will study hard to try to learn new skills and earn good grades. I know that the lessons will get tougher as my year level gets higher, so I must always have the competence and character to face high school life,” she hoped.
“With God’s grace, my goal in life is to become a successful CPA-Lawyer. I hope that with the competence and valuable skills I learned from Kumon and my parent’s support, I will be able to achieve my dream,” she continued.
Celine, brimming with optimism, passed on an encouraging message to her fellow Kumon students: “Even though change is overwhelming and you feel like you can’t get used to it, you just have to keep pushing through. You can step out of your comfort zone and face the changes. The challenges are just another obstacle to break through.”
“It is alright to ask for guidance from teachers when the journey gets too tough but never stop as you are on your path to success. Kumon is beyond mastery of Math skills. Let’s go beyond what we already mastered in order to grow,” she capped.