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Brisbane siblings build their foundation for advanced mathematics

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By completing the Kumon Mathematics programme, siblings Isini, Isuka and Helitha Muthumuni have built a strong foundation in mathematics which will be of lifelong benefit.

Isini, 21 years old and studying medicine at the University of Queensland, said the mental calculation and self-learning ability she developed at Kumon Calamvale Education Centre, by completing the Mathematics programme, helped her greatly throughout school and university. Self-learning is the ability to take in information, process, retain and understand it, without having to rely on being taught every new topic or concept.

During school, Isini received the Queensland ICAS Medal for Mathematics in Year 10 and was selected as one of 64 students in Australia to attend the National Mathematics Summer School in Year 12. Kumon played a key role in these achievements, Isini said. Her interest and aptitude for mathematics was sparked by Kumon.

“I think maths is something you will use in any avenue”, Isini said. “While medicine is not specifically a career in maths, in analysis and statistics maths does help a lot.”

Isini said the daily study habit and perseverance she developed through Kumon is also of great value. Her younger brother Isuka, 16 years old and a Year 11 high school student, said studying and completing Kumon Mathematics gave him the confidence to know he can excel.

“With the strong skills that Kumon has provided me, it is easier to pursue my interest in mathematics or science”, Isuka said. “Any career in math or science applies the mental calculation and self-learning I’ve developed from Kumon.”

Isuka said he wants to follow in the footsteps of his sister Isini to study medicine. He also received high distinction scores in the Australian Mathematics Competition.

Helitha, 12 years old, a Year 7 high school student and younger brother of Isini and Isuka, is also a completer of the Kumon Mathematics programme. This means he has already mastered senior high school mathematical concepts like equations, factorisation and calculus.

“It has been a great relief to have completed maths at an advanced level. It feels like I’ve accomplished a great achievement by completing all the levels in Kumon,” Helitha said. “Completing Kumon Mathematics is helping me in school by improving my maths to an advanced level. It is why I passed the scholarship test to gain entry into a private school.

“Kumon helped me in my mental arithmetic and calculations, and it’s helped me find methods and solutions to solve equations.”

Once Helitha grows up, he wants to pursue a career in mathematics or science.

Isini said herself, Helitha and Isuka could not have achieved so much without the support of Kumon Calamvale.

“The three of us would like to offer our thanks and gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Park from Kumon Calamvale for the dedication and guidance they provided us throughout our Kumon journey”, Isini said.

Aspiring veterinary scientist builds foundation for learning with Kumon

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By completing Kumon Mathematics and English, Toowoomba high schooler Michelle Springolo has developed a groundwork of learning to reach her goal of becoming a veterinary scientist.

Michelle, 16 years old and in Year 10 in high school, studied at Kumon Centenary Heights Education Centre. Michelle was an advanced student throughout most of her studies with Kumon. This benefited her throughout school.

“I found school maths easy as I had already learned the mathematical methods in advance”, Michelle said. “Whilst Kumon English helped me in comprehension and interpreting written texts.”

After finishing high school, Michelle aims to study veterinary science at the University of Queensland to kickstart her career. She said completing Kumon Mathematics provided a foundation for solving some scientific calculations, and Kumon English will support her in report writing.

Michelle is a budding and talented scientist. She won a suite of accolades to prove it. This includes, the Paul Johnston Memorial Trust Senior Science Award 2020, The Crawford Fund International Agricultural Science Award 2020, Ag Institute Australia (AIA) Junior Science Achievement Awards 2017 to 2019, 1st places in Science Teachers’ Association of Queensland (STAQ) Scientific Investigations 2016 to 2018, 1st place in STAQ Communicating Science 2019, Susan Cruickshank Tutoring Junior Scientific Research and Writing Award 2017, Joe Baker Outstanding Achievement Award 2016, Queensland University of Technology Most Outstanding Poster Award 2020, Art in Agriculture Awards 2016 to 2020 and The University of Queensland Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology 2021 Scholarship. Michelle is also one of 26 Australian student finalists for the national 2020 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Karen Springolo, Michelle’s mother, said she enrolled her daughter in Kumon for Michelle to have a strong foundation for future learning.

“Mario and I decided to enrol Michelle into Kumon upon hearing about Kumon from a friend”, Karen said. “During our initial meeting with Elaine Homem, Michelle’s Kumon Instructor, we discovered that Kumon Maths is a very well-structured programme and knew it would be excellent practice for Michelle to build a strong maths foundation. Enrolling in Kumon English as well would also be beneficial.”

Erick builds his foundation for high school mathematics

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While 14-year-old Erick Lu is a Year 8 high school student, he can already comfortably work through Year 12 level mathematics.

Erick recently completed the Mathematics programme at Kumon Floreat Education Centre.

By completing the programme, Erick developed strong mental calculation skill and self-learning ability. Self-learning is the ability to take in information, process, retain and understand it, without having to rely on being taught every new topic or concept.

Erick said completing Kumon Mathematics will be of great benefit for him in school.

“Kumon has helped me learn to use formulas, which help me solve problems involving algebra and factorisation”, Erick said.

“I think Kumon will help me with high school mathematics, because the later you progress into high school, the more the difficult the equations become.”

Erick said he hopes to pursue a career in chemistry or biology when he grows up. He said Kumon Mathematics will help him to balance equations in chemistry.

Jing, Erick’s mother, said she believes completing Kumon will have lifelong benefits for Erick. These benefits go beyond mathematics, she said.

“I think Erick might not realise it yet but I believe when he starts his career, he will understand even more how Kumon helped him”, Jing said. “Kumon builds a habit of doing a little study each day and a strong foundation in mathematics.”

Jing also said the individualised approach of Kumon ensured Erick was never overwhelmed with study. She said his Kumon Instructor tailored his workload to match his gradually changing ability.

This ensured Erick stayed motivated to complete Kumon, Jing said.

“When Erick first started Kumon, he wanted to give up”, Jing said. “I spoke to Amy, his Instructor, and she helped Erick a lot. Amy said to Erick, ‘Okay, don’t worry, if you can’t finish ten pages, drop to five pages. You can’t finish five pages, drop to two.”

“As long as you can keep trying, you can complete Kumon’”.

The future is always uncertain, but students can keep on learning

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The COVID-19 pandemic forced sweeping change to how learning is delivered to students. Many students in Australia and New Zealand have been required to learn at home at some point throughout 2020.

This disruption has prompted the widely asked question, “What is the impact of COVID-19 on children’s learning?”

It is a question not only parents might be asking in relation to their own children, but also teachers, principals, university-based education professors and other experts; education department officials, and government ministers. It prompts many hypotheses and theories. It seems there is not yet a clear answer everyone can agree upon.

This doesn’t mean we cannot work to minimise disruption to children’s learning. With the right toolkit, current and future generations can be equipped to be ready to keep learning through uncertainty. In our article about Sandhya, a former Kumon student and future University of Oxford student, we quoted Professor Andrew Martin, an educational psychologist from the University of New South Wales.

Professor Martin stated students will feel empowered to keep learning through uncertainty if educators are able to draw learners’ attention to what is in their control: the effort students apply to their studies, their strategies, and their individual attitudes towards learning.

Kumon draws students’ attention to the impact of their efforts through assigning the right level of practise and repetition. Kumon helps students to develop self-learning strategies for acquiring and applying new knowledge. Advanced study through Kumon boosts confidence, an attribute that is conducive for navigating uncertainty by encouraging students to ‘have a go’.

These are components of a toolkit that Kumon can help students to develop to keep learning through uncertainty. They’re not the only tools students can use. Dr Katrina Barker, an education expert from Western Sydney University, says individualised approaches to learning are helpful for supporting students during times of uncertainty.

Dr Barker says individualised learning not only allows students to learn at their own pace, it requires students to develop and apply self-regulation, self-discipline and the ability to learn independently. Being an independent learner will help students to keep learning through uncertainty, as they can place trust in their own abilities.

Kumon is an individualised method of learning that supports students to become independent, self-learners.

All Kumon students require support at various different times, depending on their level of independence. For those not yet able to learn independently, they require support, from both parents and educators, to ensure they can continue to learn through uncertain times.

“It helps [for parents] to set a week day routine, and build in time for school [and extracurricular learning], work, exercise, and free time”, explains Associate Professor Penny Van Bergen, an educational psychologist from Macquarie University.

“This provides a sense of normalcy, and communicates to children when you will and won’t be available.”

Kumon Instructors support students by creating an individualised study plan for each student, and sending home the worksheets they are ready to learn next on their own. For students who attend face-to-face classes in the Kumon centre, Kumon Instructors provide in-person instruction and guidance. Students on entirely home-based Kumon programmes also receive instruction and guidance, but remotely through electronic means.

“All children intrinsically want to develop their abilities and they all have the potential to do so. Responding to these desires, thus helping them to grow without limits, not only makes the children and their parents happy, but is essential for society”, wrote Toru Kumon, Kumon’s late founder, in Yamabiko, a publication for Kumon Instructors.

Kumon is a learning method that supports students to keep learning through uncertainty.

Support is provided by Kumon Instructors directly to the students who may need it, while capable students are allowed to keep progressing independently. Parents are supported and encouraged by their Kumon Instructors to help their children to make progress through their learning.

The future, by its very definition, is always uncertain. COVID-19 heightened uncertainty by adding new layers of complexity and unpredictability to everyday life. But with the right tools, students can continue to make strong progress in their learning, in spite of uncertain times.

This article featured in our last edition of  Potential magazine. We invite you to read the magazine to learn more about how Kumon has supported students through uncertainty. 

Three ways Kumon Instructors contribute to their communities

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During these uncertain times, the Instructors and franchisees of Kumon Australia and New Zealand support their local communities by building businesses that provide high quality, afterschool maths and English learning for children of all ages.

We are seeking to expand Kumon’s contribution by opening new franchises in new communities. If you would like to learn more about how Kumon Instructors contribute to their communities, we invite you to read on:

1. Providing students with a foundation for their future

Kumon Instructors provide students with a foundation for their future. Instructors achieve this through individualised instruction of the Kumon Mathematics and English programmes, which develop strong mental calculation and reading comprehension in students. These skills, along with the confidence students gain through Kumon, allow students to become self-learners who do not have to rely on a teacher to access new knowledge.

Supporting students to make strong progress to complete the Kumon Mathematics and English programmes is the core of the Instructor’s role. Throughout their long careers, many Instructors in Australia and New Zealand have helped hundreds of students in their local communities to become confident self-learners.

 

2.  Building relationships within the local community

Kumon Instructors build positive relationships within their community each and every day. Throughout each class, Instructors communicate with and establish a connection with their students. Similar connections are built with students’ parents during consultations, parent orientation sessions and regular contact regarding their child’s progress.

When Instructors market their franchise business, they build relationships with the wider community. Relationship building activities include participating in community events, corresponding with local schools, running business social media accounts, and advertising through local and regional media channels.

As Instructors also hire centre assistants, Kumon Instructors can hire locals and build relationships as they train and develop their employees.

 

 3. Sharing ideas and experience in a community of business owners and educators

Kumon Instructors are part of a community of over 300 franchisees across Australia and New Zealand. Kumon Instructors network, celebrate achievements and learn from one another. Instructors contribute to the Kumon community by sharing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of all, as well as making long-lasting friendships.

Throughout 2020, Kumon Instructors and franchisees have supported each other by actively participating in online workshops and seminars. In June, the first ever online Kumon Instructor Awards Ceremony was held, with more than 200 Instructors joining to celebrate each other’s achievements. Instructors and franchisees not only support their local communities, they support one another to succeed.

Anika: Kumon English completer and short story author

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Year 4 student Anika Baireddy, from Kumon Point Cook Education Centre in Melbourne, is a wordsmith and a prolific author of short stories.

Anika is also a completer of the Kumon English programme.

“I am not ashamed to say that Anika’s English comprehension and writing skills are far superior to mine”, said Navin Baireddy, Anika’s father. “She now writes her own short stories collection, which I desperately wait to read every week.”

Below, we have published one of Anika’s short stories titled Zara and the Cave of Mysteries.  We invite you to have a read.

 

Zara and the Cave of Mysteries

By Anika Baireddy

If we travel back, way back before the ancient times, there was a girl. Her name was Zara. She was not rich, though had enough money to go to school. She was a very lovely girl on the inside but she couldn’t dress properly and because of the way she dressed, people would tease her. Nobody would be her friend, because of all this teasing going on in her life. She was a very modest girl.

She had a dog whose name was Ellie. Her dog was a German Shepherd and was a very good guard dog. She was also a very nice, helpful and playful dog towards Zara and her family. Her coat had a light and dark brown gradient and was very soft. And sometimes if Zara was lucky, she got to take Ellie to school, but mind you, only to drop or say goodbye to Ellie.

Now it was the school holidays. Zara was very fond of the school holidays because they went on a holiday trip and she did not get bullied or teased by the other kids.

This holiday, they were not going to go to another country or anything of that sort. Instead they were going to a holiday house in the woods.

So, after a few days with nothing to do, Zara asked her mum if Ellie and her could explore the woods not too far from the house. As soon as her mum said, ‘Sure sweety. Come back by 3pm in the afternoon.’ Zara rushed out with Ellie. She forgot her mum said ‘The part of the woods near the house,’ and by accident wandered too far with Ellie.

They stumbled across a cave. It was very big and one would have convinced themselves that it was a humongous mansion. Inside it, there was an eerie gloom. Zara stared at the rocky landscape for some time and she saw some torches. With that, Zara remembered the words she said to her mother and totally freaked out while Ellie tried to calm her down. Once Zara calmed down, they went into the entrance and at that moment, there was a noise. They were both scared and Zara jumped, but they kept on walking.

They found a passage leading to, ‘Who knows where’ and went in it. To their surprise, they found at the end, a big block of gold. They kept on walking and they found other tunnels leading to different treasures like diamonds, iron, ruby, emerald and they even found another girl with a breed of dog called Akita Inu. They befriended her and they kept on walking. Now when they saw what was at the end, they knew their dreams had come true…

They found a juno, which is a female genie, at the end of the passage. She had skin like a normal girl while at the end of her body where the legs would have been, there was a long flowy bit almost like a skirt with a closed ending. She said that she was happy that someone had finally come to the end and been brave enough to enter. She also said this, ‘I will grant you both three wishes and if you want more just wish it on the third wish.’ They both squealed with excitement and wished three things. Zara wished for her family to have a good life with a little more money, for Ellie to live a long life, and for herself to have a few friends.

The other girl whom they had befriended in the cave sometime before, was Zara’s twin sister named Melony. Her dog’s name was Buster. Zara did not know Melony was her sister, but Melony did. Melony wished that her parents would love her again, that her dog would have a long life with lots of happiness and little sadness. She also wished that she wouldn’t be so lonely. It was 2:56pm and they had to find a way home. The juno said that she would teleport them home. They were so happy.

Melony went home with Zara and when they were home, Zara’s parents were so happy to see Melony and told Zara. Zara freaked out but ended up laughing. After that the family was rich and they made lots of friends. Ellie and Buster gave birth to a litter of four little German Shepherds with two boys and two girls. Everyone and every dog lived a long happy life after the help of the juno.

Kumon Mathematics and English comes to Florey, Canberra!

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Kumon Mathematics and English is coming to Florey, Canberra, to support all children to develop strong mental calculation and reading ability.

Kumon Florey Education Centre will be led by Deborah Brake, who has a 35-year career as a consultant for the public service and not-for-profit sectors, and also as a linguist for the Royal Australian Navy.

Deborah has experienced touchpoints with Kumon throughout her entire life. Some of her school peers were Kumon students and, later in life, Deborah spent a year working with Jane Hiatt at Kumon Tuggeranong Education Centre.

“This experience [at Kumon Tuggeranong] was invaluable for me”, Deborah said. “I was able to witness firsthand children studying two or three grades above their school level or having their own little ‘ah-ha’ moment when they were able to solve problems, they previously found too difficult.”

Deborah said she wants Kumon Florey Education Centre to become a place where all students can develop a foundation for lifelong learning.

“I know Kumon works.  [Successful people] are successful because they have practised and developed their skills and knowledge”, she said. “They can problem solve. Along with development in English and mathematics, children can build their life skills with Kumon.”

“It is great to be a part of something that can deliver so much.”

Kumon Florey Education Centre opens on 1 September 2020 and is located at 3/26 Kesteven St, Florey, ACT. Classes are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.

Should you wish to learn more about Kumon Florey Education Centre, we invite you to contact Deborah on 0490 013 086 or to email admin@kumonflorey.com.au.

Kumon Standard Completion Time: the hidden benefits for your children

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Have you ever been curious to know why your Kumon Instructor asks your children to write their start and finish time on their worksheets? Or what bearing these times have on the worksheets your children will be given next?

At Kumon, there is a measurement we refer to as Standard Completion Time (SCT). This is the time range in which we aim for students to complete their daily worksheet study as they progress through Kumon.

SCT provides concrete information to your Instructor about your children’s overall familiarity with the worksheet content. It is one of several key criteria Instructors use to determine whether students have the necessary skills to advance without difficulty.

When studying in centre or at home, we encourage you to guide your children to always write the start and finish time on each worksheet set.

We encourage you to keep reading this article to learn more about some of the hidden benefits of SCT for your children:

1. Your children’s work skills are seen and nurtured

Standard Completion Time provides a way for the Instructor to more fully understand your children’s work skills. If your children are able to complete a high volume of worksheets with a near perfect score in a short amount of time, we consider your children to have strong work skills. By writing their start and finish time on their worksheets, your children’s Instructor can know how quickly your children are working and can understand how comfortable your children are with the worksheets. The Instructor can determine what worksheets your children should complete next to further draw out their skills.

 

2. Your children experience the feeling of working with focus

We know children sometimes like to take breaks when completing worksheets. Guiding children to be aware of their completion time can help them focus and concentrate as they complete each worksheet set. If your children are focussing it is likely their pencils will constantly move as they work smoothly and quickly.

 

3. Your children’s learning is individualised

If your children complete their worksheets within the SCT, this indicates they are learning at the ‘just-right’ level, the area between work that is too easy and too hard.  The SCT provides your Instructor with the necessary insight to always give your children the worksheets they are ready to learn next. When setting the next worksheet set, your Instructor will consider factors such as how quickly your children are able to work through their corrections, overall study attitude, and their constantly changing ability.

Your child’s next worksheet set is always matched to their current ability, not according to their age or school grade. SCT provides your Kumon Instructor with a clear indicator of your child’s current ability.

 

4. Decreasing completion time indicates increased confidence

The time it takes your children to complete a worksheet will become shorter with daily practise. When students begin to study with increased speed, this indicates they are acquiring the skills necessary for study up to that level.  This also provides your children with a feeling of accomplishment. When your children have mastered these skills, they will do the worksheets with ease, and finish them in a short time while still working carefully and thoroughly.

If you have any further questions about your children’s worksheets, we welcome you to speak with your children’s Kumon Instructor – they would love to hear from you.

Toongabbie student achieves entry into James Ruse with Kumon’s support

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A student from the Kumon Toongabbie Education Centre has achieved an offer into the academically selective James Ruse Agricultural High School.

Dharmik, a Year 6 student, excelled in his selective school entry test and has since been offered a seat at the James Ruse Agricultural High School, one of the most academically selective schools in New South Wales.

Dharmik holding up his Level J Achievement Test in Kumon Mathematics. Face not shown as per request of parent.

Dharmik has been a long-term student of Kumon Toongabbie and completed Kumon English last year. He is currently studying the Kumon Mathematics programme at a senior high school level and can solve complex equations.

Kalpesh, Dharmik’s father, said his son’s studies at Kumon Toongabbie played a key role in supporting Dharmik to achieve entry into James Ruse.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kumon Toongabbie. Kumon has played an integral role on Dharmik’s education journey and also to his success”, Kalpesh said.

“The benefit of Dharmik starting Kumon early is he mastered the fundamentals in mathematics and English. This helped him grow quickly through his education.”

“Studying ahead of the school assisted my son to excel in the selective entry test.”

Manoji Sundaranathan, Instructor of Kumon Toongabbie, said starting Kumon at an early age, played a key role towards Dharmik’s success.

“While Dharmik received one of the highest scores for a selective entry test among the students of Kumon Toongabbie, each year we have a number of Year 6 students who achieve entry into a selective school”, Manoji said.

“A common denominator across each of these students is an early start at Kumon, such as in the case of Dharmik who started Kumon in preschool. The second key factor is commitment to the daily aspect of Kumon, which is an average of 20 minutes per subject”.

We offer a big congratulations to Dharmik for his achievements!

The Kumon Mathematics programme develops quick, precise calculation skills necessary for the study of high school mathematics and can help all students to excel academically, while Kumon English develops a high level of reading comprehension ability in students.

New edition of ‘Potential’ magazine out now!

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The future is uncertain. But with the right tools, students can continue to make strong progress in their learning. We have dedicated this issue of Potential to explain how Kumon can support students to keep making progress in their learning, despite uncertain times.

We hope you enjoy our digital copy of Potential. 

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