Kumon student Tilly achieves Young Archie finalist entry

Tilly, drawing in her artbook.

For 12-year-old Tilly, Kumon is not only helping her improve in mathematics but also to thrive as an artist.

Tilly, in Year 6 at school, has been studying with Kumon for six months. During this time, she has been revising the basics of mathematics and growing in confidence. She was enrolled into Kumon due to gaps in her learning caused by the long lockdowns in Victoria.

“Maths has always been my weakest subject, and knowing that I’m getting better at it has boosted my confidence going into other subjects,” Tilly says.

Tilly also has a creative streak as an artist. From over 4000 submissions, a portrait painting completed by Tilly is one of 70 finalist entries in the 2024 Young Archies, a competition for teen and child artists that runs parallel to Australia’s prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture.

“The painting was of my granddad. He was a painter in New Zealand, and I thought it’d just be really nice to paint him for the entry,” Tilly explains.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from finishing a painting. You can look back at what you accomplished with your hands and your brain, and I think it’s just really satisfying.”

Katherine, Tilly’s mother, says she is proud of her daughter’s achievement.

“We’re really happy because I think she did struggle with lockdown and there was some anxiety about returning to school”, Katherine says. “Then just seeing her get stuck into something and watching her create something and then enter it into the Young Archies, was just such an achievement.”

“We were proud of her no matter what, but then to get told that she had made it as a finalist was just amazing.”

Kumon is a daily study programme, in which students develop a study routine through completing small amounts of work each day. This is similar to how Tilly puts in daily efforts to complete an artwork, requiring her to apply self-discipline and patience.

Tilly says that Kumon is helping her to develop these attributes. Katherine agrees.

“Tilly’s always been quite creative from a young age. Kumon’s helped her balance that creative mind with her practical side,” Katherine says. “I’m now finding her to be more focused, more organised, and doing better overall.”

“I think Kumon’s given her confidence in mathematics and elsewhere. She knows that she can do something that she was previously struggling in, which encourages her to apply herself a bit better in her art.”


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