In today’s educational landscape there is a constant debate about the best age to start a child on their educational journey.
Whilst many believe that “kids should be allowed to be kids”, others feel that we should seize the opportunity to develop a young child’s, already-curious, mind before they take their first steps into formal education.
According to research by the National Literacy Trust, 40-50% of children start school without the skills they need to progress; to feel comfortable and settled in their first year in a formal education setting, young children can benefit from some form of learning experience before they start.
For young children, every experience and interaction provides a new opportunity to learn, therefore, they do not need to be in a formal setting to expand their knowledge at a young age.
At Kumon, when we talk about ‘early learning’, we want to build on a child’s natural enthusiasm to explore the world around them.
The lowest levels of the Kumon Maths and English Programmes feature bright, colourful, pictures; through engaging with the imagery on the page, Kumon students learn how to count and expand their vocabulary.
Alongside the academic skills our younger students gain whilst studying these levels, they also develop a strong foundation in study skills, including focus, concentration, and the ability to see an activity through from start to finish without stopping.
Our ‘Z level’ worksheets focus on pencil skills, taking students from drawing a simple line to a complex shape, thus developing a child’s motor skills and giving them an understanding of shape and patterns.
Sima and Hetal Patel have first-hand experience of the benefits of starting their child early; Amya began the Kumon Maths Programme when she was just 18 months old and excelled quickly.
Dad Hetal, said: “It’s realising its actually fun, it can be a game; it’s given us a form of structure, which we can then use with other things as well, she understands the value of her work time and playtime as a result of it. I think a lot of these skills can be used not just with Kumon but with other parts of studying as well.”
Learning should be an interactive, enjoyable experience for all involved; when our littlest Kumon students head home from their local study centre, they leave with new knowledge and an enthusiasm for their work.
Through daily study of our fun, colourful worksheets, our young students are better prepared to put their best foot forward when they take their first steps into a school environment. Without realising it, they are developing study skills, pencil skills, and social skills, and most importantly, they are having fun!
Throughout January 2017, various Kumon Study Centres across the country are offering a two-week Free Trial for Reception age children and younger, to help them get the best start. At Kumon we want to build upon children’s enjoyment of learning and help them to develop key skills as soon as they are able. To find your nearest centre offering the Early Learner Free Trial, please call 0800 854 714.