I live two hours from my nearest Kumon centre, so how could my three-year-old start learning with Kumon?
We spoke to Rosalin, a parent living in Aberystwyth, mid-Wales about what prompted her to enrol her three-year-old daughter, Mary, during the lockdown period.
How did you first hear about Kumon?
“Kumon is a very well-known brand in Thailand, Singapore and across Asia. Myself, my husband and my young daughter, Mary, were previously living in Singapore and lots of young children study it there. We have recently moved to the UK and we now live in Aberystwyth, a seaside town on the west coast of Wales.
From the age of two, Mary had been going to school in Singapore and I wanted to continue her learning, as she loved it so much. I certainly didn’t expect to find a Kumon centre nearby, so I hadn’t yet looked for one, but then I saw an advert on Facebook stating that Kumon was now available to study from home. I was surprised and curious, so I followed up straight away with the Grangetown centre in Cardiff.
I spoke to the Instructor, Anouska and, because we are over two hours away from her usual Kumon venue in Cardiff, we discussed how we could make this work in the longer term. As it won't be possible to physically attend classes, the option to study from home and work with her on a video call was particularly appealing to me. We agreed to try it out.”
What made you think about joining Kumon at this time, during lockdown?
“My daughter has started at a local nursery and, with the Covid-19 school closures, I really didn't want to disturb her educational routine and development. She responds very well to most kinds of learning and now that we are back in the UK, I really wanted to encourage her while she is eager to learn new things. That’s why I was happy to find a Kumon centre.”
How did the initial enrolment go?
“Anouska sent us the test materials and we arranged an online assessment call. We sat together one afternoon with the papers and chatted over a video link to Anouska. My daughter really enjoys talking and she enjoyed talking to Anouska. Anouska has a lovely way of talking to Mary and in getting her attention.
At just three and a half years old, my daughter's focus and attention span does wane, so we had to allow time for her wander off and to come back to the test. Anouska reassured me that it was perfectly normal at her age and handled her very well. We just gave Mary time and her curiosity in Anouska and the papers soon meant she came back and started to focus again.”
How are you and your daughter finding the study?
“It has now been a few weeks since we started Kumon and Mary and I have been doing daily learning lessons together, using Kumon’s materials, supported by weekly one-to-one calls with Anouska. These calls involve Mary too so that Anouska can assess how she is progressing, and then Anouska and I talk alone so that I can ask any questions, or express any concerns, which Anouska advises about.
Mary loves the studying and is so happy when she gets things right. She is really progressing well and loves to do drawing by herself. One day I noticed that she clearly drew a number four. We’ve been building on her interest and I can see that she’s definitely recognising the numbers, rather than just counting in a sequence, which Anouska explained is so important. In Singapore, she could count up to 10, in both English and Chinese, but did not recognise any numbers. She now counts up to at least 40 in English and recognises and knows all the numbers up to at least 30. She has progressed amazingly well. She can also now count up to 10 in Welsh, whilst I have taught her to count up to 20 in Thai - she is so receptive to learning new things
I can see that she is also improving her general drawing skills and correcting and adjusting how she is holding her pencil to improve her control. It’s fascinating.”
How do you think Kumon has helped your daughter to study?
“Obviously, any parent can teach their child. However, I struggled in understanding what is the best way to teach her and how do I get materials to make it interesting for her.
What Kumon provide is a proven training structure, which you soon realise works, together with tried and tested training materials that both teach my daughter and keep her entertained and interested.
Using a well-known platform like Kumon is giving me confidence and peace of mind that Mary is really progressing faster than I expected. Kumon has an excellent reputation internationally, which I appreciate. I like the theory and philosophy behind it and the materials for young children are really good.
We are now using Kumon to teach Mary to read English and her progress is simply amazing. I could not have done it so quickly on my own.”
Kumon has an excellent reputation internationally, which I appreciate. I like the theory and philosophy behind it and materials for young children are really good.Rosalin, parent