Kumon's online assessment reveals far more than first anticipated
Starting Kumon during lockdown has proved to be the ideal thing for five-year-old Almira, and her mother, Demet.
The Instructor was able to understand my daughter, the way she thinks and her character, all just in that first video call and assessment – I think this is incredible! I felt reassured and knew I could trust her with my daughter’s learningDemet, Parent
Kumon caught up with Demet, who has recently enrolled at the Waltham Cross study centre with Instructor, Vaishali Dhingra, to find out what it was that prompted her to introduce her daughter to Kumon study and how the experience has been for them so far.
“One of my friends have been with Kumon for the past few years and it has always been on my mind as something to try out. With the lockdown isolation, my daughter can no longer do swimming and her other usual activities, so I felt it was a good time to call up and find out some more information about it. I wasn’t sure initially that Kumon was still operating during lockdown, so once I found out my local centre in Waltham Cross was available and conducting virtual classes using Zoom, I asked for my details to be passed on and the Instructor contacted me the same day. The Instructor arranged a time with me and Almira for her to have an initial assessment and she posted out some materials for us to read over. These included the assessment document and some more detailed information about how the Kumon programme works.”
Were you previously aware of there being a Kumon centre in your local area?
“Yes, my friend has had their child enrolled at this centre for a while, but we weren’t able to attend as they only ran the class on days when Almira had other activities on. Now that those activities aren’t taking place, we have time to start Kumon."
Was using Zoom a new experience for you and your child, or are you already quite adept at video calls in your family?
“We hadn’t used Zoom before but Vaishali reassured us that it was simple to use and offered to help us if we had any technical difficulties.”
How was your daughter feeling, ahead of that initial call and assessment?
“Almira is a very chatty and outgoing child but even so, it was a new experience for her, speaking online to someone who was effectively a stranger on a video call. However, the Instructor made my daughter and I feel so comfortable. She was very quickly able to understand my daughter’s skills and needs and clearly explained to me the study plan she wanted to put in place for Almira.”
Were you surprised by anything that came up in the test?
“The Instructor was able to understand my daughter, the way she thinks, and her character, all just in that first video call and assessment – I think this is incredible! I felt reassured and knew I could trust my daughter’s learning with Vaishali. I was 100% decided I wanted to enrol my daughter in Kumon once we completed the initial assessment.”
Can you remember what the assessment and Instructor’s feedback to you revealed about your daughter?
“I was really surprised because the Instructor picked up so much about my daughter in such a short space of time and she explained things to my daughter, much better than I’d be able to. Vaishali gave Almira a starting point that would be comfortable for her and reassured us that this would motivate her and build her confidence up at the beginning.
Initially, I thought, “why is she giving us work that Almira already knows?” but now I realise that this strategy is really working for her.
I’m hearing my daughter say things like “Ah, this one’s easy. I know how to do this”. She’s already getting quicker and is eager to take on more difficult work, which is just great to see.”
How has the actual Kumon study been working out for your daughter over the past few weeks? Is she enjoying it?
“The online classes have been amazing. The Instructor has been able to do for my daughter, what I couldn’t do. She encourages her to sit and concentrate for 20 minutes, which if you have a 5-year-old, you’ll know isn’t easy. Vaishali motivates her each class and Almira thoroughly enjoys doing the worksheets. We’ve started off with just Kumon Maths, but I’m thinking of starting her on the English programme too.
When Almira first started, she wanted me to sit next to her during the Zoom classes, she was holding my hand and not letting me go because it’s a different experience for her. But Vaishali has built a good relationship very quickly with Almira, to the point where now my daughter is desperate to go and meet her in person! She asked if we could go to her house (of course I had to explain this wasn’t currently possible!) After about five online group classes now, Almira actually concentrates and works a lot better without me being there. So, she’s already grown more independent in just a few weeks of doing Kumon, which is also great for me to see.
The thing that has impressed me the most is how quickly Vaishali has understood my daughter. She individualises her approach with Almira and I can see how she is benefiting from that. It’s been so great to be able to depend on someone professionally, in something as important as learning maths. Vaishali, has gained my trust very quickly.”