Our first week at home - a Kumon parent perspective
Kumon mum, Claire, told us about her first week of staying at home during the current Coronavirus crisis, working from home and supporting her daughters, Holly and Belle, while schools are closed. Ten-year-old Holly and seven-year-old Belle both study the Kumon Maths Programme and now with school closures, Claire has ensured that they are still maintaining their daily Kumon study, as well as carrying out other extracurricular activities each day. As a family, they have put in place an action plan for the coming weeks and have just completed week one of their new home-based lifestyle. Here is Claire’s account of their first week:
At the beginning of the week, my family and I sat down to discuss how the current situation will impact our daily lives and what this means for us as a family. We discussed what we needed from each other at this time, how we will use our time productively; establishing the difference between a weekday and a weekend, and what activities we will carry out each day. The girls suggested that we create a timetable to determine what we had to and wanted to include in our daily schedule, and we all agreed that our core activities were:
- Daily exercise in the morning and gymnastics practice in the garden
- Daily Kumon study in the morning - to be done after exercise at the kitchen island and marking to be completed straight away
- Daily reading of fiction or non-fiction text for 30 minutes
- 60-90 minutes of ‘Purple Mash’ - a school-based online set of work
Now that we’ve completed our first week of following our new timetable, we’ve learnt that just four core activities are a suitable amount for each day, while family time is a great way to end the day. Excluding screen time from their morning routine, and ensuring that exercise, Kumon study and reading are put first, has worked well for the girls.
As my husband and I work from home, there’s only so much we can oversee and so it’s great that Kumon provides the girls with an opportunity to study independently and keep up with their schoolwork. I believe that this routine has helped Holly and Belle smoothly transition to this new home-based lifestyle. Not only have the girls and I adjusted to our new schedule, we take heart in the fact that there are many other people doing Kumon with us - a virtual Kumon community makes us feel we are not so alone. To keep the girls motivated, my husband and I have implemented a rewards chart for Kumon study. Each day, they get a sticker for the completion of work (it must be a full five pages) and an extra sticker for scoring 100%.
I recently asked Holly and Belle to describe how they feel about their first week at home, continuing with their daily Kumon routine. Holly said, “I find it hard sometimes, but that’s not bad. My brain is working hard and sometimes it feels like I am really having to push myself. So far, I have got 100% in my work every day which I’m really proud of.”
Belle has also managed to make great progress this week; “I am finding times tables good. I have learnt my 6 and 7’s this week!”
It’s possible that schools will be closed until September and many parents I know are worried about the detrimental effect on their child’s learning. However, I’m hopeful that if Holly and Belle continue with daily Kumon study, they’ll actually be ahead on schoolwork before they even start Year 4 and Year 6. For this reason, Kumon will be one of the most important things they do in the coming months.
Outside of home learning, we have found that we’ve had a lot of opportunities for proper quality family time, which is actually really nice. Although the current situation has reshaped our lives, I’m confident that as a family, we’ll be able to face any challenges that may occur.