Toby eases into a daily study routine of learning during lockdown
With children missing school and our usual, busy routines being so dramatically disrupted, many families have been using the lockdown period to start studying with Kumon, to ensure their children’s maths and English ability doesn’t suffer. We recently interviewed Louise, a parent from Londonderry, Northern Ireland to ask her about her experience of joining Kumon during the lockdown.
Her son, Toby, is almost nine years old and with a lack of school routine, Louise felt now would be a good time to start something with structure and progression that could be completed every day. They have now joined the Kumon Foyle Study Centre in Londonderry with Kumon Instructor, Sumeeta Gupta, and Toby is studying both the maths and the English programmes.
I feel it is always nice to meet a person face-to-face, but right now, the classes are fantastic. Sumeeta comes across on Zoom very well. I can see that she spots exactly the same things as she would if she was with Toby in person; when he is doing his study with her on Zoom, she even knows if he's not sitting up properly! She pays attention to his hand position and his finger grip on the pencil and asks him to adjust it when he needs to.Louise, Parent
We spoke to Louise and asked her;
What had prompted you to enrol Toby at Kumon?
“Toby is going into P5 and is starting to get ready for AQE (Common Entrance Assessment). I didn't really think his school work was pushing him enough. I feel that he needs to go back and work on some of the basics with his maths and his English, to help him to then progress further.
I wasn’t sure how Toby would manage with attending school and starting Kumon, so lockdown seemed like a good time for us to start.”
After an initial conversation with the Instructor, Sumeeta, Louise and Toby received the Kumon Assessment tests through the post and set a time to have a video call over Zoom.
“Toby was quite excited at the thought of a video call arranged just for him and it went well. Sumeeta was very friendly and put him at ease.”
How did Toby react to the Instructor during the assessment?
“He reacted well and listened carefully. He did look to me a few times initially but then settled well as Sumeeta talked him through it. She gave lots of reassurance. Sumeeta said his reading comprehension was good but his mental maths ability scored a bit lower. She said both were fine and with a few months of working on those specific aspects with Kumon, he could get to where he should be.”
How has the actual daily Kumon study been working out for Toby these past few weeks? Is he enjoying it?
“On the whole, Toby is enjoying it. He sometimes puts off doing his daily Kumon, but after he's done it, he’s on great form. He's really happy and smiley, perhaps it's because he has just generated new brain cells! He's definitely finding it a lot easier and is completing the worksheets much quicker. It’s just getting him to sit down and start!”
How do you find the online class on Zoom?
“For us it’s very straight forward; he’s set up at the dining table and we have a laptop there anyway because we do quite a few Zoom meetings. I find the laptop so easy to use, you can just flip down the lid a bit and Sumeeta can see him completing his worksheets easily. I had been sitting with him just to make sure he was studying properly, but recently I’ve been able to go away from him and he will still stick to it. So, he's kind of developing independence already.
I feel the conversation and interaction over Zoom with the Instructor is good. I feel it is always nice to meet a person face-to-face, but right now, the classes are fantastic. Sumeeta comes across on Zoom very well. I can see that she spots exactly the same things as she would if she was with Toby in person; when he is doing his study with her on Zoom, she even knows if he's not sitting up properly! She pays attention to his hand position and his finger grip on the pencil and asks him to adjust it when he needs to.”
Have you noticed any improvements in Toby’s ability yet?
“I've already noticed his handwriting has improved so much, and even the way he speaks and says different words and sentences has changed. Even though he was already pretty eloquent, I can hear the difference, just in the way he tells me a story. It's definitely improved. His mental maths has definitely got better too, or maybe he’s just more confident?
I like that Toby is forming a study routine. He knows what he has to do, he sits down, and he does it. Then he knows it's done and out of the way, and he has a sense of achievement. While we are receiving work from the school, it’s all a wee bit up in-the-air, doing something on one day and not really having a plan for the next day. I like that with Kumon you can establish your daily routine. We’re making sure we do it before 1pm. Right now, while we have lots of time it's great to have that these building blocks around your day. It'll be great to keep doing it over the summer, to keep his progress going, ahead of going back to school.”
With the many challenges that families have faced these past months, it’s been great to hear that a bit more time at home is being put to such good use. We have no doubt that Toby will have built a strong educational foundation for when he returns to school.
Welcome to Kumon, Toby!