With Kumon I'm really enjoying running my own business
Judy Cohen took over the Kumon Hemel Hempstead Study Centre in March 2016 after 20 years as a primary school teacher.
To celebrate her new role, Judy held two 'takeover parties' where students and their families got to play games, win prizes, eat treats, and take home some Kumon gifts.
We spoke with Judy to see how her events unfolded and to learn what most appealed to her about the Kumon Method of Learning.
She said: "Across the two days we had about 100 students, siblings and parents/careers at the events.
"We turned the waiting room into a party venue, with decorations and had a number of activities going on. We had a 'guess how many sweets are in the jar' game, maths puzzles, a country word search and a 'name the elephant' game for the younger ones. There were delicious Kumon cupcakes and even a photographer from the local Gazette.
"Students went into the party before and/or after class and got involved alongside their families. Everyone received a Kumon gift to take away with them.
"There was a great party atmosphere on both days and everybody looked as if they were enjoying themselves. It was a nice, relaxed opportunity to get to know my Kumon families and bring a bit of fun to the centre."
On her decision to become a Kumon Instructor, Judy said: "I felt the time was right for me to leave primary teaching behind, so I began to look for alternatives. I came across an advertisement for Kumon franchise opportunities, and upon further investigation I decided to attend a local information session.
"One of the reasons I wanted to move away from the regular primary school classroom was I found it very frustrating that however hard I tried, I was not able to deliver an effective, individualised learning programme for every child. At my Kumon centre I have been able to achieve this through the very carefully and expertly designed worksheets which is not only very rewarding for me but also for all my students.
"I also frequently encountered so many children entering into Year 5 who still not did know their times tables. This makes it incredibly difficult for them to grasp the more challenging topics of fractions and algebra. At Kumon, students are able to learn their times tables to such a degree of proficiency that when they come to more advanced study they can progress with ease.
"I have three grown up children who all studied with Kumon when they were younger so I was already familiar with the method. They all made amazing progress and I felt Kumon equipped them with the necessary skills to go on and pursue their desired line of study; my eldest son went on to study maths and computer science, my daughter recently qualified as a doctor, and my youngest is currently studying neuroscience.
"I am loving my role so far and really enjoying running my own business. It is great to be able to work with students of all ages, and most importantly to be able to set work which is exactly right for them, regardless of their age.
"With 20 years' experience as a primary school teacher I can incorporate everything I have learnt thus far into my Kumon instruction and help my students make the best progress possible."