Why being a Kumon Instructor is still my great passion
Sharon Tipton opened the Kumon Halesowen Study Centre in 1999. Her first class involved just six students and was held in her home around her dining room table.
Two decades later and things look very different. Her centre is well established and hundreds of students have passed through the doors over the years. We caught up with Sharon to find out what she has learned and why being a Kumon Instructor is still her great passion.
Sharon said: "It seems like a long time, but looking back it has just flown by. Lots of things have changed in that time, the advent of the internet for one.
"I've only ever been in two locations in the same area so people know I'm here and many of my students come through recommendations from local families.
"Originally I looked into opening a centre as I had a son who was struggling at school. He was struggling with literacy and I was looking for something he could excel at (we didn't have the English programme at that point). I liked the ethos of Kumon, particularly the daily study aspect and working at the child's own pace.
"I'd looked into it before but hadn't done anything about it. Then I found out that an old school friend had recently set up her own centre and that gave me the confidence to apply.
"I can't see myself ever giving up now, even when I'm old; I can't imagine not running my centre. It's working with the children that gives the biggest reward. It's seeing the confidence they develop, not just with their academic work but their increased confidence with other activities. They develop a willingness to have a go. Parents say Kumon has given their children the confidence to try new things; there is so much more to Kumon than the maths and English content.
"It's nice to see the children at the beginning of their academic journey. A year ago I enrolled a boy who couldn't read. He was in Reception so perhaps to be expected but he really struggled at the beginning. He started in November and by Christmas he brought little books which he'd made that were full of his writing. Within two months he was reading fluently and is now reading short stories and completing comprehension exercises. The English programme is just phenomenal. You can get someone who can't read, reading in just six to 12 weeks.
"I have another student who has been doing maths for a year; he started as a typical five year old, he couldn't concentrate and was really excitable. One year on and his handwriting has really changed, and he is so brisk going down the page, completing the answers accurately. He's become so mature, taking pride in his work.
"And then you have the real academic achievements like Jonathan's, who was an average student and has come back at the age of 22 to say how he has excelled, would that have happened without Kumon? I don't know."
If you would like to find out more about the Kumon programmes for your child, or if you’re interested in becoming a Kumon Instructor yourself, call us now on 0800 854 714.