Aged 6-11

Kumon helps Jonathan thrive after disruption to his school education

Aug 2023

Many families felt that their children struggled to keep up during the disruption to their education during the lockdown period, and seven-year-old Jonathan was no exception. That’s why his mother, Martina, enrolled him with the Kumon Elstree Study Centre, studying both the maths and English programmes. We spoke to Martina to ask her about what had promoted her to choose Kumon, how Kumon was helping Jonathan now and her hopes for her son’s future development.

What prompted you to enrol your child with Kumon?
“I was concerned about Jonathan falling behind after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was a keyworker so, thankfully, he was provided with essential care and support during the lockdowns. We first enrolled him with a different supplementary education service but saw little in the way of results as he was mainly in front of a computer with little to no feedback on his progress or challenges. I read up on other options that were available and chose Kumon.”

What skills has Jonathan developed since studying Kumon?
“I became very concerned when Jonathan’s teachers at school were introducing the class to multiplication, while I observed that my son was still struggling with understanding simple number relationships. It seems that the school would dip in and out of various subjects without making sure that the students fully understood everything that they were covering.

Kumon assigned him worksheets a few steps below his current school level, making sure he was learning the areas that I felt were not properly covered by the school and ensuring that he understood them in depth and in full.

The worksheets are repetitive, but I believe that’s how you gain a strong foundation, and this will not only help my son in his academic career but also set him up to be able to operate through life without a fear of numbers. I can see the progress if I compare his worksheets from last August, where he severely struggled, with his recent work which he now completes quickly and easily. He particularly loves the reading sections within the English programme. I think it is very good how he is gently guided to succeed in answering many different types of questions.”

If you had to explain the benefits of Kumon to another parent in one sentence, what would you say?
“You have to remember that Kumon is not a quick-fix exercise but a larger experience with so many aspects that will benefit students: a strong, solid foundation; getting used to answering questions against a timer; being able to answer specific text related questions and the way Kumon study also engrains in children a routine of daily learning and engagement with key subjects.”

Would you say that Kumon has helped your child prepare for tests and exams? In what ways was this evident?
“My son took his KS1 SATS and wasn’t anxious at all sitting these as he is used to the weekly Kumon centre assessments. He also appears confident in his weekly school tests.

I believe Kumon will continue helping him to get used to a test environment. In the English programme, Kumon is preparing him to answer text-related questions precisely and extract the required information from the text. For maths, Kumon has helped him to develop a strong understanding for his numeracy. He will also be used to performing tests under timed conditions.”

How would you describe the relationship between your child and their Kumon Instructor?
“Hedy is very good at receiving feedback and I feel comfortable speaking to her and providing her with direct feedback. I share Jonathan’s school reports and feedback from his teachers with her too which enables her to react to their feedback and makes adjustments to his work plan.”

What do you hope for Jonathan to have achieved from his Kumon studies?
“To continue to grow and develop. For him to build on a strong foundation, engraining in him a positive approach to learning and studying. To appreciate how small, bite-sized efforts over time can have huge results. I want him to ‘fall in love’ with learning and be confident and assured when he is sitting tests and exams.”