Aged 6-11
3 min read

Theodore says, “I can do that too!” as he finds inspiration at Kumon

Feb 2023

Seven-year-old Theodore and his mother, Nadia, arrived in England from Ukraine in May 2022, settling in the Urmston area of Manchester. Nadia knew that for her son to quickly learn the language, settle at school and catch up with his peers, he would need some additional support. They were delighted when Instructor, Sharon Carlin from the Kumon Urmston Study Centre was able to help, and Theodore was soon enrolled in the Kumon Maths and English Programmes.

Mum, Nadia explained,
In Ukraine, children start school at the age of six or seven years old, so Theodore was only in Year 1 in school when we left and he was expected to join Year 3 in England. To catch up with his peers, I felt the most essential thing for him was his English and Maths comprehension. He remembered very little of the English words we’d taught him when he was very little, and his school language lessons had only been at a very basic level, covering the alphabet and up to thirty words”.

Theodore told us;
I needed to catch up with my classmates at school. I didn’t know the timetables, fractions and the rest – and they did! It is very important to me to do well at school as I’m used to being a good student. Here, I felt completely lost because I didn’t have the same background knowledge as my peers. The language barrier was another crucial issue for me. I started learning how to pronounce words and step-by-step, my vocabulary has started to grow”.

Nadia has been pleased to find that both Theodore’s English and maths abilities have improved tremendously this year and she credits studying Kumon and the support of his Instructor for his fantastic progress and new self-confidence. “Theodore has developed his verbal communication, and spelling and greatly expanded his English vocabulary. He got into the habit of working on his Kumon every day and it has become a part of his routine. Having weekly classes and daily homework with Kumon also brought some good structure to our life in England.

He is a rather easy-going and also a curious child. I found that when he wasn’t able to communicate with the other children and he couldn’t express himself, it worked like some sort of trigger and helped with his motivation to learn for himself. The Kumon programmes have helped him in all these aspects.”

“I couldn’t believe how fast he could learn his times tables with Kumon”.
Nadia, Mum

We asked Nadia for her impressions of the Kumon programmes,
The Kumon Maths Programme is very dynamic and thought-out to the last detail. It is built the way that going forward child revises everything that was learnt before. It has helped a lot to reduce the gap in knowledge that he has because of the different educational systems between the two countries. I couldn’t believe how fast he could learn his multiplication tables with Kumon. It really works!

The English programme is also well planned, in particular, the phonetical part. Theodore could properly read previously unknown words. In just a short period of time since he started the programme he was able to read texts and write short sentences on his own. The programme develops phonetics, spelling and sentence structure. It’s helped him to expand his vocabulary”.

Nadia could tell how much positive influence the Kumon English Programme was having a positive influence on her son when he recounted some information that he’d learnt at school during Egyptian mythology week when previously she knew he understood very little of the detail of school work. Theodore added, “The most incredible thing is that now I can read books. I can read most of the words properly even if I don’t know fully their meaning. I also understand what the person is trying to say generally, and now, I can explain what I think or feel to someone.”

Does Nadia feel that studying Kumon has helped her child develop any other life skills, aside from their academic studies?
My son has become more responsible, organised and self-confident. I believe that it is the key to his academic success too. When I am asked about Theodore’s incredible results, I explain that it is thanks to Sharon and the Kumon centre - the Instructors are amazing and fully devoted to their work! Sharon has been incredible, she is very caring, attentive and dedicated. She is also extremely cheerful and supportive and that is so important for Theodore. With Sharon, he feels confident enough to ask questions.”

The family also have fantastic support; both from their host, Geraldine with whom they live and from Theodore’s school, who are so pleased with his progress and development that they are now funding his Kumon tuition fees. Nadia is careful to check whether Theodore puts too much pressure on himself. He is only eight years old and has gone through a lot of changes this year. Like a lot of young children, he can sometimes feel upset if he makes mistakes. His daily Kumon practice is helping him to appreciate the importance of making errors and he is learning more with every mistake! As a result of his strong relationship with his Instructor, he is fully motivated to try again and keep learning.
Theodore said,
I enjoy my classes in Kumon so much and it helps me to believe in myself! The atmosphere in Kumon centre is extremely friendly and supportive. I see other children making such good progress in English or maths in something that they had struggled with before, and I start thinking, ’I can do it too!’.”

Such wise words, Theodore. We’re convinced that you can do anything that you set your mind on and we look forward to hearing how you progress on your Kumon journey.  

“I couldn’t believe how fast he could learn his times tables with Kumon”.
Nadia, Mum