Self-learning is "teaching a child to walk without crutches"
If you want someone to learn to be independent, you need to get them to develop a “self-learning” attitude. Kumon allows children to study regularly and efficiently in short bursts each day, and in the process they develop a habit. With an independent attitude and good habits, your child will definitely have a good foundation for learning. Once the foundation has been laid, the child will then be able to gain a successful self-learning experience through repeated attempts and learning. After this self-learning experience, the child will be confident and will be looking forward to new knowledge. Gradually, he or she will enjoy thinking and solving problems on their own initiative. “Self-learning’ skills are gradually developed through this process.
The Kumon Method encourages children to think for themselves as much as possible, rather than being spoon-fed by teachers. If a child does not turn knowledge into something internal, he or she will not be able to go far without parents and teachers and tutorials, and his or her “crutches” will never be thrown away. I want to raise a child who is confident and can solve problems independently.
This is also a kind of personality education. If a student cannot be independent in his studies, he or she will be even less able to take responsibility in society later. This is something that I value very much and is the direction I will continue to take. I have this requirement for myself and my team, that I want to let the children try first, even if they encounter barriers, but they must have this self-learning attitude first.
Kumon often talks about starting with the original idea, but what is the original idea of Kumon? It is to allow children to learn on their own, to maximise their potential, to learn independently, and to build their confidence and interest in independent learning and gain a sense of satisfaction.
Consciously “Letting Go” of Your Child's Independence
When a child is first starting to learn Kumon, we usually assign a starting point that is a little below the child’s actual ability. This is for the purpose of building up your child’s confidence and getting them into the habit of finishing worksheets in one go.
The first month of learning is then very important. I make sure that when a child comes to class for the first time, he or she gets 100 marks. The first step in the process is to make sure that the child enjoys the centre. On the first and second visits, I teach the child the flow of the Kumon centre and on the third visit, I guide the child through the flow of learning. Through these two or three sessions, the child will gradually develop behavioural independence, such as exchanging homework and preparing stationery on their own. If the child is able to do these small, seemingly unrelated things on his or her own, he or she will have taken the first step towards independence.
As my student progresses and the level of material increases, I will consciously let go. Letting go does not mean that I don’t pay attention to the student, it means that I don’t interfere with the children if they can do it on their own; I don’t say anything if I can make them understand with one single gesture; I don’t say two lines if I can guide them through a problem with one line.
Kumon Is Also a Way of Developing Child's Emotional Intelligence
The Kumon Method of learning is also a way of developing your child’s emotional intelligence because it requires your child to be disciplined and to keep studying every day. When a child is able to study consistently, he or she will be able to go beyond the school year, even if he or she is of average ability. Every child must build a good foundation, experience difficulties, and turn them into motivation to try and challenge and refine themselves. If a child is afraid of difficulties and does not want to think for oneself, but only wants to be taught by others, this will inevitably affect the way he or she thinks later on.
Continuing to learn Kumon will encourage children to develop the concept that “learning is their own responsibility” and that it is through their own efforts that they can learn new things. This is the development of emotional intelligence. The child who succeeds through his or her own efforts and is recognised by the instructor will want to take on the challenge himself or herself next time. Such a positive cycle can inspire the child to do the same in other things in life. I believe that this is what all parents want to see in their children, which means that they can be independent and have a skill that can contribute to society in the future.