Kumon Method of Learning gives students a head start: Promote self-discipline in children by instilling the correct learning attitude
Hong Kong and Macau
Six years ago, the publication of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother triggered an overwhelming discussion over childrearing and not everyone agree with its pressure-cooker approach. Most recently, another mother in the United States wrote an article to review contemporary methods of parenting. She claimed that difficulties and adversity are a part of life and that parents should teach children the correct attitude to learning, allowing them to think independently.
Enhance their ability to acquire knowledge and solve problems by themselves towards. Instead of arranging everything or removing all the obstacles for themselves.
Enjoy learning by equipping them learning ability and attitude
To ensure a happy childhood, free from excessive pressure and too much homework, many parents feel that studying in an international school from kindergarten level is the best option. They also hope that their children will be prepared for studying overseas by immersing in an English-learning environment as preparation for studying overseas in future.
International schools may have lesser homework and fewer tests than local schools which do not mean its curriculum is simple and its mode of learning is quite different from the contemporary method. On top of the requirement of solid foundation of English, mathematics and logical thinking, analytical thinking, summarization, communication, self-learning skill which enable them to complete a 2,000 to 4,000 word Theory of Knowledge and extended essay are required as well.
Besides, students are required to maintain a certain hours of extra-curriculum on Creativity, Action and Service which demand certain level of self-discipline of time management from children.
Parents are highly advised to cultivate their child with sound academic foundation, correct learning attitude, self-discipline and self-learning ability if they want to enroll their child into an international school.
Therefore, before applying for a place at an international school, parents should cultivate in their children a sound basis for learning from an early age. They should help them develop the right attitude towards learning, as well as the necessary self-discipline and outlook. Only with this can children enjoy the process of learning and benefit from it for the rest of their lives.
Kumon shares International school’s education philosophy
International school curriculum in Hong Kong is linked to overseas educational systems, eg: the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. In the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), there are three main themes including self-awareness, good knowledge about contemporary time and community and understand how the world works. Students need a broad spectrum of basic knowledge and a good attitude towards learning. They should think proactively and be able to discover information about different topics to meet the requirements of individual subjects.
The IB curriculum emphasises whole-person development and focuses on cultivating a life-long learning habit in students. This coincides with the Kumon philosophy of “It is better to teach a man how to fish instead of just giving him a fish”. Both the IB and Kumon put the emphasis on inspiring students with a sense of exploration. In this way, they become self-motivated, positive and active learners, as well as good global citizens.
Kumon completer – A Former IB student shares key to success
Bryan, a Kumon completer in mathematics and English, completed IB examination in 2016 and achieved 41 points scores (the highest score is 45). He got 7 points in mathematics, the highest possible grade. He is now studying business administration at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology majoring in accounting. He summarized his Kumon study in one sentence: “It’s like saving a large amount of money in the bank and you can freely withdraw it whenever you need it.”
The “money” he mentioned refers to academic skills and other important attributes like self-discipline, self-motivation and time management. He further explained that the IB curriculum stresses the importance of reading comprehension and logical thinking, which are same as the requirement of high-level of worksheet in Kumon. For example, in Kumon mathematics, there are many complex problems which require students to consider solution from different and various angles ways. Ultimately, students learn to answer the questions in the examination most efficient and effective way.
For English reading programme, Kumon covers a wide selection of literary works which require students analyze the articles from different perspectives and angles. They have to read between the words and sentences to decode the deeper meanings, able to summarize the findings and from their own opinions. This style of learning enhanced Bryan’s English reading comprehension and writing skills above all, allowing him to handle English Literature with greater ease.
In Kumon classes, students can learn at levels beyond their school grade at school. This gave Bryan a stronger drive to keep learning and improving.
He said: “Kumon instructors guided me how to learn and think through the examples in the worksheets and thus allowing me acquire new knowledge every day on my own. This mode of learning is more effective than just listening to the teacher in a class for deeper impression what I learned. Most importantly, I found myself enjoying the challenge of beyond school grade level learning materials which gave me clear target and even greater confidence to learn ahead and build up my learning power.”He also attributes his self-discipline and time management skills to Kumon philosophy of “Moving forward step by step by learning bit by bit on daily basis”which helped him to strike a balance between study and extra-curricular activities during high school period.
Education consists of two elements namely“Education”- transfer of knowledge and“Nurturing”- cultivation of talents. They are of equally importance. While concerns with the academic ability of their children, parents should also place importance on the development of self-management ability of their children so that their children can independently live for today and look forward to tomorrow.