Math – level I (junior secondary level, 7 years advance beyond school grade)
Chinese – level G (junior secondary level, 5 years advance beyond school grade )
EFL – level E (primary school level, 3 years advance beyond school grade)
A little boy sitting in front of us, Xiangli looks quite playful. Besides saying out loud his name, he gave us the most specific introduction of himself, “I am from Class 6, student number 17, sitting at the third seat in the third row.” Xiangli is an energetic child, who love running outside the classroom. However, he behaves himself well during class. His academic performance is excellent as well. Xiangli’s mother believes that it is the outcome from learning Kumon. “Learning Kumon on regular daily basis builds his concentration.”
When being asked about how Xiangli could insist on learning Kumon, he told us, “If you like to learn, you won’t think about giving up.” Magnetic number board was the initial contact that brought Xiangli into Kumon. He was very excited to go to Kumon education center every week. In order to satisfy his curiosity, the Kumon instructor always said to him, “Come in and enjoy.” Because of that, it is fun and enjoyable for Xiangli no matter what he learns at school or Kumon education center.
Small Figure with Big Thoughts
Never look down on young age of Xiangli, he has his own thought on learning. When learning new contents in Kumon, students are required to read example questions on their own. Xiangli said that “The examples look very complicated at the first glance”, but when he read them carefully, he realised that “the contents actually come from the previous contents but with slightly change.” Speaking of the repetition in Kumon, Xiangli confessed, “Of course I like learning new things; however, when you have not proficient in the previous parts, you should do revision first. If you do not study the previous content well, you will not be able to learn new things.” It is hard for people to believe this mature thought was saying from a grade-2 student who sitting in front of us.
When it comes to how Kumon changes him, Xiangli smiled and said, “Changes come in many forms, but the biggest change should be studying in school become less difficult.” He shared with us that his teachers asked him to answer questions during class, when the other students do not know the answers. It is believed that Xiangli gained his confidence bit by bit after finding out the learning method.
Taking Actions Towards His Dreams
When being asked about his dreams at the end of the interview, Xiangli was very excited to answer, “Of course I have a dream! I want to be a teacher when I grow up. I help my instructor marking other students’ homework now.” Who could have thought that such a small kid as Xiangli had found the relationship between his dream and the reality, and even started taking actions? Xiangli is indeed a “little celebrity” in his school, many of his classmates enrolled in Kumon because of him. We believe that Xiangli must be a popular teacher in the future.
The interview with Xiangli’s parents is inspirational too. Sometimes Xiangli would struggle when learning new contents in Kumon. His father would encourage him and say, “Based on your ability. I believe you can do it.” Xiangli’s mother understands his playful personality; when she reminds him to study Kumon, she would say, “Is it about time to play with Kumon?” The aim is to instil the learning concept to him that learning is fun but not a burden. The confidence and optimism of Xiangli are very highly related to his family education.