Kumon Centers Supplement Students’ Learning During an Already Difficult Year for Education
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
As schooling across the country moved to virtual classes, so did Kumon Learning Centers that offer math and reading programs for students pre-kindergarten through high school.
“With COVID, we had to take Kumon into online mode and my faith and belief in Kumon deepened tremendously,” said Ferooza Eswaran, instructor at the Centennial-Foxfield location.
“Since Kumon students have always had to ‘work from home’ in that they do homework every day, they hit the ground running when schools went online and they were to work from home. What’s unique is the fact that the students work with good ol’ pencil and paper, but just our interaction moved online.”
The Proven Kumon Method to Help Children Succeed
For more than 60 years, Kumon’s after school academic enrichment program has helped children achieve success worldwide. Kumon strives to instill in children the desire to achieve and the motivation to learn on their own.
Instead of taking notes, memorizing facts, and being fed information from teachers or a tutor, children actively develop critical, self-learning skills through carefully designed worksheets. Kumon worksheets cover everything from counting to calculus, and phonemics to Shakespeare.
Kumon was founded in 1954 in Japan by a father and gifted math teacher, named
Toru Kumon, who wanted his son, Takeshi, to develop a love for learning. He also wanted him to be thoroughly prepared for rigorous high school and college entrance exams in his future. Each day, Toru gave Takeshi short, incremental assignments to complete, allowing his son to master each concept completely before learning a new skill. The method was so successful that by sixth grade, Takeshi was solving calculus problems.
Why Local Asian Americans Opened Kumon Learning Centers
For Joey Le and Qui Nguyen, the husband and wife opened a Kumon Learning Center in Lakewood on December 1, 2019 because the Kumon philosophy aligned with their beliefs in education and community support.
“Kumon teaches students to be independent self-learners, builds their confidence and strengthens the fundamental foundational skills,” said Nguyen.
In Centennial, Eswaran officially opened her location off Parker Road in September 2011 after exploring possibilities to open dating back to 2005.
Eswaran said, “As a microbiologist and educator, I had been working in HR for seven years and started feeling that something was amiss. A good friend of mine was operating a Kumon and encouraged me to do the same.”
Being an educator all her life, Eswaran loves to see the difference Kumon can make in a child’s life. “For me, Kumon is not a business. I have built relationships that will last a lifetime and I am so happy and proud to say that I am in touch with not just current students and their parents, but families who were with me years ago,” she said.
Asian American Families Believe in Kumon
According to Eswaran: “Asian Americans are definitely the higher percentage of my students. Most first generation immigrants—Asian Americans included—value education and find value in a program like Kumon.”
“I think culturally, excellence in academics is highly valued by all Asian Americans and they also are not shy of making the children work hard and they realize the value and rewards of consistent hard work. Building a good work ethic is a priceless byproduct of this program and we know the value of that.”
The Kumon method provides students with the tools necessary to develop their problem solving skills and become independent learners. With individualized instruction, students are given the opportunity to progress at their own pace.
Adapting to COVID-19
In Lakewood, Nguyen said, “This past year has been tough with all the changes and uncertainties of COVID; however, with the help of our families, we have been able to adjust well. We have been taking the information provided by the CDC and accommodating our instruction methods to keep everyone safe. We transitioned to remote learning during the stay at home order and, eventually, we were able to reopen our center with a limited capacity.”
Eswaran said, “Many families lost jobs and incomes these past months. I was able to help these families by not charging tuition. I tried my best to not let their economic situation interfere with their academic progress.”