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After walking 800km, Anna hands in her holiday homework

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Most students would take time off from homework while embarking on an 800km trek, but not 11-year-old Anna, who kept up-to-date with her Kumon Maths homework while she completed the Camino de Santiago.

The Camino de Santiago, or ‘The Way of Saint James’, follows one of the most significant Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. This pilgrim’s route, part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, begins in the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, near the French-Spanish border, and ends in Santiago de Compostela, a city in north-western Spain.

Today, it still serves as spiritual journey for modern-day pilgrims and as a tourist track. While Anna spent 26 days trekking over mountains, through medieval villages and across dry Spanish plains, she completed her Kumon Maths work with her cousins, carrying her homework wrapped in a plastic bag that was placed in her backpack.

“I didn’t want to fall out of the habit of doing Kumon and I thought I might fall behind if I didn’t do it on the trip”, Anna said. “My two cousins who were with me on the trip also do Kumon, so we helped each other during the evenings when we had lots of spare time”.

Paula, Anna’s mother, said she was impressed that Anna wanted to keep up with her work and that Kumon has boosted Anna’s confidence.

“Anna likes to achieve, and I think that she’s seen herself improve over time”, Paula said.

“I think she gets a lot of satisfaction from Kumon and it’s not easy; she’s struggled sometimes, but I think it’s given her a good sense of what she can do.”

Anna aspires to be a doctor or scientist when she grows up, and would like to star in a musical.

As children prepare for the year ahead, you might like to consider how Kumon can help your child develop a daily learning habit as well as boosting their confidence. Enquire with your local Kumon Centre to learn more about giving Kumon a try in 2019.

Three ways to help your children love learning this summer

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With the arrival of the summer holidays, children can play and live their daydreams without the interruptions of the classroom. Parents also finally have precious extra time to relax and spend with their children; whether this is on holiday, at the poolside or beach, or just relaxing together to read a favourite book.

The summer holidays are a time to show children that learning can be intriguing and enjoyable! Here are three ways you can help your children love learning this summer.

1. Encourage and engage with their curiosity

A curious mind is eager to learn more, and will serve children well throughout their education and life. Sometimes children ask thousands of questions each day! Answering questions honestly and genuinely will provide opportunities to discuss the question topic in more depth. If neither of you know the answer, then this is an opportunity for you both to find the answer together.

2. Get reading!

Summer is a great time for children to pick up a book, get lost in a story, and learn more while they’re at it!

Keep books by your children’s bedside these holidays, in the playroom—all over the house—and make sure they are in places within children’s reach. Bring books with you on car trips, to the grocery store, anywhere. Rather than handing them an electronic device, hand them a book they love.

3. For the long-term, help them develop a growth mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort and perseverance. Children with a growth mindset realise their effort has a direct impact on their achievement, they acknowledge their current abilities are a starting point for reaching their potential, and are more likely to put in the extra yards needed to succeed.

Kumon is enrolling throughout the summer break, and this could be a time to help you child begin to develop this mindset. Kumon’s programmes help students develop this way of thinking by building students’ confidence through its Maths and English programmes and showing them that with effort, they can achieve.

The numbers add up for Gisele, Chace and Charmaine

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For siblings – 9 year old Gisele, and 8 year old Chace and Charmaine – numbers are a breeze.

The siblings have always had an affinity for numbers which their parents, Holly and Ady, were keen to nurture. As such, they enrolled their kids into Kumon.

“We discovered their interest and ability in mathematics while they were at Kindergarten,” Holly and Ady explain.

“Therefore, we hoped to find a well‐recognised system that can enhance their ability and equip them with the necessary learning skills”.

Gisele, Chace and Charmaine all aspire to be medical professionals when they grow up. They say Kumon has helped them become confident, independent learners.

“Kumon gives us a systematic way to practice our knowledge with clear achievements and targets”, say Gisele, Chace and Charmaine.

“Sometimes, we experience difficulty when studying advanced maths, but we are willing to learn by ourselves and find it fun to face the challenges ahead and we are determined to conquer them”.

Kumon places Alisha ahead in maths and English

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Despite being only 11 years old, Alisha can already complete many of the maths and English problems she will likely see in secondary school.

Alisha, who is in Year 6, studies Kumon English at the Year 11 level and Kumon Maths at the Year 9 level.

“At school, I find I know a lot of the stuff already, often it’s just revision”, Alisha says. “Kumon has definitely made school a lot easier and helps me be more confident”.

Sonal, Alisha’s mum, she enrolled Alisha into Kumon to give her a challenge and stretch her abilities.

“If a child can cope with advanced learning, I feel we should just go ahead”, Sonal says.

“For Alisha, this has helped boost her confidence – she’s not afraid to take new things on – and it’s built her speed, accuracy, patience and discipline, these are skills which will stay with her for life”.

Kumon accelerates Kaiden’s learning

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For Kaiden, 12 years old, Kumon is a jump start for his education.

The aspiring car mechanic, who studies Maths at Kumon, is no longer struggling at school.

“Kumon has helped me to catch up to my year level, which I feel good about”, Kaiden said. “It keeps me wanting to learn and to keep improving.”

Kaiden has studied with Kumon since 2015. Kumon focusses on helping students build foundational literacy and numeracy skills as well as building student’s ability to solve problems by themselves.

Kumon students also learn at a level that is defined by their current ability and aren’t pushed ahead or held back because of their age.

“This allows him to build his confidence because he’s not being forced to learn something in a hurry and then move on”, explained his mother, Natalie.

Kaiden said that Kumon will also help him throughout his later life. “It’s taught me to focus and concentrate a lot on getting my work completed and try and solve problems on my own”, Kaiden said.

“Hopefully if I get a mechanic’s apprenticeship I can use these skills in my studies and workplace”.

Cleo journeys from Kumon student to student doctor

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It was 18-year-old Cleo’s own experience with surgery that inspired her pursue a career in medicine.

“Having undergone surgery a few years ago, I really admired the way my doctor treated myself and other patients with the utmost compassion, empathy and respect”, Cleo said. “I was also blown away by his leadership skills, and the way he guided his team of interns and registrars.”

The first year Curtin University medical student aspires to become a “competent and compassionate” doctor, and an advocate for healthcare improvements. Cleo completed high school at Perth Modern School and has finished the Kumon programme at Kumon Canning Vale Education Centre.

Kumon’s Maths and English programmes focus on raising children’s reading and calculation ability, as they are fundamental to success in all subjects at school. This gives students a solid foundation in Maths and English and lays the groundwork for students to succeed in school and in later life. Kumon also develops students’ ability to think through challenges by themselves.

Cleo said she is grateful to Kumon for helping her develop the work ethic and self-discipline needed to pursue a career in medicine.

“Kumon instils discipline and self-motivation in students”, Cleo explained. “It is one of the main reasons why my work ethic is what it is today and for that I am very grateful.”

Kumon also tailors its teaching to needs of each student.

“In Kumon, you can progress onto the next stage or spend extra time revising difficult concepts,” Cleo said. “The programme is adaptable and flexible which really helps bring out the best in each student.”

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