“Let the books be your children’s babysitters” . This is a wise statement by Toru Kumon, creator of the homonymous method, protagonist of this article today and which now has more than 4 million students worldwide.
Over the years, education has sought hundreds of methodologies to be more efficient and more natural. The Kumon method is one of many that millions of parents trust. Because?
What is the Kumon method
The Kumon method aims to incentivize pupils autonomously, in order to increase their learning potential according to their abilities. For this reason, this process is personalized and individual according to the student’s skills.
This process aims to reinforce safety in children. Therefore, it offers a scenario in which young people have to independently face the search for knowledge, through stimulation and fun for learning.
Who is Toru Kumon?
Toru Kumon was a math professor who was particularly concerned about his son’s education. After finding an exam made by his son Takeshi, in which he did not get a good grade, the father decided to create study material for him, so as to be able to stimulate his interest and improve results. To this end, Kumon tried to formulate some strategies for his son to study in a self-instructing way, without overloading him with work and allowing him to be more autonomous.
However, Kumon, noting the problems his son had had in many other children, decided to develop material that would provide pupils with the opportunity to face challenges they could solve without help, but which, given their gradual difficulty, they presupposed a challenge. The intention was to obtain perfectly autonomous pupils.
Curiously, Toru Kumon’s neighbors, observing the improvements made by his son Takhesi, asked Toru to have their children apply the same methods. Thus, in 1958, this math professor opened his first office in Osaka, Japan, having today reached more than 4 million children worldwide.
The 4 pillars of the Kumon method
In order for children to be able to solve the exercises envisaged by the Kumon method, in addition to age and school level, pupils’ trust and interest in carrying out them must be encouraged. For this reason, this method is based on 4 fundamental pillars.
Individuality according to skills
Voting is neither a limit nor the goal in the Kumon method. We try to make sure that each child is able to explore and develop his skills to the maximum according to his individual and personal abilities. For this reason, they must strive to the maximum gradually, for the sheer pleasure of learning and always with confidence and self-control.
The Kumon method first of all evaluates the child’s ability to learn according to the efforts made. Each child solves the exercises thanks to personal, self-taught effort, arriving at the solution through a path chosen by him.
Another pillar on which this method is based is progressive evolution. The material is specially prepared for each child to increase the complexity of the exercises according to his own pace of learning. All of this is individualized and based on the understanding and satisfaction of each child.
The educator as an observer
The educator also plays a fundamental role in the Kumon method. He is the observer of each child’s academic ability and personality. He will adapt the material to the child’s abilities and participate in his progress, encouraging him to continue and discover all his abilities.
What do you think of the Kumon method? Do you think it would be a good way to enhance your children’s academic skills and competences? There are already many theories that estimate that the best way to learn is the natural and gradual one, depending on the personal abilities of each individual. This methodology certainly adds to these currents which have proved effective.