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More than half a century ago, one father’s love for his son commenced the prototype for Kumon as we know it today. It all began in 1954, when a parent and maths teacher named Toru Kumon found a way to help his son, Takeshi, do better in school. Takeshi came home with a less than favourable performance on a maths test in second grade. Teiko Kumon asked her husband Toru to take a look at Takeshi’s arithmetic test. To help his son improve his maths scores, Mr. Kumon created a series of short assignments that Takeshi could complete to 100% in around 30 minutes every day. Because each assignment was a bit more challenging than the last, Takeshi was able to master maths concepts and gain confidence in his ability. Mr. Kumon believed if his son was well-prepared in advance and did well in high school, Takeshi would have a better chance of getting into a great university, while not needing to pay so much in tuition. The unique method employed in the assignments was so successful that Takeshi was able to do calculus problems by the sixth grade. Toru Kumon, seeing his son’s achievement in maths, thought what was possible for one child must be possible for others. This is how the Kumon Method of education began, and is still practiced today.

An introduction to the Kumon Method of Learning

At Kumon, our aim is for each and every child to become an independent, advanced learner, with a positive attitude to study. We aim to create independent learners; confident children who take pride in their own studies, set their own goals, and continue to learn throughout their lives. For over 50 years we have made that vision a reality, and we are now doing so in more than 49 countries across the globe.

At Kumon, our approach to learning is different from traditional methods of education. We develop children through the acquisition of independent learning skills, rather than teaching in the conventional sense. We equip our students with the ability to learn for themselves so they do not become dependent on – or limited by – the skills and knowledge of others.

Kumon is an individualised daily study programme, designed to pursue the potential of each child. Central to the Kumon Method is the principal of giving students the confidence and courage to confront new challenges and to set and achieve their own goals. Above all, materials are created with the aim of producing the greatest learning effect in the shortest possible time through self-learning.

Kumon is a self-learning programme. Because Kumon aims to develop independent study skills, a Kumon study centre does not have a teacher standing at the front of the class. The carefully structured worksheets teach students how to find the answer for themselves, whilst their Instructor guides them along their journey. It is the Instructor’s role to observe the child working, making sure they are developing at the right pace and thus set work according to their current ability.

In SA we offer two programmes: the Kumon English Programme and the Kumon Maths Programme. On each programme the student will start at exactly the right level for them. Each student follows their own path of study; they will start the programme at their own individually set starting point and will move through the programme at their own pace. The students begin by studying work at a comfortable level with the aim of developing good study skills such as steady rhythm and pace, following instructions, sitting with good posture and maintaining concentration.

Kumon worksheets are designed with examples and instructions to support students in becoming independent learners. They will learn to correct their own mistakes, further increasing their ability to solve new problems.

The students will then have the ability to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained through the earlier levels to more complex problems. They will be able to independently select which methods and techniques will best help them to tackle higher level work. Through completion of advanced work we are able to maximise the students’ ability as they progress beyond the Kumon International Standard. These analytical thinkers will take ownership of their learning as they work towards completion of the programme, an achievement we believe all students can attain.

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Express!ons Kids Club

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Beaulieu, Kyalami , Sandton, Atholl & surrounding areas as well as at student’s homes.


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