Articles for parents

Kumon and the pencil that started it all…

Apr 2023
…And the influence of that original pencil lives on.

For six decades, the Kumon Method of Learning has developed children's abilities all over the world with daily study of our unique worksheets, completed with pencil and paper.

The founder of the Kumon Method, Toru Kumon, was a maths teacher in Japan who wanted to give his son, Takeshi, the best start in life. Upon discovering that Takeshi was not fully grasping maths at school, he handwrote maths worksheets for him to complete. Takeshi studied using worksheets written by his father every day and, because they were individualised to his level at every point, he was able to progress smoothly and quickly, understanding concepts far beyond what he had experienced at school.

Word got around and soon friends and neighbours were requesting Kumon worksheets for their children too, and a short time later the first neighbourhood Kumon centre was opened by Toru Kumon’s wife. They came to realise that these worksheets and individualised approach to study could benefit any child around the world and, in 1958, the Kumon Institute of Education was established. The Kumon Method spread across the world and the company was established in Ireland and the UK in 1991.

Kumon students use paper and pencil to complete their assigned work with a pace and energy that helps them find their flow, and they’re encouraged to use an eraser to make corrections to their work, further helping them to learn from their mistakes. In addition to their academic growth, writing their answers by hand means they’re also developing memory recall, mental attention, visual focusing, concentration with awareness, and eye-hand coordination.

Now, the revolution in learning has developed…

So, when Kumon started to develop KUMON CONNECT, our new digital learning service, it was vital that the pencil would be at the heart of how we would incorporate technology with our study programmes. Now, we’re thrilled to be supporting thousands of students who are completing worksheets on their tablets with a stylus, making the Kumon programmes accessible to even more children, in even more places.

With KUMON CONNECT the stylus moves swiftly on the tablet and allows the child to hand write their calculations and answers, just as they would with a pencil. The tablet allows Kumon students to study with focus and speed and by having their submitted work marked electronically, they can make any corrections swiftly and neatly. Students use KUMON CONNECT at their Kumon centre just as they do with paper worksheets and continue their study at home independently on days in between class. KUMON CONNECT allows Kumon students, their parents and their Instructor to be even more connected, whether they are in class or studying at home.

All of the values, established learning process and successful study practices that we hold so dear at Kumon are inherent and fundamental to KUMON CONNECT. So, whether your child studies using paper and pencil or a tablet and stylus with KUMON CONNECT, our trusted programmes developed for over sixty years, continue to develop children’s abilities and passion for learning the world over.

…And the influence of that original pencil lives on.