Articles for parents

Ethan earns praise for his focus and dedication

Dec 2020

Nine-year-old Ethan joined the Kumon Castletroy Study Centre to study the Kumon Maths Programme in autumn 2018. Over the past two years, Ethan has made considerable progress in maths and has developed a love for the subject; mastering the four operations and getting to grips with manipulating fractions. What is very evident is the effect of Ethan’s Kumon study on his progress at school, and specifically, his attitude and ability to complete his homework in all subjects with greater focus, speed and confidence. 

We asked Ethan’s mother, Di, what had prompted her to enrol Ethan at Kumon. She told us, “In his second class, I was informed by his teachers that Ethan was having trouble focusing, and I noticed myself that it usually took him an hour to finish 20 minutes’ homework. I felt that although he fully understood the work, he was not able to keep his concentration on his maths or other school work. I would sit with him to help him to focus and to ensure all his homework was completed. We then started looking for additional maths support and discovered Kumon through neighbour whose three children studied the Kumon Maths Programme.” 

Having joined Kumon in Castleroy, and with the support of his Kumon Instructor and his mum, Ethan has now learned to work methodically through the worksheets assigned to him and was encouraged to complete them with pace and focus. Gradually, his overall concentration-span improved and step-by-step he began to progress. He can now complete his Kumon and school maths work in a more reasonable time and has developed the ability to self-learn.

He told us, “I feel I work more efficiently and accurately. Kumon has helped me to become a confident, independent learner, with the motive to persevere no matter what hurdle may come my way.”

Di believes that this change is largely down to a range of soft skills that Ethan has developed through his Kumon study.

She told us, “Practicing Kumon a little bit everyday has improved Ethan’s speed and ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. The work that Ethan completes at Kumon is ahead of his school year level and he is now at the top of his class at school, and this has really increased his confidence! Aside from maths, studying Kumon has helped Ethan in his other subjects at school too; he has developed such a good work ethos and focus. Completing homework is no longer a problem; according to some of his teachers, they even assign extra practice work for him sometimes because he is just too fast doing his work in class!

As well as improving his academic ability, Kumon has enabled Ethan to develop other life skills. The Kumon programme encourages him to study independently, and I’ve really seen that in Ethan; he is not only completing his Kumon by himself but also managing his own time to study daily. His overall time management is much better than before. We don’t struggle as much in the morning to get ready for school as before, because he knows exactly what time he must wake up, finish his breakfast and leave for school. In the school holidays, he often makes his own timetable to arrange his study, play and rest time.” 

Kumon Instructors set work for students based on their individual ability and potential rather than their age, meaning that many Kumon students are able to comfortably work on topics that are beyond their usual school-year level. Students often find that they have the skills, experience, and confidence to perform well in exams. Ethan is one such example: since joining Kumon, he often achieves 100% on his weekly maths tests at school and is more confident when he sits the yearly Drumcondra Reasoning Test (DRT) since his scores have improved two years in a row. 

Di says, “I do believe Kumon will help him in future tests and exams. Back home, in China we have an old saying, ‘As long as you work hard, things will develop for the better’. I think the Kumon programme demonstrates this. Practice is important and will make a difference, but it takes time and work. I am glad we joined the course and gave it enough time to experience the benefits of studying Kumon first-hand.” 

After joining Kumon, Ethan soon developed a great relationship with his Instructor, Brendan. Ethan told us, “Brendan is patient, encouraging and very friendly. I enjoy class with him.” 

Instructor, Brendan is also proud of Ethan’s achievements to date. He said, “Ethan, when he first started Kumon, seemed to be afraid of making mistakes and would get a little upset about it when it happened. Now he realises that not only is it okay to make mistakes but sometimes the best learning arises out of them. Well done Ethan.”

Ethan’s mother concluded by telling us, “A strong foundation is crucial for everything in life; Kumon study certainly enables children to build a strong foundation in their studies. I’m sure that Ethan will continue to work hard and apply all that he’s learnt from Kumon in the long run.”

Ethan has ambitions to become a scientist when he’s older. We wish him every success as he continues to study the Kumon Maths Programme, setting him on the path towards making his dreams a reality. 

Keep up the great work, Ethan!