Causes of children's dislike of Kumon No child enjoys Kumon all the way to the end.


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Let me tell you first. No child can continue to enjoy learning all the way through to the final Kumon materials. Every child has a point in time when they find Kumon troublesome, and the difference lies in how they spend that time or whether they quit. The role of parents is to reduce the burden on their children and help them to continue with Kumon.

In this article, we will explain the reasons why Kumon motivation always drops off at some point and the stance that parents should take.

Sometimes they progress faster than the parent expects

Kumon can progress through the material regardless of grade level, as long as you keep on learning. If a child is able to continue with Kumon for a certain period of time and is willing to tackle homework, he or she will be able to progress beyond the current grade level.

This is a major characteristic of Kumon: "anticipatory learning", where the child can acquire the basics on his or her own, depending on his or her level of understanding.

If you are a parent who sends your child to Kumon, you are probably expecting more or less pre-emptive learning. Kumon's materials are alphabetised by grade level, so it is easy to see that your child is making progress.

And once you have continued with Kumon to a certain extent and are learning ahead, it is likely that Kumon and your child are a good match.

However, there is an unexpected pitfall here. Sometimes, the pre-emptive learning progresses further than the parents anticipate.

In some environments, it is normal for children to be three grades ahead in kindergarten and nursery school

Parents who want their children to learn ahead of their peers have expectations, for example, "It would be great if they could add and subtract before entering primary school. It would be great if they could learn up to 99". However, if Kumon works well, the progress will far exceed expectations. It is likely that they will be in junior high school level material before they enter primary school. They are likely to finish the high school course even though they are still in primary school. It is not unusual for a child with good chemistry to reach such a level of pre-readiness in Kumon.

Even if they don't progress that far, it is normal for them to learn about three grades ahead if they continue with Kumon for a certain period of time. Because Kumon steadily builds up the basics, it is possible to learn surprisingly advanced units.

Then, somewhere along the way, you will reach a unit where it is difficult to understand the examples.

Motivation always drops when you get to the difficult parts.

Kumon looks at the examples and solves problems with similar patterns. It is a repetitive practice of patterns rather than thinking. However, as the unit progresses, there are units where understanding the examples itself is difficult.

Children who are suited to Kumon often enjoy practising repetitions and solving problems faster and more accurately than understanding the examples. If they cannot understand the examples in the first place and struggle to solve the problems themselves, they will not feel that kind of enjoyment.

Even in such a situation, daily homework must be done; if you skip one day, two days' worth of homework will be piled up the next day. This is a situation that many Kumon students have experienced, and it is a place where everyone's motivation to study Kumon is lowered.

It is easy to get stuck in English if you are not ahead in Japanese

Children who are ahead in English are particularly prone to this situation. This is because English materials are mainly reading comprehension, so there will be cases where reading comprehension itself is not up to scratch. No matter how good your English is, you cannot read a text whose content you do not understand even in Japanese.

Also, even in Japanese, there will be situations where you will get stuck. This is also a problem of reading comprehension. Repetitive practice is useful for learning patterns, but if you want to develop reading comprehension = the ability to think itself, you will need a completely different kind of hard work from repetitive practice. This is not to say that reading comprehension cannot be acquired through Kumon. It means that a different kind of hardship will appear.

Arithmetic, on the other hand, will be somewhat less at risk of getting stuck. This is because there are not many problems that deviate greatly from the pattern of the examples.

Some materials can be enjoyed at younger ages, but the period when you can cheat with fun is short.

When a child's motivation to study wanes, the first thing on a parent's mind is to make learning fun. If studying itself is boring, why not give them materials that are designed to make studying fun? This is a valid idea to some extent. Nowadays, there are many materials that make learning fun, and if learning is actively pursued in any form, it is easier to acquire the content.

However, there are limits to this approach. There is not a long period of time during which materials are available that make learning fun.

For addition and subtraction, there are fun games that can be played on apps. There are also many teaching materials that make learning English fun, or have a funny character to liven up the learning experience. However, these kinds of materials are only available up to junior high school at best. If you look at reference books in the high school range, you will probably find that, at best, there are some pictures of characters written here and there. High school students are not so young that they will get absorbed in their studies just because of that.

At some point, children have to learn to either enjoy studying itself or learn how to engage in studies they don't enjoy. And many would agree that those who enjoy studying are in the overwhelming minority.

Habit, not enjoyment, is ultimately what keeps people studying.

So how can you continue doing something you don't enjoy? The answer to this is to make it a habit. Things like taking a bath or brushing your teeth are not enjoyable and engrossing, but there will be a feeling of feeling bad if you don't do them. The key to continuity is to put studying in the same category.

Cheating with fun is a temporary fix. If you want to essentially change your attitude to study, you need to make it a habit.

One of the main skills you can acquire with Kumon is precisely this habit formation. Anyone who has done Kumon has accumulated homework and tried, with great difficulty, to make up the accumulated amount. Because they have experienced the pain if they don't continue, they naturally develop the habit.

Developing the habit of studying is perhaps more than just basic academic skills, it is something that will feed your child's life in the future.

Don't panic, they will learn eventually, so it is important to 'continue without haste'.

The basic premise is that Kumon does not deal with so many difficult problems that can only be done in Kumon. Especially in arithmetic, the main focus is to firmly acquire the basics that students will learn at school when the time comes.

So there is no reason why you need to move ahead with Kumon right now. The stress of Kumon is an essential part of forming learning habits, but there is no need to hesitate to slow down if it becomes unbearable.

The worst thing you can do is to quit halfway through. If you quit, the learning habits you were developing will be reset and the advantage you gained from Kumon will disappear over time. In any case, your first priority should be to continue, no matter what form it takes.

Three reasons why children dislike Kumon

To do this, you should reduce the burden on your child anyway.

From the start, few children will dislike 10 minutes a day of print learning. This is because there is no significant difference for children between other play and study. If a child dislikes Kumon now, it should be as a result of learning that Kumon is something he or she dislikes for some reason. The three main reasons are as follows, so take the appropriate action.

The problems have become more difficult and time-consuming.

If the problems become more difficult, it will take longer to complete the homework. If the study time increases to 30 minutes or an hour, it is natural that the child will not be able to concentrate.

In this case, take the initiative to reduce the child's workload. Whether it's one or two printouts they can complete, the fact that they are at their desk is a great asset in itself. Show your child in word and deed that working on even a few pages is enough. Negotiate with the teacher to reduce the amount of homework, and if there is no concession at all, consider changing classrooms.

Want more other play

There is a good chance that your child wants to play with something other than homework. The older children get, the more they play and the more they come home with fun outside activities. If they are only allowed to do printwork when they get home, they may want to do something more fun.

Respond to your child's desire to play as much as possible. Especially if they are boys, they may have a lot of energy. If they can release their energy through physical play, the time will come when they will be more interested in using their brains. Even if he already dislikes Kumon, start with drawing and puzzles.

If parents cannot keep up with their child's powerful nature, consider enlisting the help of a partner or parents. Especially if you are the mother, your husband may have more skills in entertaining children than you think.

Not so good with teachers.

Teachers are human beings too. If Kumon is going well, the child will be expected to do well, and if they don't show motivation, they will be frustrated. They may also want to see high progress students from the classroom. You don't want a teacher who doesn't have a positive influence on your child, but it would be unrealistic to think that every teacher in over 15,000 classrooms across the country is an ideal teacher.

Parents themselves should first be aware that there are other classrooms. Do not give your child the idea that he or she cannot run away from here, no matter how much he or she hates it. Observe whether your child's dislike of Kumon includes a feeling that he or she dislikes the teachers more than the learning.

It is not limited to study that people with the same abilities can perform completely differently in different environments, even when they are doing the same job. The responsibility for providing an appropriate environment lies with parents when their children are young.

By progressing to the final material, you can turn your time to the "really important things" in your youth.

If you continue with Kumon, it is not uncommon for the learning to progress further ahead than the parents expect. As the level of difficulty increases, the burden on the child gradually increases, and the child may come to dislike Kumon.

The stronger the dislike, the harder it will be to regain motivation. First of all, notice the change in the child's feelings at the earliest possible stage and take measures according to the cause.

Of course, quitting without any pressure is an option, but much of what you gain from Kumon comes from continuity. Parents should explore ways to continue Kumon, even if at a slower pace.

If you can continue Kumon, you can learn the basics of English, maths and Japanese at an early stage. It is in junior high and high school that children really start to get busy. Pre-emptive learning and study habits will give children the leeway to devote their youth to something and learn what is really important.