The Kumon Method is an individualized study method tailored to each child's ability that was derived by thinking about how best to learn from the point of view of home-based education. Therefore when providing instruction for children, Kumon Instructors pay attention first and foremost to each child's current level of ability, without being influenced by the child's age or school grade level. Our programs are carefully structured in small steps to allow students to advance by learning on their own ability without having to be taught every little thing. Furthermore, Kumon worksheets are structured to include only the content that is essential for enabling students to study with ease at the senior high school level. For example, the goal of the Kumon math program focuses on developing the calculation skills necessary to do high school math and narrows down the content covered to approximately one-third of that covered in school.
Therefore, in most cases, children begin their Kumon studies from a level below their current school grade level that they can do easily. In time, students reach their school grade level and then go beyond it to study content that they have not yet encountered in school. All the while, they progress through the worksheets using their own ability. When children experience advancing through the program independently in this way, without the need to be taught everything, their eyes shine with enthusiasm. Learning in this manner also fosters children's desire to find out what comes next and master that upcoming content.
However, once children have advanced approximately one year beyond their school grade level we can only expect to see the following kinds of benefits at best. Such children are generally able to cope with their studies at school more easily and their school grades and demeanour tend to improve. At this level children will still be unable to learn and discover new things for themselves beyond the scope of their school lessons. For children to really be able to invest time and effort in pursuing their interests and taking on new challenges, they need to develop their ability to the extent that they don't have to worry about their school grades at all. When children advance two or three years or more beyond their school grade level they display great advancements, not only in terms of their academic ability but also in terms of positive traits such as independence, ability to take initiative, sense of judgment, creativity and more.
By making the goal of the Kumon Method "reaching high school level worksheets through self-learning" and having our students advance independently beyond their school grade level, we at Kumon wish to foster the confidence to take on challenges and a spirit of independence in children that will enable them to find their own paths in life.