Up to part 5 of this series, while introducing extracts from messages from the founder of the Kumon Method, Toru Kumon, we discussed how the Kumon Method thoroughly implements individualized, ability-based learning from the standpoint of home-based education. We also covered the way in which the Kumon worksheets are carefully structured to make self-learning possible and enable students to advance to content that they have not yet covered at school—in other words "advance beyond grade level." Finally, we discussed how, through making it possible for our students to experience advancing beyond their grade level, we at Kumon aim to provide education that fosters a desire to learn and a love for new challenges, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that each individual student can fully pursue his or her own potential.
It is by putting into practice the five fundamentals of the Kumon Method mentioned thus far that we at Kumon succeed in providing each and every child with study at the "just-right" level. With the Kumon Method, students are not grouped according to age or grade level, instead, we have continuously emphasized allowing each child to study at a level that is "just-right" for his or her ability at any given point.
To do that we need to remain aware of the fact that children's abilities are constantly changing. For example, there are children who can master their times tables by practising them five times, but there are also children who may need 10 or 20 times practice to gain mastery. The amount of practice that is sufficient for each child differs with the individual. Furthermore, we also need to be aware that there are not a few cases of children who, for example, may have needed more practice than other children for times tables, but by the time they reach equations need less practice than other children.
By making repeated and continuous efforts with a will to improve, children, or indeed people in general, improve their abilities more and more. Having witnessed many cases of such individuals, we at Kumon advocate that through continuous study at the "just-right" level, even average or slightly below average children have the potential to become excellent students.
Study at the "just-right" level is not about competing with others to be the best; rather, it is about focusing on each individual child in the aim of drawing out his or her potential to the full. We at Kumon believe that learning is about taking on the challenge to develop and improve yourself, and in the process gaining the ability to do today what you could not do yesterday.