In terms of which is better for our children's future, whether we should instil good study habits or develop their academic ability, at Kumon we believe it is more important to instil good study habits first. To instil good study habits in children we should avoid trying to force them to study, but rather aim to simply have them sit at a desk each day, even for a short time, and do something that they enjoy doing. Then as children improve their concentration, we should gradually increase the amount of work we give them while ascertaining the "just-right" level for each child's ability. At Kumon, we begin from very easy content and let students gain practice in concentrating for short periods of time while gradually increasing the length of time that they study for, and at the same time increasing the level that is "just-right" for them. This is a strong point of the Kumon Method that ensures that children continue their studies with motivation while also developing good study habits.
At Kumon, we place importance on developing good study habits while also skilfully maintaining students' motivation to learn. We emphasize not overexerting students and studying efficiently and consistently. Below we explain how this is done with the Kumon Method.
Continuing without overexertion
If we suddenly start to give children a lot of work to do just because they have shown a little enthusiasm toward their study this can quickly demotivate them. For children, the right amount of study material is just enough to leave them wanting to do a little more.
Continuing with efficiency
The Kumon program is structured in such a way that students have a clear idea of just how far they have advanced, and it is easy to set up upcoming goals and the study projection to reach them. For this reason, the more students do, the further they can progress on their own accord; so children enjoy studying with this method.
Continuing with consistency
If a child does a lot of worksheets with a concentration on one day but then does none at all another day, this is not only inefficient but study will not continue for long in this manner. We need to guide children in their studies by making a plan that will enable them to study for even 20 minutes consistently each day, and make sure to praise them greatly for their efforts at the same time.
While we say "perseverance pays off," it is cruel to give a child something that they struggle to continue with and order them to keep going. By continuously ascertaining the "just-right" level for a child and gradually increasing that level, the child will develop good study habits while maintaining motivation to learn. As a result, his or her academic ability will improve.