Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! Hope your family is feeling settled back into the school routine after a long break.

I would like to congratulate the large percentage of students who completed all the work over the holidays - and even bigger kudos to those who completed all corrections at home!

January is a natural time for people to take pause - to evaluate, prioritize, and set goals for the seasons ahead. I would like to propose a New Year's resolution for every family to make grading and correcting homework a higher priority. This grading and correcting is so helpful for students, allowing them to spend less time at the center on corrections and more on exploring new work. They catch errors and master content more quickly so they need less repetition. So please help us help your child establish good learning habits - as academic success isn't possible without them.

Steps to Learning Success at Home...
  • Help Children Prioritize Talk with your children about current activities and write out a priority list. Your and your child's priorities show what you value. Make sure your kids know that you place a high value on learning.
  • Facilitate a Good Environment Kids learn better in a quiet space with minimal distractions. Turn off the media. Provide good lighting, a space where there's room to write, plenty of pencils, erasers, and a clock to track time. When it comes to homework, children can be sneaky, so keep an eye out to make sure that they are actually doing the work.
  • Slow it Down Kids have a tendency to rush through their work, wanting to get it over with instead of approaching it with full attention. Many don't practice or value the "basics", such as good handwriting, organization, reading instructions and even making neat, legible corrections. Encourage your children to read and work slowly and neatly with care.
  • Stay Consistent With busy and changing schedules, this may be the most difficult habit to establish. Set a specific time for your children to complete their Kumon work every day - even on weekends and holidays.

Did you know that it typically takes 21 to 30 days to form a new habit? Like starting an exercise or diet program, it can take time to see desired results. We have established that it takes most students 3 months in Kumon in order to internalise this method of learning and form a disciplined habit. It takes most students 6-9 months to catch up to grade level and within 2 years most Kumon students are working at least 1 year beyond their grade level.

Several families have commented on how much it has helped that all of their children are now enrolled in Kumon. Even during the holiday they woke, ate breakfast and tackled their Kumon for the day. It took a while, many months, to establish the habit but with consistency, it is now just a part of the fabric of their lives. A parent even told me that while packing for a summer trip to France, she was pleasantly surprised, when the first thing that her three boys packed in their suitcases was their Kumon homework!

This year, we will be working on helping each student set and make progress on their individual goals. Apart from instruction in class, we also plan to use email to provide students with specific guidance to help them reach the next level sooner. We aim for all our students to achieve program completion by the time they reach Grade 10-11. This will give them more time to focus on Year 11 and 12 which brings about its own challenges both personal as well as in high school.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me any time with questions, concerns, or news. I wish your family health, happiness, and success in 2013.

Warm regards,

Ms. Sanjit Kaur

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