A Layman Parent’s View of Kumon

Click the poster above to enlarge (source from theallaroundmom.info)

My kids enrolled in Kumon only when we moved to Canada, Richmond, BC, to be precise. Both complemented their weaknesses and strengths – my daughter was good in reading but weak in math while my son was the reverse. They each enrolled only with the weak subject matter and in a year’s time, both decided to also enroll with the other. In time, their proficiencies increased dramatically.

What is Kumon? In an ordinary man’s description, I can say its method is to keep repeating items to the student over and over again. I used to look at the math portions of my kids and saw that the daily homework consisted of doing things repeatedly. For example, randomly placed, equations that equaled to, say, eleven, were all over the assignment sheets – 5+6, 7+4, 2+9, 15-4, 19-8, and so on.

What does the child get? I’d say the repetition force their young mind to develop senses of quick answers to problems and the habit of homework. Don’t you see how many kids dread homework? The habit of daily homework enforced by Kumon will eventually run in your kids’ blood that by the time they get too many, it’s not a big effort for them anymore.

I’m sure the Kumon experts can describe the method in a better way. Just the same, you can’t just snub it as a fad or something that might not work for your child. Go and take a look into it, let your children try it out for about four or six months before you tell yourself this isn’t for your kids.

Attend the Kumon seminar on June 18, 2011, at the SM Mall of Asia, Cinema 6. Make sure to reserve your seat lest you won’t be able to come in after a long drive to the venue.

10 Steps to a Stress-Free Home

Photo by Imagebuddy at Flickr.com

Do you want to declutter yourself, your home and your family of things that just make you, well, “stressed?” Here are ten simple things you can do to start living each day happy, smiling and content in life. Good tips especially for parents! Brought to you by Martha Stewart’s Whole Living.

1. Create a Happy Zone

Whether it’s a whole room, a nook, or just a chair, make one spot in the house your personal place for peace and joy, Blanke says. Everyone in the family should know that when you are there, you are not to be disturbed. On the flip side, save one area, like a desk or a corner, for the not-so-fun stuff — bills, papers to file, to-do lists — and the stress that comes with them.

2. Make Your Bed Every Day

“The state of your bed reflects the state of your head,” says Zen Buddhist priest and author Karen Maezen Miller. Forget hospital corners — just take a few minutes to smooth the covers out.

3. Let the Natural Light Be Your Morning Alarm Clock

Trade the blackout shades in the bedroom for more translucent ones; it’s a gentler wake-up call. “When your alarm goes off, your first feeling is resistance, which creates stress,” Miller says. “The rest of the world awakes with the sun — why don’t we?”

4. Declutter Using Emotion as Your Guiding Principle

Consider how each possession makes you feel. Don’t keep things with negative energy, like gifts from people you had a falling-out with, photos from unhappy times or failed relationships, unfinished projects, clothes that are too small, or medicines from an old ailment, Blanke says. Make room for things that have a positive association.

(Tip: If you have to mull over whether to toss a particular item, you probably don’t need it.)

5. End Each Evening by Performing a Completion Ritual

Make it something you know you should do but don’t always — like washing all the dishes in the sink or hanging up clothes. It will help your mind recognize that the day is finished.

Read more at Whole Living

6. Keep Houseplants or Flowers
7. Use a Kitchen Timer for Tasks That Make You Cringe
8. Set Up a Landing Strip
9. Unplug Electronics When Not in Use
10. Surround Yourself with Calming Colors