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Balgowlah mother takes education into her own hands, literally.

Reading Australian education news these days isn’t exactly an inspiring activity, especially for parents of school aged children. Repeatedly we’re told that our Australian students are performing below international standards in numeracy and in literacy, and a recent OEDC Programme for International Student Assessment report states that investment into iPads and e-readers isn’t helping matters in the classroom.

This digital age we find ourselves in has made the impossible possible when it comes to communication, but when it comes to education and learning the building blocks of English and maths, could we be forgetting the power of the humble pencil and paper?

Stephanie Xu is mother to two young daughters. Like many mothers of millennials, she is faced with the prospect of preparing her children for an unknown world, knowing that they are likely to enter industries and professions that don’t yet exist. It’s hard to know how one begins to do such a thing, but Stephanie decided to start with the basics and expose her children to practise reading and counting before they began primary school. She chose to enrol her daughters into Kumon which offers programmes that are exclusively pencil and paper based, using number boards, books and worksheets as the primary learning tools.

This seemingly old-school method of learning has produced positive results in both her daughters over the last few years. ‘I have seen my daughters develop independence and self-learning ability. They’ve become much more confident and are not afraid of challenges’ she shared.

After many an evening sitting with her daughters, helping them complete their Kumon worksheets, Stephanie became convinced of the effectiveness of the learning method, which progresses students bit-by-bit on a daily basis. ‘Kumon guides their learning in a systematic way that slowly introduces them to difficult concepts. Starting one step at a time, with little amount of my time and their time, we are achieving big results’ she said.

The kinds of ‘big results’ seen in Kumon are a product of the method’s unique structure, which sees students progress through topics according to their ability rather than their age. This means that the programmes regularly see students study advanced materials as far as five years ahead of school grade levels (which in realty sees Year 3 students, for example, studying Year 9 materials).

After seeing the changes in her own children’s attitude towards learning, Stephanie decided to go one step further and share the Kumon method with others. Literally taking education into her own hands, this April Stephanie will open the Kumon Balgowlah Education Centre.

As a both a mother and an educator, Stephanie’s aspiration is for every child to have the chance to be the best they can be, whatever it is they want to do, and regardless of whether it currently exists.

Stephanie will be holding information meetings about Kumon for parents in the Balgowlah area and is currently accepting registrations, simply contact her on 0430 053 603 or at [email protected].

Author: Laurice Klaire

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