Sunday, March 27, 2011

My first workbooks

“The most important thing in the world is to open up new worlds for our children to explore.”
Toru Kumon

Searching for books that support Tommy’s learning skills, I found the Kumon workbooks. I bought 2 workbooks from the First Steps series: Let’s Color and Let’s Cut. These books are designed for young children, aged 2 and up, to make them comfortable with the tools they will use at school. These books have been a great help to introduce drawing, coloring and cutting with scissors to Tommy. They are a great source of stimulation for language development and fine motor skills. When I work with Tommy, I keep the activity short by doing one sheet per day as often as possible. I date the sheets every-time we do a project because it helps me to realize if we need to work more often with the kumon workbooks.  

What is Kumon?
"Toru Kumon created the Kumon Method in the early 1950s to teach his son at home. Kumon [koo-mon] Publishing North America (KPNA) was founded in 2004 but has educational roots reaching back fifty years. KPNA is the English-language subsidiary of Kumon Publishing Co., Ltd., one of the best-selling producers of children’s educational books in Japan. Our parent company, Kumon, is also parent to Kumon Math & Reading Centers, the world’s largest supplemental learning provider..."

Kumon Workbooks
"Kumon workbooks and learning aids introduce basic learning skills to children aged 2 and up. Subjects covered include early learning and fine motor control skills; verbal skills; and math skills.

The Kumon method is what makes our workbooks so unique and effective. This Method is a proven learning system developed to help each child reach his or her full potential. Concepts are introduced in a step-by-step manner that allows the child to master each in turn without getting frustrated. Before long, children gain confidence in their abilities and are motivated to learn on their own."

Kumon Learning program
Kumon offers an after-school math and reading program designed for kids of all abilites, wich means this is an individualized program that works for advanced kids who need to be challenged or kids who need help catching up. The program is design to start with easy steps, so the child builds confidence by learning basic concepts before moving on. The child will advance in the program in their own pace step-by-step until the child masters each concept with a perfect score on the worksheets, then, the child will continue with the next level. To get a perfect score is important to practice every day for short period of time, practice makes perfection. 

Tommy's Drawing Projects

Tommy's Cutting Projects

The Kumon workbooks have been a great source to introduce Tommy to tools he will constantly use at preschool. Tommy keeps improving on his drawing and cutting skills. He tries to imitate the illustration from the Kumon books with my encouragement. Before every drawing session, I search for videos or graphic sources that represent the word we will be drawing. On the other hand, Tommy can independently squeeze the scissors to snip and cut straight lines, but he needs more practice on holding the paper and grasping the scissors by himself. His teacher tried for the first to help Tommy cutting with scissors at the class and this what she wrote in our journal:

March 25th, 20011
Thanks for the scissors. He was very independent when squeezing. I help hold the paper steady. He applied the glue with the stick himself. He read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom twice. He initiated a fun game of peekaboo from behind me! Miss M.

Tommy is having a good start at preschool and we will continue supporting his teachers and him to make a smoothly transition into the preschool settings. 

We may look into enrolling Tommy in the after school Kumon program, there are several centers around our area. But before, we would like to hear about your experience with the Kumon after school program if you have enrolled your child in this program.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic information!!!

Tommy is rockin' preschool!

evrfwd said...

This sounds very interesting. I always enjoy your reviews about products you use. I've seen these centers around our area and wondered what they were about. Tommy seems to be really working well with the workbooks. Please update us if you take the classes.