By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – An educator in the Philippines said that routine and repetition make for mastery of Math and Reading among school children and for any subject for that matter. And at the time of the pandemic, it is important and to make learning ‘fun’ because children naturally want to move about and run and play outside.
During the second episode of the new show Women’s World, Judy Aguilar Cinco, owner and operator of a KUMON school in the city of Catbalogan in Samar, said that parents needed to establish a daily ‘routine’ for children to study and do their homework.
Aguilar-Cinco established her KUMON school in 2014, and was a college professor for 19 years at the University of San Carlos in the neighboring island of Cebu, teaching Sociology and Anthropology.
She said that children excelling in Math and Reading is brought about by repetition of knowledge and information that’s being given to them. “They master techniques in Math and Reading through a repetitive process. Also, they are given the opportunity to solve mathematical problems on their own to arrive at the same solution. I am amazed at how my children solve Mathematical problems. I wanted to see how their brains work,” explained enthusiastically Aguilar-Cinco.
Aguilar-Cinco emphasized that in the time of lockdown, collaboration of teachers and parents are so important. “The older siblings who have been with KUMON also provide support to the younger ones,” she quipped.
KUMON student 14-year-old Marie Claire Hernando, also a guest of Women’s World for the conversation on ‘How to Make Kids Interested in Education in the time of the Pandemic,’ said that she realized that KUMON has helped her develop a disciplined attitude. She is the only daughter of Women’s World co-host Dr. Arceli Hernando.
“I had a four-year journey with KUMON and I finished it before I went to high school. But I re-enrolled the program 3x because I always ended up quitting when the lessons were so difficult especially Integral Math and Trigonometry,” Hernando told her online audience.
“I did not like KUMON because it had a lot of worksheets to finish. I kept crying because the exercises were so difficult. And my mom would check on me every afternoon when I arrive from KUMON, which level are you now? Of course who would not be pressured,” she recollected.
But the routine had paid off, the young Hernando, now in high school, said: “Later did I know that discipline is being developed in me. Because of KUMON, I became self-disciplined, self-reliant, and strong.” Hernando is a student leader, enjoying her stint at the Girl Scouts with excellent academic standing to boot.
Aguilar-Cinco said that as a teacher, she could clearly notice children and adult students who have the propensity to be self-achieving because of the kind of training they got. “Unlike the classroom setting where children could be left behind because the lessons are scheduled, the KUMON setting does not allow kids to proceed to the next level of learning until they master the present one. We are making sure, their mastery of lessons at their own pace.”
Aguilar-Cinco also added that as a parent and teacher, she makes sure that her students and children develop a sense of ‘critical thinking’ in order to make them leaders and responsible individuals. “We don’t discourage children when they question. It is important to keep an open discussion with them instead of calling them mosukol if they have questions or express an opinion.”
Women’s World debuted on May 25 in New York, New Jersey, and Bohol as a zoom-driven conversation of women on innovation and productivity in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. It is hosted by Marivir Montebon, Arceli Hernando, and Mery Barlaan and produced by Women’s Federation for World Peace and OSM! Online Magazine. (Featured photo is KUMON teacher Judy Aguilar-Cinco in Catbalogan and former KUMON student Marie Claire Hernando in Tagbilaran)