Though the youngest among his classmates in Iligan, Rocky Macumbal is at the top when it comes to academics. Bubbly and smart, Rocky also loves to play video and Internet games, surf the Net, and read books.
His parents, Judge Arassad and Judge Mylene Macumbal, are both achievers, yet they don’t regard Rocky as gifted or a genius.
"His IQ is above average, but what is extraordinary about him is his inquisitiveness. He would always ask about anything he sees or reads," Judge Mylene said.
Another remarkable trait of Rocky is how he could memorize and retain information, especially numbers.
His dad, an avid basketball fan, shares Rocky’s dream of watching an NBA game live. "He memorizes NBA statistics, the players’ heights, or who wins the most number of games in a series. Anything to do with numbers!" Judge Arassad pointed out.
As Rocky started his Kumon math program journey right after joining the free trial campaign, his parents observed that their son took a while to feel secure in being alone at the center without his mom.
Nonetheless, their son received a lot of encouragement to complete his worksheets in the center and at home. Judge Mylene and Judge Arassad were also briefed about the importance of making Rocky do it every day so he will eventually get used to it.
Judge Mylene shares that her son found the initial level easy, but had difficulties when he progressed to the higher levels. Even Judge Arassad, whom Rocky looks up to as his inspiration and best friend, had his share of hardships during Rocky’s Kumon study.
They learned that as parents, they need to balance their time between work and their son’s Kumon math program study. "We have to be patient in making Rocky focus on the worksheets and try to work our way around it," Judge Arassad said.
With a competitive child like Rocky, motivation works in different ways.
During low times, when Rocky loses concentration, his parents would gently remind him of how he is faring in his Kumon math program study. In an instant, Rocky would get right back on track. Little rewards at the end of certain levels also got his spirits up.
Showered with support and love from the people who believe in him, Rocky proved to everyone that there was more to him that being a smart child.
"He has truly gained composure. His endurance, his focus, his determination to complete the program are only some of the transformations that he has gained. He is indeed convinced now that he can be anything he wants to be through hard work," his parents said.
His parents also pointed out how Kumon became an essential part of Rocky’s learning.
"Kumon is a very good investment. Rocky skipped nursery and kindergarten because of Kumon. He learned the foundation of math and reading in Kumon," Judge Mylene said.
When he started out with the program, Rocky dreamt of being the country’s youngest Kumon Completer—and he achieved it for a period of time. More than for himself, he worked hard on every level for his parents, his sole inspiration.
With no room for quitting, Rocky gave this piece of advice to the other students who are determined to succeed: "Continue and always do your best."