How This Mom Is Raising Her Two Kids to Be a Future Mathematician and a Civil EngineerThey grew up loving school — and math! — with help of a learning program.CREATED WITH KUMON
Many students might count math as their least favorite subject, but not Niwron Pagkatipunan and his younger sister, Arianne. From an early age, these siblings developed a genuine love for the subject and for learning itself through the care and guidance of their parents.
It all started when Niwron was 5 and about to move up from nursery school to preschool. Upon discovering that he didn’t meet the required level in reading to enter one school, mom Armie and her husband set out to look for a learning center to help him catch up. They found out about Kumon, a learning method that encourages students to learn independently.
“We actually didn’t have prior knowledge about Kumon, but there was a center near our place that made it ideal. After attending the orientation, we enrolled Niwron right away, even if the only program available then was math and not reading,” said Armie.
Seeing Niwron perform well at Kumon encouraged Armie to enroll Arianne in the program later on. Arianne, who by then was already familiar with Kumon, was excited to start the program herself.
Armie was hands-on to help her kids remain on top of their studies. Here’s what she did:
1. Make learning a family affair
While Armie monitors Niwron and Arianne’s progress, her husband makes sure to get them to their classes on time.
Niwron, who was already years into the Kumon program by the time Arianne started, also makes sure to assist his younger sister as she progresses into the more difficult levels.
2. Embrace the learning lifestyle
Armie and her husband take great care to adjust their schedules so they can take their children to their Kumon sessions. They also keep themselves updated on their children’s progress, even making sure to embrace the Kumon lifestyle at home fully.
“We set house rules in accordance to the ones prescribed at the Kumon center,” Armie said, adding, “Worksheets always received top priority on checklists to align with their sense of responsibility in finishing tasks.”
3. Stick to a routine
Armie and husband included study time into their family routine—even while on vacation. Like any other child, Niwron sometimes fails to finish his Kumon worksheets, but whenever he is asked if he wanted to stop his lessons, he always says no.
“Quitting was never part of his vocabulary,” Armie said.
4. Guide your child’s progress, but don’t do the work for them
Armie keeps any interference to a minimum. She said she makes sure only to guide her kids and not do their work for them even as they face challenges.
“We encourage them to always put their best foot forward in whatever they do. We tell them to give their best shot if given the opportunity, and if they want something, they should work hard for it. This way, we challenge them to explore and [expand] their abilities,” she said.
5. Be there for your child’s highs and lows
Armie, her husband, and their extended family are always there to cheer Niwron and Arianne on, whether they were reaching milestones and earning academic recognition or going through difficulties.
“We should be there for our kids and give our best effort to support their endeavors, be it academics, sports, or other extracurriculars,” Armie said. “We should learn alongside our children–shower them with love, protect them from harm, guide them, and learn from mistakes with them.”
Armie attributes her children’s good performance at school to the Kumon philosophy, which strongly mirrors her own. She values education and academic excellence, and she wants her children to grow up with the same perspective.
Through Kumon, Niwron and Arianne, now 18 and 10, respectively, have been able to progress in their studies ahead of their peers as the program. Case in point: When she was in Grade 3, Arianne was already taking on Grade 6 level Math. Now, she is a consistent honor student and an active member of different school organizations. Niwron, on the other hand, remains at the top of his class as he takes on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand, with the hopes of fulfilling his dream of becoming a civil engineer.
“Kumon does not only develop kids academically but also helps them improve their personality. We see how our two children have benefited from the program, and how it brought us closer as a family,” Armie said.