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Learning for the Long Run

  • Written by Carol Sexton

It’s sometimes tempting to overestimate the power of understanding material. That “ah-ha!” moment when one first grasps a concept is important, but it is only part of the journey. In order to achieve true mastery in any subject, practice is essential.

Repetition is the catalyst that allows understanding to become mastery. Have you met many athletes or accomplished musicians who have excelled without practice? It’s unlikely. Through repetition, we increase our ability to retain information and remember it quickly. Current “Common Core” standards can put too much emphasis on the “ah-ha!” moments and not enough emphasis on repeating skills until mastery (or fluency) is attained. This approach enables true and deep understanding rather than the light bulb moment of understanding.

Kumon began in the 1950s with a father and his son who struggled with school assignments. The concerned father began supplementing the school work with hand-written lessons to help his son learn concepts and build confidence. Today, Kumon is one of the world’s largest after-school math and reading programs and has helped thousands of children in the Northshore area to achieve more than they ever imagined.

Mom Debbie tells us about her son Jacob, “Math has consistently been the most challenging subject for him....Even with help from his instructors, he couldn’t get a firm grasp of the concepts they were teaching....Someone mentioned Kumon to me, and I realized that we had one nearby. The improvement in his performance in his math class has been amazing. In short, he is getting A’s on his tests. He understands the concept and has been given the tools for success.”

For more information, contact Rubina Virani, Kumon Math & Reading Center of Woodinville – East. 425-200-4518 • kumon.com/woodinville-east

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