2 Simple Ways To Guide Kids Through Learning Frustrations

27 04 2010

Imagine your boss one day telling you that you have to write out all your documents – using only your LEFT hand (or your RIGHT hand if you’re left-handed).Imagine your boss constantly looking over your shoulder and criticising you for your shaky writing. Not allowing you to explain why it’s difficult for you.

Most of us would probably feel very frustrated. Some of us would probably want to smack our boss. Maybe a few of us would really do it!

Sometimes during seminars, Kumon Instructors are asked to write a sentence with our other hand. This is just to give us an experience of how frustrating it feels to be doing something unfamiliar. It helps us gain some perspective on how children feel when they are trying to do/learn something new.

Just as we feel frustrated attempting unfamiliar tasks, children feel the same way too. And some of them probably want to smack us for making them do it. And perhaps, a few will really hit out! I’m sure if you have children or deal with kids regularly, you would have experienced these reactions sometimes.

As adults, it is our responsibility to guide them in a way that encourages them to keep trying until they succeed.

Here are 2 very simple ways to keep kids motivated. And they don’t cost a thing!


The most effective (but perhaps most under-used) method. But children will recognise empty praise and lose their trust in your words! So look for specific things you can honestly praise them for, no matter how small.

For example, you could praise them for drawing slightly straighter lines today than yesterday. Or for talking less when doing their work. Or being able to concentrate on their work for 1 minute longer than the day before.

By praising kids, even for the smallest improvements, they will understand that you appreciate them so much that you notice even for the smallest things. This does wonders for their self-esteem and that in turn does wonders for their performance!


Many parents are concerned that if they give their children a reward for doing something, it is equivalent to offering a bribe. There is a difference.

A bribe is when nothing gets done until a something is given. A reward is something given to recognise for good performance.

Think about it…would anyone want to participate in sports competitions if there were no medals? Would anyone want to work harder if there was no bonus at the end of the year? Children love to be rewarded for their hard work as much as we adults do!

Rewards don’t have to be extravagant. It could be taking your kids swimming or on a picnic, or buying them a favourite ice cream. At Kumon, we give stickers to students who get all correct in their classwork. The stickers cost next to nothing a piece but the shine in kids eyes when they receive it is priceless!


SeedsAsia’s PowerOne Workshop

23 10 2008

Learning, Having Fun & Developing Good Habits Early

Power One is an activity-packed workshop organised by AsiaWorks, a leading training company. This workshop is especially created for student to challenge them to think out of the box. Each Student will understand their personal learning style, creative ways to use their brain and simple habits to improve their personal performance at school and at home. It’s open for children ages 9 to 12 years old.

Date & Venue:

Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 9:00am
Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 5:00pm
AsiaWorks Centre @ Crystal Plaza, Petaling Jaya
Jalan 51A/223, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
For more information, contact:

Research Shows Parent Involvement in Education Important To Student Success

21 10 2008

It is no wonder that parent involvement with the schools has become a major educational issue. This is an era of increasing concern about the quality of education in this country. States are taking a greater role in monitoring and maintaining academic standards. Communities are ever more watchful of the expense of public education. Local schools are concerned about continuing to provide high-quality teaching and other services with dwindling resources. And parents want assurance that their children will receive adequate preparation to lead rewarding adult lives.

.  A recent review of the research literature by Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory found that, “clearly, parent involvement is effective in fostering achievement and affective gains at all levels, and schools are encouraged to engage and maintain this involvement throughout the elementary, middle school and secondary years”.  Below are some excerpts from the article highlighting key findings by the researchers: Read the rest of this entry »

Coping with homework stress

2 10 2008

Children nowadays have many extra classes outside of school. Many of these classes come with homework assigned. As our children become busier and busier, they face the risk of being over-stressed. Here are some strategies to help children cope with their workload. Read the rest of this entry »

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