Our Student Makes History!

21 04 2010

Ashley receiving her Kumon Bandar Sunway Completer Tribute Video*

Ashley Lim Xian En, nine years old, is Malaysia’s youngest English completer to date. She passed the English Completer’s test in October 2009, while she was only 8years and 10 months old.

Kumon HQ staff recently interviewed her and mummy, and here are their thoughts.


What kind of stories do you usually read?

I like to read fairy tales, mysteries and adventures like Harry Potter.

In your journey to completion, which section of the English worksheets seemed to be the most challenging?

I think it is the sections with critical writing and the Shakespeare plays.

What happened if you didn’t understand them?

Mommy will patiently explain the passages to me and sometimes my instructor will give me a very big book to check words I don’t understand. It’s the dictionary.

You set your own study plan at the higher levels and you did not plan any repetitions. Why did you feel there was no need for repetitions?

Because I read the passages again and again, like 100 times, and when I don’t understand it, my Instructor or mommy will explain it to me. So if I already know the answers, why should I repeat?

Why did you want so much to complete the programme?

I wanted to complete it since the first time my instructor told me about the completion test. I want to complete it even more after joining the High Achievers Camp (HAC) in 2008. I have seen a lot of completers at the event and I wanted to be like them.

After completing the programme, what do you think is the major change in you or what have you learned throughout the journey?

I think I have learned a lot of Old English and I can now understand it better. Completing the programme has also exposed me to more books for reading. I think the major change in me is relishing poetry; previously I would fall asleep upon seeing poems. I begin to like it now.


Kumon HQ staff also spent some time to interview Ashely’s mum, Florence. Below is an extract of the interview. She shares how we can play a more meaningful role in supporting our children’s journeys in Kumon.


Would you like to share how you guided Ashley through the difficult higher levels of Kumon worksheets?

I actually studied the contents before she did the work so that when she has problems attempting it, I could explain it to her. For example, when there are literature pieces which I was unfamiliar with, I would look into it and learn it myself. Sometimes, I would also ask the instructor for tips on how to guide Ashley.

Young children usually encounter challenges in deciphering the meaning of words used in literature especially in poems or plays. How did you explain ‘challenging’ terms to her?

Erm, I would actually link it to the facts of life or link it to our daily life. Like for the term ‘adultery’, I used mommy and daddy as an example, and then explained it to her. I mean the scenes in literature are the real life situations that she may encounter in future so why not prepare her and let her understand it now?

Five years have passed since she first enrolled in Kumon and Ashley has successfully become Malaysia’s youngest English completer. How do you feel about this?

Phew. At last. (smiles happily). It is a good headstart and this will let her have the chance to experience the feeling of being able to achieve and complete something she has started.

There were also times when Ashley felt like quitting. What do you think kept her going and how did you help her stay motivated?

Well, first of all, I think it is Ashley’s own desire and determination to achieve something that she wanted. As for me playing the parent’s role, I would have a good talk with her and allow her to let out all her difficulties, get the anger out and start again. Basically it is a norm in life where we would fall and as a parent, I have to help her get up again. So it’s a process of falling and picking up again.


Instructor’s note: I will be publishing the interview that Kumon HQ staff conducted with me in a later post.

* Every Kumon Bandar Sunway Completer gets a personalised tribute video made by me. We’ve had 2 Kumon Completers so far, and we are looking forward to see another 2 students becoming Completers in 2010!


Kumon Free Trial Campaign

5 11 2008

ftc-nov-2008-bannerKumon’s Free Trial Campaign in back! From 17th to 30th November, you can have the full “Kumon experience” for free.

Parents will need to attend a Parent’s Orientation before enrolling their children. During the Orientation, children will be given a Diagnostic Test to determine their present level of ability. The Instructor will then explain the results of the test as well as the aims and objectives of Kumon.

For Kumon Bandar Sunway, our Parent Orientations will be held on 4.30pm on Sunday, 9th November and 4.30pm on Saturday 15th November. All are welcome to attend!

Please call us in advance to reserve a place if you intend to attend out Parent Orientations. Thank you!

Kumon ASHR Ceremony 2008

2 11 2008

This morning was one of the most important events of the year for Kumon. More than 600 Kumon high achievers (this number does not include their families, Kumon Instructors and Kumon staff!) converged at Berjaya Times Square for the Central Region Advanced Student’s Honour Roll ceremony. This ceremony recognises the Gold and Silver achievers (at least 3 years or 2 years ahead of school level, respectively).

More than a thousand people were in the hall! Many cancelled at the last minute or else there would have been many more people!

The ASHR ceremony has grown larger year by year. Last year, because it was not feasible anymore to accommodate all the Kumon Achievers in one ceremony, the ceremony was split into 4 parts – the Northern Region ceremony, Southern Region ceremony and Central Region ceremonies (morning and afternoon session). We can see that the number of high achievers are growing more and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Amazing Team Hoyt

15 10 2008

An incredible and heart-warming story of a father’s love and a son’s will to achieve.

This is similar to Kumon’s aim of having students complete the entire programme. It’s an opportunity to discover the potential of a person by experiencing an incredibly difficult journey and emerging triumphant. And most importantly, it’s an opportunity to learn the lessons about themselves and about life along the way.

Overview Of Kumon Worksheets

8 10 2008

The Kumon syllabus is based on international standards. However, Kumon does not follow any particular established syllabus as it develops its own. The Kumon syllabus is constantly reviewed and refined based on feedback from students and Instructors around the world, as well as its own research into child development. As such, the Kumon syllabus is very dynamic as it is developed to suit real-life experiences and trends.


When Mr Toru Kumon was looking for a way to help his son Takeshi with his Maths homework, he wanted a method that would help him learn independently. When he found that none existed that met his criteria, Mr Toru Kumon decided to create his own syllabus. He had a very clear picture of how his syllabus had to be designed in order to achieve his goal. Basically, it is structured in the following way: 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 »

The Secret to Your Child’s Academic Success

28 09 2008

Regardless of intelligence, students who are actively involved do better in school than those who are uninterested.


by Marc Fey


Research tells us that the key to academic achievement is “engagement”. This means that regardless of intelligence, economic status or other social factors, students who are involved, active participants do better in school than students who are uninterested. Oh yeah, and their parents are engaged too!


So how do you ensure that your children are engaged? Read the rest of this entry »

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