It all began in 1954 when a young boy’s mother found a math test in his pocket. That boy’s name was Takeshi Kumon, and he was in his second year of elementary school. Seeing that his test results were not as good as they usually were, his mother consulted her husband about what to do. Her husband was Toru Kumon, a high school math teacher at the time. To address his wife’s concern, Toru then began making math worksheets for his son, Takeshi.
Toru Kumon believed that the work of an educator is to foster a mindset for self-learning in children. So he went through much trial and error when creating learning materials for his son so Takeshi would be able to work comfortably with the materials each day and to steadily develop his skills. Based on his experience as a high school teacher, Toru Kumon knew that many senior high school students had problems with their math studies because of insufficient calculation skills. Therefore, he focused on developing Takeshi’s calculation skills, and created materials that made it possible for his son to learn independently. This was because, through his own educational experiences, Toru Kumon knew that students could only gain genuine academic ability by making progress on their own.
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