It all began over 50 years ago in Japan when Takeshi, a second-grade boy, went home with a math examination paper in his pocket for which he had gotten a poorer grade than usual. When his mother found the paper, she was worried that her son would receive more unfavorable grades in math and consulted with Takeshi’s father.
The boy’s father was Toru Kumon who at that time was a high school math teacher with over 20 years of experience. He took an unusual approach — instead of teaching his son, every night he would create a math worksheet for Takeshi to solve by himself the following day. The primary focus of these worksheets was to help his son develop strong calculation skills and the habit of self-learning. Toru Kumon strongly believed that mastering calculation was the key to enable his son to advance to senior high school level math as quickly as possible. He felt that this would allow Takeshi to spend his high school days comfortably and enter the university of his choice without having to study frantically for entrance examinations. He also believed that Takeshi would be able to continue to learn by himself after entering university and go on to truly excel in life.
Takeshi had to complete one worksheet by himself every day for thirty (30) minutes. Toru then marked the worksheet in the evening and Takeshi corrected his mistakes the following day. Takeshi started with simple addition problems while in second grade, but by the time he entered grade six he had already progressed to senior high school level materials such as differential and integral calculus.
Encouraged by his son’s great achievement as well as requests from neighbors, Toru Kumon decided to open a math study ceter in his home. By 1958, just four years later, the first office of Osaka Institute of Mathematics was set up in Osaka, attracting hundreds of students mainly by word-of-mouth.
This is how the Kumon Method was born. In spite of its humble beginnings, Kumon is now available in 46 countries and regions around the globe with millions of students completing their worksheets daily. We believe that all children, regardless of their age or school grade possess boundless potential and that what was possible for one child is possible for others.