Business Alliance Member - Binita Vijay of Kumon (Atlanta) Piedmont Park

13 Mar 2017 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


  •      What is Kumon?   Kumon is an after- school math and reading enrichment program. There is no judgement and no grades. This doesn’t mean however, that the students aren’t expected to perform. When a student comes to our center we test to assess their skills and place them at the corresponding level. They are then expected to master and work their way through an individual program that fosters independence and self- learning. The students work on a few pages a day at their own pace and the concept is repeated until it is mastered. From the foundational skills all the way to the more complicated concepts, each step builds on the one before it for a thorough grasp and practice at developing the skills. So the philosophy behind Kumon is to grasp the fundamentals through repeated practice until the student has a thorough command that allows for a smoother learning experience at the center and outside. Our student success rate of 2 grades higher is about 20%. The majority of the students (50%) reach 1 year ahead of grade level between 9-12 months. This does take a considerable amount of commitment and hard work from the child and parents.
  • .    How long have you been in business in Atlanta?   I started the business in 2011 that makes it four years.
  •    How early should children start Kumon?  We have students as young as 4 years old all the way to 12th grade. We recommend our younger students sit through at least 10 to 15 minutes of work at the center and at home for the program to be impactful.  Bear in mind that when they start as young as 4, their minds are still forming and often they pull out that information at a later stage. So as a parent you pay it forward and invest in the future if you choose to start early. The advantage is your child has the exposure and a heard start when those skills really start to matter in Kindergarten.
  • What made you decide to start this type of franchise?   I stumbled on this quite by accident. I remember I sat at my children’s Kumon center in Buckhead and the owner of the location approached me to teach at the center. I‘ve always been vested in my children’s education. I thought to myself I could do this, help even more children realize their potential and support their parent’s aspiration for their children. So my journey to becoming a Kumon Instructor started in the spring of 2009. By profession, I am an interior architect by training working with architectural firms designing educational buildings, libraries and theaters.   In a way the apple does not fall far from the tree and now I had a chance to be involved directly in academics beyond buildings. I was also an active participant in the PTA and I helped several students work through their academic challenges at school. I noticed a different level of confidence in my children from going to Kumon. Having strong foundation directly contributed to my children’s success at school. The opportunity for me to inspire students and encourage their learning abilities at the most formative years of their lives continues to inspire me every day. I have not once looked back or doubted the value of what I’m doing as a Kumon instructor.
  • Can you tell us about the Kumon Face, The Logo  Every now and then I come across this question from either one of my students or a prospective Kumon family, “What does the Kumon face portray :” or “Is this a sad face?” , and I am quite happy to answer that is isn’t a sad face at all but actually represents a thinking face.  The “Thinking face” as contained in the Kumon logo was developed to represent not only the children who, thinking deeply as they study and gain the necessary life skills and academic ability at our center, but also the instructor who guides the children in their study. The “Thinking Face “represents the face of everyone involved in Kumon. The blue color in the logo represents honesty, intelligence and integrity, as well as the color of the sky. The sky of course, is universal to everyone in the world and therefore represents the universality of the Kumon method. The Sky Blue used also represents Kumon’s hope that the world will achieve unity, that the future of children will grow on a grand scale and that people all over the world will think deeply about education.
  •  What impact has Kumon had on the lives of your students?  Learning to acquire discipline to do the work, because without hard work they do not see success. They do not see the accomplishments or improvements they can have without discipline.
  • Can you tell us a favorite story?   A favorite story is that Rising 9th grader came into the center below grade and we had to start him at 3rd grade level work.  Within a year, after a lot of hard work, he has risen to performing the 10th grade level! He is now applying to private schools to get a Baseball scholarship.  He will complete the program with Kumon Math and Reading of Piedmont Park this year. I have 2 other students at my center both girls, rising 2nd grader attending public school and a 3rd grader attending a private school. They are well ahead of grade levels at school. It is interesting to see them work on long divisions and fractions. They address these concepts with ease.
  • Sometimes people like to take many shortcuts with learning. They think that Kumon is a quick fix, sometimes with disappointing results for your students what is your advice to them? Kumon’s main purpose is to prepare your child for the rigors of high school work. From day one, Kumon emphasizes independence and self- learning.  While Kumon may seem like a program aimed at tutoring your child, it is not a tutoring program. Tutoring, on the other hand, will remediate a problem, but not address the weaknesses of the student. Once the tutor is gone, the student encounters a new concept, lack of confidence and weak computation skills will eventually lead to a new struggle. This is the difference between prevention and treatment. In schools, teachers are required to keep up with schedules and assigned curriculum. This pressure does not allow for any wiggle room for teachers to ensure complete mastery of concepts to an entire class or even an individual. Schools do not give enough time for practice, and the students are being rushed to new concepts before achieving mastery. You may not see the differences between strong students and weak students in elementary school, where grades are generally given not earned, but  the differences become apparent starting in middle school and even more evident in high school when Algebra and Calculus are introduced.  Kumon prepares your children for future standardized testing. We measure the time and accuracy of all work done at Kumon. Students learn to focus and work with speed, which are necessary skills for students to excel at standardized testing such as ERB’s, Georgia Milestone,  SSAT and SAT.
  • We have seen you at work at the center, you are very passionate about the success of the children and your students love you, how do you inspire them to do more?  We expect our students to have confidence to learn new concepts without depending on others for help. These types of students are the ones that breeze through high school and, more importantly college!  Getting all of our students to that level continues to keep me motivated at the center every week
  •  Last question ..Summer is here, in addition to Kumon of course, what else should children do to stay sharp all summer?   Now that school is over, it is time for camps. Our children are enrolled in overwhelming number of sports camps, art, technology, music camps. Don’t get me wrong I love these camps too. Children learn independence, focus on skills they need to polish, learn new hobbies and make new friends. All of these are extremely important to raise a balanced child. But what about academics? Are they going to lose a fair amount of information and concepts they learned over the school year? Will they retain all of it or part of their curriculum? Think about when you take a break from exercising, a few weeks off the treadmill and it seems so much steeper when you get back on! Your mind is the same; it requires regular exercise to continue growing and developing. Ensuring your child continues educational activities throughout the summer holidays can mean they are confident, equipped and ready to tackle new work when they go back to school. The daily study of Kumon can make all the different when it comes to keeping the brain active between school terms, as well as throughout the year.  Allow them to choose a few books they would enjoy reading.   I also suggest parents find a few required books to read. If they are learning a foreign language at school have them watch a movie in that language to keep the language fresh.

How can parents contact you?  Binita Vijay @ 404-736- 6367 or email binitavijay@ikumon.com. The center is open for students on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. We are also open Saturday mornings to accommodate parents juggling busy school and activity schedules during the week.  Assessments and orientations are scheduled by appointment only. 


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Piedmont Heights Civic Association
P.O. Box 13355
Atlanta GA 30324

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