Malaysia’s largest after-school enrichment programme, Kumon Malaysia held its annual National Instructors Summit and an expert roundtable session themed, “Limitless Potential in Kids: Truths vs Myths” which saw industry captains such as Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng, Founding President of the Early Childhood Care and Education Council and Ms Katyana Azman, Child Psychologist at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, alongside Mr Yosuke Sugawa, General Manager of Kumon Malaysia to share their expertise and insights on the topic.
The session discussed key elements required to help children achieve their fullest potential especially when it comes to dealing with children on a day-to-day basis. It proves to be no easy feat as each child is different in terms of their behaviour and personalities. In addition, changes from the traditional methods of upbringing due to the rise of technology and the digital age are some common factors that affects a child’s overall learning capabilities during their developmental years.
Speaking at the expert roundtable session, Datuk Dr Chiam shared that a child’s developmental years does not only begin in their schooling years but from the time they are born.
The brain reaches over 80% of its adult size by the age of 3. During their early years, children are more attuned to discover and explore new experiences for themselves and these experiences are needed for the neurons or brain cells to connect to form neural pathways, that is, for the brain to develop. The first 24 months of life is the most sensitive period for the optimal development of emotional intelligence which is important to children's holistic development during their growing up years. These are among the important factors to take into consideration to ensure a child is able to maximise his or her learning abilities to the fullest.
At Kumon, students are required to undergo a diagnostic test to assess their learning capabilities. Kumon instructors will then prepare a customised student projection plan for the student to measure progress and identify challenges along the way.