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The History of Kumon

Kumon was founded in 1954 in Osaka, Japan, by Toru Kumon, a math teacher who wanted his son to enjoy learning math and be prepared for the rigorous college entrance exams. As a high school calculus teacher, Mr. Kumon realized that a strong foundation in the basics was needed for success in higher level math. With that in mind, Toru Kumon created a series of worksheets for his son to do after school. Through daily practice and a commitment to mastering each concept, his son was able to solve differential equations and integral calculus problems by the time he was in the sixth grade.


As Takeshi’s ability improved, parents took notice. Interest in the self-learning method continued to grow, and the first Kumon Center opened in 1958. The instructional method Toru Kumon created was so successful that Takeshi was solving calculus problems by the time he was in the sixth grade.


Kumon opened the first center outside of Japan in 1974 in New York. The success of Kumon’s math program in America led to the conception of a reading comprehension program, which was developed by a team of expert literature and reading specialists. Kumon’s reading program was launched in 1991. Using the same self-learning model, the program advances a child’s reading comprehension skills.


For more than 50 years, more than 16 million students worldwide have experienced the results of the Kumon Method of Learning.

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