Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas



December 26, 2013

Carlos Castaneda for English3Day

One of Carlos Castaneda 's books, The Wheel of Time is full of nice ideas. Here I relate some of them that apply to our students. If some of them sound a bit too mystic, well, just ignore them.


 A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, ...

page - 13
 

Absolute assurance? How?


A warrior-hunter, on the other hand, knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn't worry.

page - 82
 

Or is it more like this?


A warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing, when in effect he knows noting.

page - 97
 

Enjoy more of such experiences at English3Day.

December 16, 2013

Kumon Method -- Examples and "Cheating"

Many weeks ago, I was reading books on Kumon Method. One thing that struck me particularly was the founder's willingness to allow the students to 'cheat.'

In one book, it is said the founder (Mr. Toru Kumon) made a sensation among the students for allowing them to use "cheat books," books with answer keys and worked out solutions.


In another written by one of his sons, Hiroshi Kumon, the author said that his father let him use his older brother's books to see how some problems were solved.



Well, well, well ... "Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach." - Albert Einstein

See that philosophy in action at our web site English3day.

December 5, 2013

Kumon Method -- How Many Worksheets?

A few weeks ago, I was reading books on Kumon Method. At the back of a book, they showed a sample curriculum for Math and English for North American continent.

In particular, I checked to see how many worksheets they used per year and per subject. And I noticed that moving in English from very simple sentences to rather elaborate sentences took about 400 sheets times 5 years plus 200 sheets times 1 year. It totalled to 2200 worksheets.

I couldn't help recalling how I had journeyed across that distance with nothing more than 6 or 7 A-4-size grammar notes of my own, based on a few grammar books I read in those days.

Do we need 2200 or do we need 20 worksheets?

December 3, 2013

Kumon Method -- Extension 1 : Shorter

Some Kumon official books suggest that their content is designed "top down," with the end in mind. The end is towards to High School materials. I wonder why they don't also consider life that happens before the high school.

In a previous post, I've hinted that the Kumon Method cannot prepare you for life after the high school etc.

Since they cannot extend their scope far enough, can they shorten or narrow their scope too? What about the important exams the student will face this year, this month or this week?

Pragmatic teachers will appreciate the need to create immediate short-term results and wise teachers will be well aware of life that doesn't end once you get your PhD's.



Kumon Method -- Extension 1 : Longer

Some Kumon official books suggest that their content is slimmed down, streamlined and minimalist. It 's designed "top down," with the end in mind.

The end is towards to High School materials.

I wonder why they don't extend it to life after university.

eg. You dropped out like Steve Jobs, or Zuckerberg, or Larry Ellison, or Bill Gates.

e.g. You didn't even get to the uni like David Karp ( founder of Tumblr), or Matusshita or Andrew Carnegie.

e.g. after your PhD's like Feynman or Kerry Mullis or Robert B. Laughlin.