In 1954 in Japan, a mother was concerned by her young son's poor performance on a maths test and asked her husband to help. The young boy was Takeshi Kumon, his father was high school mathematics teacher, Mr Toru Kumon.
Mr Kumon firstly asked Takeshi to review his school textbooks but Mr Kumon soon realised they did not give Takeshi the necessary practice to master a topic. Mr Kumon saw the only way to address this fundamental issue was to create hand-written worksheets for his son.
Motivated by his passion for education and love for his son, Mr Kumon wrote daily worksheets that progressed slowly enough for Takeshi to learn by himself while studying consistently enough for him to progress beyond his school grade level.
After four years of studying his father's worksheets, Takeshi was in Year 6 and already could solve senior high school calculus problems with ease. Friends and neighbours marvelled at Takeshi's achievements and asked Mr Kumon to help their own children learn with his worksheets. The word of mouth continued to spread. In 1958, the Kumon Institute of Education was established in Osaka, Japan and the first franchises opened. In its first year of operation, Kumon attracted 300 students through recommendations by satisfied parents whose children had improved by studying these worksheets.