The Juken Journey: Charting the Course for Test Success

The Juken Journey: Charting the Course for Test Success


March: Starting Strong & Working Together

Hello, everyone. My name is Joe-Joe, and as head of the Juken program at KA I’m very happy to welcome all of our new 6th-Grade Juken students and families to the new KA and “Juken” year. 

In the 2024-25 year, I hope to use posts like this to share some thoughts and advice specifically for parents (and students) preparing for their 6th grade entrance exams, but which I also hope will be useful for all parents looking to help their children to improve their study skills and English abilities. This month, I’ll be focusing on two key, but related areas: organization and collaboration.

In my many years of teaching Juken, I have noticed one key element that makes the difference for students at the start of the year that has an impact throughout the year: good organization. 

Early in the Juken year, therefore, I advise all students and parents to focus on organization and scheduling. Although our 6th-Grade Juken students are phenomenal students, as they are still growing and learning—and because they will be faced with a more demanding workload than before—they will need a little help with managing this. That means learning about your child’s textbooks; considering how much time they should spend on essays; laying out time for “Edification and Relaxation” Study Buddy homework including reading, classes on KA Plus!, and activities on KA Connect; and then balancing that with school work and hobbies.

To make this work, collaboration is key. When I have spoken to students who have struggled, they have often mentioned that they don’t know why they are doing Juken or feel as though they are being “made” to prepare for the examinations without enough support or choice in the matter. However, when we talk to those students’ parents, they are often surprised, as with very good intentions the parents have either given the student a lot of freedom and responsibility (as in the first example) or given them an easy-to-follow but rigid framework (as in the second.) However, in each case, the student crucially doesn’t feel involved in the situation, which leads to a lack of enthusiasm, and which in turn impacts results. Instead, then, it is important that Juken students, especially given their age, are given a combination of agency and support. 

— Collaborate with your child to create a weekly planner (such as the Weekly Study Planner on KA Connect) that includes all academic and extracurricular activities. Discuss with them what is realistic and practical each time, while also ensuring that they know they have time to relax, and that it’s not all about studying all of the time. Planned rest and goal setting can make a big difference.

— Ask your child what tasks or goals they would like you to remind them about or support them with, and which areas they would like to take responsibility for. Agree on this, and encourage regular check-ins to review both this and their study plan, helping them adjust and refine their schedule as needed, and listen to any concerns they have about completing work or balancing their studies and hobbies. Be sure to check on positives, too: asking students what they feel is going well allows us to share successes and keep Juken a positive experience.

— Discuss long-term Juken goals with your child (for instance, target schools and upcoming tests), and listen to their own interests or, perhaps, worries. As children don’t have the same “big-picture” view adults do and even experience time differently to us (do consider how you felt about how long a month was when you were a child versus how you feel about that same amount of time today), helping them to find and fix their own goals while understanding why you are so keen for them to achieve certain targets or attend certain schools makes a very positive difference, and crucially helps them to build their own goals alongside yours.

Of course, every student and family is different, and it can take some time and several discussions, adaptations, and review sessions to get everything right. But working on this—and working on this together—early in the Juken year really helps set up both a successful Juken year and short-term goals such as Spring Courses, and even KAAT 2. 

As always, if you have any questions at all or need some advice, please don’t hesitate to contact KA, or ask your child to head to class with a question for their teachers. We’ll be glad to help you prepare for what we hope will be a wonderfully successful year! 

皆さん、こんにちは。KA受験プログラム主任の Joe-Joe と申します。新6年生の受験生とそのご家族の皆様を、KAならびに当校の受験プログラムに新たにお迎えできることを大変嬉しく思います。

このブログ「The Juken Journey」を通して、2024-2025 KA School Year に受験を控えた6年生の保護者の皆様、そして生徒自身に向けた受験準備についての私の考えやアドバイスを発信していきたいと思います。小学6年受験生に限らず、お子様の学習スキルや英語力を伸ばしたいとお考えのすべての保護者の皆様のお役に立てば幸いです。



受験準備を「オーガナイズ」するため、KAでは、新年度が始まる3月に、生徒・保護者の皆様にスケジューリングに重点を置くようアドバイスしています。受験を志す小学6年生はとても優秀です。しかし彼らはまだまだ成長の過程におり、学びの途中でもあります。また、これまでよりも大変な学習量をこなすことになるため、スケジュール管理においてちょっとした手助けが必要です。その具体的な方法としては、お子様が使うテキストブックについて知り、エッセイライティングの課題にどれくらいの時間を費やすべきかを考えること、Study Buddy の宿題「Edification and Relaxation」の時間を確保すること(読書や KA Plus!、KA Connect でのアクティビティを含む )、そして学校の勉強や趣味とのバランスをとれるようにサポートすることなどがあります。


— お子様と一緒に、学習や課外活動の予定をすべて記載した週間計画表を作成しましょう。KA Connect にある Weekly Study Planner をご活用ください。その都度、何が現実的で実践できるのかを話し合い、リラックスする時間があること、勉強ばかりしているわけではないことも伝えましょう。計画的な休息と目標設定は、その後大きな違いを生みます。

— タスクや目標達成のため、お子様がどのようなリマインドやサポートを求めているのか、また、自分で責任を持ってやりたいのはどの部分なのかを尋ねましょう。その内容と学習スケジュールを定期的に確認し、必要に応じてスケジュールを調整したり、見直したりするためのサポートも忘れずに。そして、お子様が抱える、課題を終えられるだろうか、勉強と趣味を両立できるだろうか、といった心配事にも耳を傾けましょう。同時に、順調だと感じている部分について話すことも重要です。成功体験を共有することで受験勉強をポジティブな体験として保つことができます。

— お子様と長期的な受験の目標(志望校や今後の試験など)について話し合い、お子様が興味のあることや、心配していることを聞き出しましょう。子どもは大人と同じように全体像を掴むことはできませんし、時間の感じ方も違います。(子どもの頃と今で、1ヶ月の長さはどう感じますか?)そのため、あなたがなぜ彼らにその目標を達成させたいのか、なぜその学校に通わせたいのか理解を促しながら、彼らが自分自身の目標を見つけること、そしてそれを手助けすることは、非常に前向きな変化をもたらします。

生徒や家庭はそれぞれ異なります。歯車がうまく回り始めるまでは時間がかかりますし、何度も話し合ったり、修正したり、見直したりする必要があるでしょう。しかし、新年度が始まって間もないこの時期に、このことに一緒に取り組むことは、受験の1年を成功させ、KAAT 2 などの短期目標を設定するのにとても役立ちます。


Joe-Joe Moran-Douglas
Joe-Joe Moran-Douglas

帰国子女アカデミー Head of Juken