Elizabeth spent her childhood on the Wirral. From age 15 to 18, whilst studying at school, she relished the opportunity to work as a class assistant at her local Kumon West Kirby Study Centre; enjoying both the support she could offer the Instructor as well as the contribution she could make to the development of young Kumon students.
She later went on to train as a solicitor, embarking on a demanding but very rewarding career supporting the victims of asbestos-related illness. But ten years on, the arrival of her second child prompted Elizabeth to re-consider her career options; particularly given that her working hours were becoming less and less agreeable, and she felt her role as a parent was starting to suffer.
Elizabeth told us, “Upon the birth of my youngest son, I made the decision to walk away from my career as a solicitor and find a career that would allow me more time with my children whilst still providing me with work satisfaction. I didn't want a job but a career, so I intended to take some time out from the workforce and carefully consider my options.
I very quickly decided that I wanted to be my own boss and started to consider owning my own Kumon centre. It wasn’t a difficult decision; I’d worked as a Kumon class assistant as a teenager and I’d loved supporting the children and witnessing the benefits of the programmes. I already knew that Kumon offers a quality product that reaps success. I could also see that the business model would allow me to manage my own time and set my own goals, as well as open up a new learning experience for my own children at home. Becoming a Kumon Instructor was in so many ways the obvious path for me.”
Elizabeth took on the Kumon Lowton Study Centre in September 2020, choosing to offer both online and in-centre classes to suit the individual needs of local families. As such, she was able to adapt her services in line with the changing government restrictions, and her new business continued to flourish throughout the lockdowns. She told us, “I received such a warm welcome from the existing students, their families and the local community. From my first day onwards, I also welcomed new students from an array of primary and secondary schools in the Lowton community and surrounding areas. The centre is wonderfully diverse with children of all ages, abilities and backgrounds; no child is the same. Despite 2020’s unprecedented challenges causing the temporary closure of the centre doors, all my students continued with their daily Kumon study and made great strides in their academic development. It’s been a pleasure supporting them via Zoom during the tough times.”
As well as spending more time with her own children and the perks that come with being her own boss, Elizabeth values being a part of the Kumon brand. “I think the best part is working with a product that I truly believe in and historically works, knowing that it can support any child of any ability. I love that I can be part of a brand which stays true to its origins and aims to support as many children as possible. I love that I feel I can contribute in some part to my local community.”
So, what’s next for Elizabeth and the Kumon Lowton Study Centre?
“I’d like to continue building awareness of my centre and help more and more children to reap the benefits of Kumon study. Ultimately, I always want my Kumon centre to be known as a happy, safe and welcoming learning environment where children are encouraged and guided in an uplifting way; a place that allows them to grow into confident individuals with positive futures ahead
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I can organise my hours better, and I have more of a social life. I have really enjoyed it and haven’t looked back once. You hear a lot about education and I’m glad I’m making a difference. When students shine, the satisfaction is great.Chow Chan, Instructor of the Kumon Worcester, East Study Centre
I’ve always wanted a profession where I can make a difference. As a Physiotherapist, my core aim was to help people achieve the best health they could. Kumon’s aim is very similar: helping each child reach his or her potential. If you’re stuck with any aspect of running the business, you can always ask for help – I have an Area Manager who I can turn to for guidance.Dr Ivy Man, Instructor of the Kumon Southampton, Shirley Study Centre
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