I took my kids to Kumon last week, thinking the three of us could bond over math diagnostics. I’d heard great reports about their results, and had some deluded fantasy of bonding at breakfast over Kumon worksheets and english muffins.

It’s 10 minutes a day, for crying out loud!

Wrong! My children rejected the experience (opportunity?) with a fervor that stunned even me.

After attempts to bribe them failed,  I made diversionary excuses to the sweet woman who was running the center:

“It’s got to be that logo,” I told her.  “Why isn’t the little guy smiling?”

She explained that it’s a “thinking face,” and told me it was designed by the same person who designed the Nike Swoosh (which I have yet to verify).

Here’s the logo explanation from the Kumon site:

The design is simple, conveying an intellectual and modern atmosphere. It has a touch of humor and is easy to understand so that a broad spectrum of people, ranging from young children to adults, will feel affinity with it. The light blue color expresses intelligence, honesty, and the color of the sky stretching across the world, suggesting that the world is one.

The logo includes a face called “THE THINKING FACE,” our symbol, which suggests that all those involved in Kumon, the students, the Instructors, Center Assistants and staff all continue to think and grow as individuals.


Have been trying to muster the courage to hold my head high and walk back into the scene of mortal embarrassment, and sign up solo.

Actually, I’ve been trying to find an eager and appreciative kid to take along with me to try it out.  Does anyone know one of these, or are they an urban myth?