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Commemorating our 28th anniversary with the very first JEI Director
March 23, 2020 marks the 28th anniversary of JEI Learning Center in the United States. After seeing incredible success in South Korea, JEI Founder and Chairman Sung Hoon Park took the company worldwide, opening up our first U.S. center in Valencia, California under Mrs. Su Kyung Yu. Twenty-eight years later, our centers have spread nationwide, popping up in other states, like New Jersey, New York, Texas, Georgia, and soon Florida. To commemorate, JEI Headquarters (JEI HQ) reached out to Mrs. Yu and her son, Augustine, who has taken the reins as a second-generation director. Mrs. Yu first learned of JEI Learning Center through the local newspaper. She was interested because of her background in education and the company’s reputation for having a positive impact on children’s education in South Korea. She was, in particular, drawn to our Individual Progress Prescription Report (IPPR) which analyzes each student’s Diagnostic Test results to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses. The IPPR is the key component in developing an individualized program for each JEI student. Mrs. Yu thought it was good to know the starting point for the children who come into her center. She faced a lot of challenges in the beginning as the only center in the country, but she noted that, as the company expanded, the process became a lot smoother for new directors: “It was only the West region at the beginning, and [HQ and I] worked together every month. We sat together to change this and that, all this to improve on mistakes. It was really good to work with them, and I was really happy working with JEI.” Mrs. Yu passed on her happiness about the JEI community to her son, Augustine, who took over as director two years ago. He explained JEI HQ has always been a family to them, thanks in part to his mother’s teachings: “My mother taught me to be nice to the people you work with. She taught me a long time ago that when we have meetings, we have to sit there, understand one another, listen to one another, and then advise and help one another. Our Southern California regional meetings are very comfortable and make me feel very at ease. We do listen to one another and talk to one another, so I think that for the most part, from the JEI HQ side to us, our family has grown a lot. Now that I’m the Director, the connections [my mother] has made with other center Directors have passed on to me, and we just act like we are family.” Even now, he is happy about how supportive JEI HQ is, enthusing about working closely with staff on the West coast who help in any way they can. Augustine said: “It’s been two years since I’ve become a Director, but JEI HQ has really helped me to not give up on myself. This is obviously not the easiest job, trying to improve students’ skill sets. It’s challenging because for everyone who walks through that front door, we have to learn to be not only their Director but also their friend. We have to assist them and make them feel comfortable, especially when they have to work hard. This is something I learned from trying to become a better director and from my mother who has done this for many years. I’m very thankful I have someone like her to keep me going.” Augustine went further into how they have a strong sense of camaraderie not only with the JEI HQ staff but also with their local community of Valencia. Improving children’s study habits has helped the parents/guardians there trust and believe in them, which is why they bring their child there every month. He said: “We want them to fully trust us. We have a strong product line, and we highly believe in that. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be director after [my mother]. All of us feel like family, because [the parents/guardians] treat us with a lot of respect and gratitude for helping their children everyday .” On top of that, Augustine is a first-generation student, as he attended his mother’s center throughout his childhood! He is the earliest example of a successful JEI student who dedicated himself to lifelong learning. This unique experience gives him advantages like understanding the program from the perspectives of both a student and Director and noticing what has improved since his days as a student! For example, the workbooks have become a lot more colorful and fun for children to engage in. He added: “I actually did the workbooks [as a student], so I thoroughly know the ins and outs of helping [our students] use them. That is an advantage I have, and parents can see that from me, as well. There’s a trust factor in me as a Director, more so because they know I did the books when I was young and can help their child more in that way.” In Mrs. Yu’s case, she really understands the pride that JEI parents feel when they see their child excel: “We were really happy to see kids bring in good results or awards after several months and to hear good things from their parents. They were improving, getting awards, and hearing good things from the school; that was the best part.” Augustine agreed with his mother that some of the best memories he had as director was seeing each child take small steps toward improvement with the individualized program. He also remembered a time a local school recommended one of their struggling students attend his JEI Learning Center. He noted, “That’s a cool memory, when the community knows it can depend on us . . . That’s just a very good moment for us, not how much we make in a year but what we can bring to the table and make a difference for each child.” For current or potential JEI franchisees, Mrs. Yu has plenty of advice to share! She said she knows how good the JEI programs are and that other Directors know this, as well. She advised that they trust in that and never give up: “Please do not give up when difficult things come up. Be nice to the parents and children. Give them a lot more than what you think you can, so that you continue to make a difference in kids’ education. You really have to keep going on, and if there are any difficulties, you can overcome them by working with the kids and always working together. Please do not give up. This is the best work we can do for life.” Augustine adds: “My mom’s perseverance is really high. She really did not give up, and that’s what helped us to keep going. Someone dear who’s passed, Kobe Bryant, said it is the journey, not the destination, and that’s something that has really resonated with me because I realized that if you’re looking for a destination, like awards or something great handed off to you, that is not something we believe in. For us, it’s the journey everyday with the kids coming in. For us, it’s that journey to make everybody’s dreams come true. That’s something that we hope to pass down to other franchisees: just to work on the everyday process of how to make yourself better and not give up.” Nothing is more rewarding to Mrs. Yu and Augustine than having parents excitedly come through the door and students talk about advancing in school! We thank them for believing in JEI Learning Center and helping thousands of young learners over the last 28 years. We also thank all of the directors who have joined us over the years to spread the JEI brand and enrich our students’ lives with their dedication to education. Let’s continue the journey, grow our community, and support one another! As Mrs. Yu says, have faith and never give up! Happy 28th anniversary to JEI Learning Center!
Bring the quality of our programs home with JEI Remote Learning
We understand your child’s education is a top priority. During these uncertain times, you can be sure at least one thing won’t change-- our dedication to education. Your child may no longer be able to attend class, but they won’t have to stop learning. In response to the Coronavirus and the resulting restrictions, we have developed JEI Remote Learning. This temporary service offers two options that allow students to continue our programs from home during this time. Our intent is to help students continue creating good study habits using their knowledge of the JEI Self Learning Method® and the JEI workbooks. Depending on the center, the following options could be available for your child: JEI Virtual Classroom recreates the familiar class environment for your child using an online platform. That way, students can continue their personalized learning plan with a JEI Instructor in a virtual version of their class while social distancing recommendations are in effect. The platform includes features, such as a “raise your hand” button and video conferencing so instructors and students can see each other and communicate. It’ll be as if JEI Learning Center is in your living room! JEI Independent Home Study allows you to supervise your child’s study schedule and personalized learning plan. With your help and our workbooks' spiral structure, which only advances your child to new concepts when they are ready, we are confident your child will succeed independently! Rest assured the center’s director and instructors will always be available for questions and assistance while you oversee your child’s work. JEI Remote Learning is the perfect opportunity for parents and children to work more closely together than ever before for A Better Life Through Better Education! Take this chance to see how much of the JEI Self-Learning MethodⓇ your child has already absorbed while they learn from home. Is your child able to focus easily while learning from home? Do they complete homework in a reasonable amount of time? Challenge your child to be responsible for their own education at home, as they foster their own structure and discipline away from school. Learn more about your options at your local center.
Must-have skill #7: learning from gameplay
Children love to play games, whether they are playing tag outside with their friends or are active in an online gaming community. Because they love to play games more than they might like to read or study, some parents are understandably concerned. Children are constantly attached to their phones. They play Fortnite in the darkness of their room late into the night. They beg for money to buy in-game goodies. Some parents might be dragging them out of line for the newest game in the hopes they throw themselves into meaningful work instead! But you might want to reconsider... Of course, moderation is key for everything, but parents might worry less when they realize that playing games can actually be a great skill boost for your child! Can their improved skills in-game be applicable to real life? Surprisingly, yes. There are many different games out there that can enhance the quality of life and improve the mind. For example, chess can promote critical thinking; dodgeball can teach them collaboration; Mario Party can enhance social skills. These skills, in turn, can have many practical uses but it all depends on how your child learns and grows from games to evolve in real life to a better them. There are so many possibilities for who they could become with these skills! They could become... The strategist of the century Strategy is key for games, particularly ones based on battlefields, like chess and League of Legends. Even if your child will never step foot on a battlefield, strategizing involves critical thinking, analyzing, long-term planning, improvising, and problem-solving. All of these are amazing skills to hone! Chess has a simple goal: put the opponent’s king in checkmate. However, getting to that point is not easy. Your child has to analyze the board, predict the opponent’s movements, and think many steps ahead. Then, your child spends the next chunk of time adjusting, waiting, and analyzing in a state of heightened focus. Even Tetris involves some strategizing but at a much quicker pace. Your child’s strategizing and recognition of patterns will get better with practice, and they can use these skills in real life. Practical uses: strategize a way to get into their dream college, prepare to ask for a promotion, negotiate, make calculated investments. A detective that rivals Sherlock Holmes There are strategy games like the ones mentioned above, and then there are deductive-reasoning games that force players to use the process of elimination and logic to reach a conclusion. There are physical games like Clue, Battleship, and Guess Who? and digital games like Nancy Drew or the Agatha Christie series which involve many in-game puzzles. All of these require your child to use their analytical thinking and deductive reasoning to answer a question or solve a mystery. These games help your child visualize a scene in their head, put together literal and figurative puzzle pieces, and think outside of the box. Creativity, observation, and analysis are key here! It is a mega boost to their common sense and ability to read situations and people. Practical uses: figure out what their parents got them for Christmas and who keeps eating the last slice of pizza. The one everyone wants on their team Games can vastly improve people skills. As mentioned before, they increase the ability to read the other person, which can be useful when arguing or negotiating. However, these people skills do not only apply to opponents. Many games involve team play, so they highlight the ability to collaborate. This involves good communication, efficient leader-follower dynamics, and awareness of what weaknesses or strengths other players have. A professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Katherine M. Keyes, Ph.D., stated, “Video game playing is often a collaborative leisure time activity for school-aged children. These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community.” It is also a way for your child to bond with their friends, socialize, and create memories. The School Children Mental Health Europe project released its study on the effects of video game playing on children’s mental health. The study found that the frequent use of video games led to fewer peer relationship problems. Practical uses: complete group projects, make friends, create strong bonds with mentors. The genius goal chaser If you want your child to be a focused go-getter, this is how video games can help. In the same study by the School Children Mental Health Europe project, it was found that the frequent use of video games led to not only 1.75 times the odds of high intellectual functioning but also the 1.88 odds of high overall school competence. With that ability to focus and longer attention span come the persistent mindset and patience to run steadily towards a goal. Many games, particularly digital ones nowadays, set up a reward system that can parallel goal setting in practical application. It will be deeply ingrained in your child that resilience and diligence eventually lead to rewards. Practical uses: study for tests with visual aids, set up plans to reach a goal, take a brilliant basketball shot. — Board, card, computer, phone, and video games can all help your child excel in life in ways that you may not have considered before. As a disclaimer, it is important that you regulate the time your child spends on games and what kind of games they play. It also helps if your child is aware of how they can benefit from the games. However, you may worry less now that you know the full benefits your child can reap from doing something they enjoy. To further help your child learn from games, feel free to analogize their challenges to their games. For example, when they are studying a battle for history class, you can help them visualize the historic battle based on their gameplay. When they seem unmotivated, you can liken good grades to achievements on a game they need to reach in order to get a reward. You can host Wii parties for your child’s friends and see their confidence rise from positive social interactions. What are some of your child’s favorite games to play? Let us know on our Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and stay tuned for our next post on a Must-Have Skill for children!