Student Anu reflects on her journey toward independent learning with JEI

Our student Anu of the JEI Learning Center in Princeton Junction, New Jersey is graduating out of JEI Math! She first began the program in the 1st grade, joined the Honors and Accelerated Math Program at her school in the 6th grade, and is nearing the end of our math program in the 8th grade. After many wonderful years honing her studying skills and mastering math concepts, Anu is excited about being an independent learner.

Regarding her experience overall, Anu says, “I really like the math program because it helped me with math in school, making it easy for me to get the concepts more quickly, and on standardized tests.” Although her time in JEI Math is almost over, Anu isn’t worried about what comes after because she is confident in her abilities to figure things out and continue learning on her own. She particularly attributes this to the spiral-structured workbooks at JEI:

“The workbooks have a lot of practice problems and concept pages that helped me really get the concepts before I go home and practice applying them. My favorite thing about being a JEI student is the books actually because you still get to keep them, even when you’re done with them. You can go back to them to learn more concepts for school, connect them, and apply them again.”

Anu’s father agrees that the books helped her become an independent learner:

“I remember she’s been able to do all of her math both in JEI and in school without any help from us. I think the way the books are structured and how the instruction works have helped her become independent because there’s hardly been any occasion when she’s actually come to us with questions or for help. The books meet all her needs.”

Anu explains that she was also able to transfer her ability to learn from the workbooks provided by JEI to learn from the textbooks provided by her school. Understanding concepts through the texts by herself has created a very positive cycle for her: “What motivates me is really knowing that I can learn a lot from doing workbooks and practice sheets. That’s what motivates me to keep doing them and learning more from them.”

However, Anu is also wise enough to know that if she really needs help, she can always ask for it instead of trying to do everything on her own. She would go to the instructor in the next class with specific questions. “When all of the resources that I’ve tried don’t help me with the subject anymore, it can be easier to turn to a person who knows how I learn and can help me,” she says. And that person is a JEI instructor. One of the key aspects of the JEI self-learning system is the personalized pacing and instruction we provide each of our students based on their diagnostic and assessment tests. “Teachers [at school] aren’t able to teach kids as in depth as they want to because of the time limits within the class period, so JEI really helps,” Anu explains. Her father agrees that this is a highly effective structure:

“My older daughter, Priya, also went to JEI. The directors and the entire JEI staff have been very engaged and involved; they’ve been a very good experience for both my daughters. As parents, we wish we had more time to spend on [our children’s] education, but we feel comfortable that it’s in JEI’s hands because the program is well-structured: it’s got a good balance of good content, practice, and support from good instructors. We are able to see the benefits of that in school, the way our kids have performed and managed to do well academically.”

The benefits go beyond the school setting as Anu shows an affinity for taking on challenges in general. She talks about how she entered the JEI Math Olympiad three times and, even though she never won, she enjoys taking tests, experiencing what it’s like to be in a math competition, and just having fun with it all. She encourages others to also try competing in future Math Olympiads:

“Even though you may not win anything, it’s important to try and to not feel stressed about it because it can still help you. You never know if you’re going to succeed, but you need to try. I’ve learned from trying new problems that I didn’t think I could do by myself. If you try to solve new problems, you never know; you may find the answers to them. If not, you can always ask for help.”

Another sign that Anu is an independent learner is her focus on being prepared:

“I really appreciate how prepared JEI made me for school and math in school. Looking back on it, I don’t think I realized how much it’s helped me. But now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve really benefited from it, and it’s a lot easier for me to understand concepts. I have friends in school who weren’t able to grasp the concept as easily. It makes me really grateful for JEI and how it’s helped me prepare for school in general.”

Now that she’s in the final level of the JEI Math program, Anu is both sad to be leaving and happy to have learned everything that will aid her in the future. Her father relates his own thanks for this experience:

“Thank you to JEI and specifically to the Princeton center. I think the material is great, the instructor is great, and the ability to go back to the content whenever kids need to because they have access to their books is great… We thank you and the whole course structure for everything.”

We likewise thank Anu for being a wonderful JEI student and wish her the best of luck as she pursues lifelong learning as an independent learner! We are so excited to be graduating another lifelong learner who exhibits a growth mindset and resilience that will carry her far in life.

If you would like the same experience for your child so they can blossom into a prepared, enthusiastic self-learner like Anu, make sure to find a center near you and ask about our programs and unique diagnostic system!