How To Get Your Child To Complete Their Kumon Math Worksheets
Why Children Don't like To Complete Their Kumon Worksheets
The Kumon Math program is a fantastically effective program for helping children to improve their math abilities and increase their school grades.
However, one of the problems that some parents find with the Kumon method is that children can be very resistant to completing the workbooks every day. Kumon works through repetition and for this reason some children complain that they find the daily schedule of completing their workbooks boring. This is particularly the case when required to repeat the same workbook several times.
Some students happily complete their Kumon workbooks when first starting the program but then become more resistant as time goes on. This is because Kumon starts each student at an "easy starting point" which is a level at which they can easily and quickly complete the workbook.
When the students move through the program and reach a level where the work becomes more challenging they can then become unhappy about completing it as it requires more effort and is more time consuming than when they started.
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How To Overcome Resistance To Completing Kumon Worksheets
One of the first ways to overcome your child's resistance to completing their Kumon is to look closely at the reasons for it. Firstly, check that the level that your child is on is not too taxing for them. In general Kumon books are supposed to take around 20 minutes to complete. Whilst it may not be a problem if your child is taking a little longer than this, if they are taking too much longer this may be the cause of your problem.
When my own daughter moved from Level C to Level D she found that each workbook was taking in excess of an hour to complete which was just too much for her on top of her other homework commitments. In consultation with her Kumon math instructor we then decided to cut each workbook in half until she was able to better master this level. This immediately solved the problem of her resistance to doing her workbooks as the workload seemed less overwhelming.
If your child is finding they are taking an excessive amount of time to do each workbook this might be a good first step to take. Speak to your Kumon instructor to see whether this would be the best solution for your child.
Most Kumon centres provide children with a sticker chart. Every time they complete a workbook they receive a sticker for their chart. When they have 50 or 100 stickers a small prize is awarded.
For younger children this can be very motivating as they are excited by the prospect of the prize. However to older students this can be much less of a motivation as the prizes - small erasers, pencils or other similar items- may not seem like such an incentive to them. Many parents therefore prefer to set up their own reward systems. When the student completes a certain amount of work, receives a certain number of stickers, or masters a particular Kumon level they can be given a reward that is more appropriate for their age group, such as an outing, a small amount of money, an ipod app or other reward that the parent thinks is suitable. This can help enormously in the motivation of older students.
Another way to get the student to engage in the work fully is through the use of self correction. By allowing the student to mark their own work and identify their own mistakes (under parental supervision where necessary) the students starts to understand better where they are going wrong. This helps guide the student toward the independent study that is one of the main goals of the Kumon program.
Explain to your child that the Kumon program has an end- that some people complete the whole program and get an award for completing. If you do not intend for your child to complete Kumon right until the end explain to them what level you want them to reach before you allow them to give up. My daughter and I have an agreement that if she completes the whole Kumon math program she gets an Ipod Touch. At the rate she is currently studying that is probably a ten year goal!
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These methods outlined above should help you to find ways to overcome resistance to completing Kumon math workbooks. It is natural that there will always be certain amount of unwillingness to complete the work. As with any homework there are times when the student may not feel like doing homework. Helping them through these times and pointing out to them the great improvement in their mathematical skills and the rewards that that brings should help to reduce or eliminate resistance to doing Kumon books.
If your child is not currently enrolled in the Kumon program please read of my Kumon Math Review to see whether it might be suitable for your childs needs.
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