Kumon Math- A Kumon Review From A Parent
What is Kumon Maths?
I am a mother of children enrolled in Kumon and this is my Kumon math review.
Kumon Maths follows the Kumon Method, a series of graded math worksheets that students work through independently, to master the basic skills of mathematics.
There are more than twenty graded levels within the Kumon Maths program stretching from toddler to college levels and students work through them systematically, repeating and rerepeating each set as necessary, until they have mastered the skill being taught in that series of Kumon worksheets .
Each student is tested at the start of their program, and begins at a level that is easy for them; what Kumon calls a "comfortable starting point." This helps to increase the students confidence and motivation whist reinforcing basic skills.
One of the key features of the Kumon method is that no calculators are used. As a result students become fast and accurate at basic arithmetic as well as more advanced mathematics
Kumon Workbooks On Amazon: More titles available by clicking images
How Does Kumon Math Differ From Tutoring?
Kumon does not offer children individual tutoring. The majority of the math worksheets are done at home and marked by parents. Instead new concepts are introduced at the start of a new worksheet booklet, providing a simple example, and the student then begins to attempt questions immediately. The work is graded and introduced in such small steps that there appears to be a natural progression. This avoids students becoming discouraged and losing confidence.
Once or twice a week the student attends a Kumon centre where a supervisor checks the completed work and assigns new worksheets.They also administer any assessment tests that may be required.
Students have to gain complete mastery of a subject before they are allowed to move on to the next level. This is judged not only by the accuracy of their work but by the time in which it is completed.
One of the great advantages of Kumon is that it allows students to progress at their own pace. Students are not required to study at their grade level, rather, they progress to the level at which they are comfortable. Often students may be studying 2-3 years above their school grade level.
Many students of Kumon maths report improving their class positions as well as greatly increasing their confidence in mathematics. .
What Are The Disadvantages Of Kumon Math?
Whilst there is no question that for many children Kumon works at improving their maths grades and proficiency, and increasing their confidence in their own abilities, there are also disadvantages of the system.
One of these is that many students complain that the worksheets are boring. Often students are required to repeat worksheets as many as 6 or 8 times. For some students this is very discouraging and it is hard to maintain their motivation for the program.
Another disadvantage is the time involved. Kumon study usually requires around 20 minutes of focused study each day. For some busy families this proves a large stumbling block to following the program. Whilst parents aren't required to actively teach their children many centres ask that they mark and correct the workbooks and also that students times to complete worksheets are recorded.
Although Kumon covers key elements of mathematics at the primary school age it does not attempt to cover the whole curriculum until high school age. This means that for junior school pupils only 15-20% of the mathematics required is covered. Kumon focuses on the key skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in the early stages.
Another disadvantage is cost. In some countries the program costs as much as $100 per subject a month. For many families this can be prohibitively expensive.
Kumon Workbooks On Amazon.com
Are There Alternatives To The Kumon Program?
Kumon themselves publish a huge range of Kumon workbooks for children to complete at home without actually following the Kumon program. Whilst these are not as comprehensive as the kumon program itself they are substantially cheaper and are a good substitute for someone looking for a cost effective alternative. Below are a selection of these workbooks.
I have used these with my own children and the problems that they offer are identical to those used in the full Kumon program. The main difference between going to a Kumon centre and using these workbooks is that at a Kumon centre your child is tested and placed at the right level for them. The Kumon centre then tells them which worksheets to complete each week.
If using the Kumon Worksheets below you should remember that although books may be displayed by grade level, if your child is struggling with maths it may be better to start them on books from the grade level below. Similarly if your child is gifted at mathematics you can push them up a level.
To cover a similar amount of work as that covered in the Kumon program you probably need to cover approximately 4-5 pages of the workbook each day. However you should adapt this to your child's ability and interest levels and also how easily you are able to fit this into your family's schedule. Enrolling in Kumon at a Kumon centre means committing to studying for 20-40 minutes a day of Kumon homework. Using these books at home means that you can decide what is an acceptable amount of work to do.
Kumon Math Worksheets For Use At Home Without Enrolling In Kumon
Video about Kumon Students
Hooked On Phonics Available Through Amazon
Other Useful Articles
- How To Teach Your Child Their Nine Times Tables
Guide to teaching your child their nine times tables as well as discussion of mathematics worksheets.
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