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

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Your Thoughts About Kumon 14 comments

Anjali 3 years ago

Take it from somebody who is doing Kumon. I'm in J, and it's not so easy. it's not always a smooth curve, sometimes it just throws things at you. Sometimes it doesn't explain things properly. I've broken down crying from frustration for years. but this has made me extremely good at math. it makes school a lot easier, I just wish that we don't have to do it on New Years, Christmas, so on. You do Kumon literally 365 days a year.

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Learn Things Web 5 years ago from California

I love the Kumon books. They are a great option for kids who are struggling with certain concepts. But they definitely aren't a full curriculum.

Frank Ho 5 years ago

I invented a teaching method of usinig chess and puzzles to teach math and also founded an innovative learning centre called Ho Math and Chess headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Take a look at a very different teaching method from Kumon. Details www.mathandchess.com.

catle 5 years ago

I am interested in having my daughter begin Kumon. My concern it that she is very unfocused. This has caused many problems in regular classes and I wonder if they would have the same problem with her in the learning center? Also there is no way she would sit quietly at home and work independently on worksheets. Any suggestions?

Thank you,


ashley ella 5 years ago

kumon is so fun

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TheFont 5 years ago from Australia Author

Hi there,

Yes we are still doing Kumon. I struggle at times to get her to do it, particularly as she is now a long way above grade level. The good news is though that she is extremely good at mental arithmetic and all maths, which is great. Her mental math is second to none, she is much faster than my husband and I. My only criticism remains that I believe that Kumon should cover more problem solving tasks as well as pure math. That is the only area that I feel needs work within the Kumon program.

Kumon Admirer 5 years ago

@new Kumon

In USA, students of age 3 or above normally join Kumon, however as long as your daughter can understand instruction, communicate and sit down for 15-20minutes, she can join Kumon.

Mail@kathy-savage.com 5 years ago

Is your child still doing Kumon-any change in thoughts or updated info? Thanks pls feel free to reply to email


new kumon 5 years ago

wat is a good age for kumon. my daughter is in kindergarten. pls any suggestions will help

billy bob 5 years ago


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JanTutor 6 years ago from London, England

An alternative to Kumon is Kip McGrath. I've had professional experience of both although I've never been involved in either business and I do not favour either one of them - it's a matter of personal preference. As much has been said about Kumon I'll give some info on Kip.

Kip McGrath is a well established family run company with over 30 years experience in providing tutorial assistance to children aged 6 to 16 in Maths and English. The company is run by Kip, Dugnija and their son Storm McGrath. Kip McGrath is a fairly well known name in children's after school tutoring.

Kip McGrath caters for children in schools who just 'don't understand'; children who are frustrated, have given up trying and feel 'lost in the crowd'.

Kip helps children who may be working towards an exam, are bright and need to be challenged further, moved schools, have had an emotional upset, been ill and missed a lot of school or have a learning difficulty.

Their programs are designed to give children the motivation to succeed. Progress is at the child's own pace so they are never overwhelmed. They emphasise the positive aspects of every child. Failure is eliminated. Children really try when they attend because achievement is not only rewarding, it is fun (THIS SO ACCORDING TO THEIR LITERATURE).

Kip helps children in the following areas:

1.MATHEMATICS. From simple problem solving to high order equations. Kip McGrath materials support your children with their Maths at school making them more confident using practice and reinforcement of subject matter.

2.READING. All types of reading difficulties are catered for. These difficulties range from children who are virtual non-readers to children who have only minor difficulties and want to extend their reading skills.

3.SPELLING. Children are taught spelling using the reading program and English programs. Spellings are covers from early years to senior spelling.

4.ENGLISH. This includes creative writing, grammar, punctuation, comprehension and some challenging Quiz and vocabulary development

In recent years Kip have included tuition for school exam preparation - I'm not sure how successful they've been.

Hope this helps!

Duncan 7 years ago

One other alternative to Kumon is the kind of online maths offered at Whizz Education (www.whizz.com). Some children prefer the Kumon method, with its regimented worksheet-derived approach, whilst others prefer the Maths-Whizz approach, based on interactive animations and a personalised curriculum. We've found it's horses for courses, really. Just depends on the child's learning style.

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TheFont 7 years ago from Australia Author

HI there,

You can probably get them from Amazon Uk (if they ship to Ireland), or alternatively from an independent bookstore. I have seen them in the Uk, but I'm not sure about in Ireland. Alternatively, possibly on Abebooks. Sorry I can't help more, but thanks for reading.

Andrew Smith 7 years ago

I'm from Ireland but can't find the outlet for these books on www.kumon.ie - do you know anything about their operations outside the US?

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