- Education and Science
Is there a Kumon Alternative? Alternatives to the Kumon Program
Kumon Math On Amazon!
Which alternative to Kumon is best?
A review of the Kumon Alternative options.
As a mother with a child who struggled to learn her times tables I was drawn to the Kumon math program. The only problem was that where I live the full Kumon program costs $100 a month. As I have two children this would have meant a bill of $2400 a year which was something that I wasn't really sure that I could manage in the longer term.
So I set about looking for Kumon alternatives.
Firstly I checked out whether there were any other programs that were comparable but cheaper to Kumon. The answer to that was sadly no. Despite visiting some tutoring centres and investigating other similar programs there was nothing that was as effective as Kumon. In reality using a private tutor would actually end up being more expensive than Kumon itself, too.
Not only that but my children were starting to dislike math as they started to struggle. I didn't just need to improve their math so they would do better at school, I also felt that struggling in math was affecting their self confidence and would soon spill over into other areas of their school work.
Online Kumon Alternatives
There are several online math programs which could be alternatives to Kumon, some of them substantially better than others. The best one that I found was called mathletics and can be found at http://www.mathletics.com
My children really enjoyed this program, but there was one problem. I had to constantly monitor them to make sure that they were doing work on it rather than just playing in the rewards area. Also, unless I sat down with both of them and constantly told them what to do next they did not choose areas of the program that they needed to practise on, instead they chose the areas that they were already good at as it was easier.
Admittedly, mathletics and similar programs are substantially cheaper than Kumon. What I wanted from Kumon though, which was that my children fully master mathematics just wasn't going to happen through mathletics. It was a substantial improvement on what they were doing at school, but was not enough of the repetition that I felt my children needed for it to be one of my list of viable Kumon alternatives
Another Kumon Alternative - Math Worksheets
There are a number of websites that offer the opportunity to print off worksheets for your child to complete at home. I also considered this as a Kumon alternative. For me though, there simply was not enough volume of sheets for my child to do. Also, Kumon has millions of students enrolled and they have very carefully developed a structured method to learning that ensures that your child moves from one topic to another only when they have fully mastered every aspect of the level that they are on.
I found that offering up math worksheets at home I simply wasn't able to judge whether my child was sufficiently mastering all of the topics that she needed to before moving on to the next level. I also didn't know what order was the best way to teach. Did my child need to understand every aspect of addition such as column addition with trading before moving on to subtraction? Or was it better to do some addition then some subtraction and then develop these areas more later when my child had a better grasp of other concepts. These are things that the founders of the Kumon program have spent many, many years considering and which you don't have to think about when your child is enrolled.
Of all of the online math worksheet programs that I found the one at http://www.happychild.org.uk/wks/math/ were the best. The website is terribly laid out but the ability to customize worksheets is excellent.
Click the links to be taken to the books section of Amazon where you will find many more Kumon books to purchase.
Kumon Math Workbooks
Although the full Kumon program costs $100 a month where I live (and this varies by region- check with your local Kumon centre for the costs where you live) I discovered that Kumon do actually make Kumon worksheets for children that are not in the full Kumon program. Whilst these do not replicate the full Kumon program exactly, what they do do is offer a much cheaper at home alternative that is along similar lines to the main Kumon program. They do not offer testing and evaluation or guide you as to what level your child should be on, however they do provide sheets of a very similar type to those offered by Kumon.
These workbooks are available through Amazon and other book shops. You do not need to sign up, join, have any contact with or pay anything additional to Kumon. They are simply books filled with Kumon style problems.
They are generally divided up according to age although there are a large number of preschool books that cover topics such as basic numbers, cutting, shapes and letters.
It is important to point out that your child may not necessarily need to start with the book aimed at his or her age group. If your child is struggling with math it may be better to start with books from the grade level below to help them gain confidence. If your child is particularly advanced with math you may wish to go a grade level up.
Below are some examples of the kind of books that are available through Kumon workbooks. Clicking on the links will take you to Amazon pages where you can browse all of the books available and read reviews of them. You can then purchase them at the usual amazon price online if you decide that they are right for your child.
Please let me know via the comments section below of any other great Kumon alternatives so that I can share the information with other parents who read this hub. Thank you!
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