To Kumon or not to Kumon. That is the question.

(976 Posts)
megabored Sun 17-Jun-12 00:28:30

DD is starting school in September. Below are the Pros and Cons I have been debating recently.

1. She is bright, so should be okay without extra help in school
2. It is too early to put her through this
3. Kumon is expensive and time consuming.

The Pros

1. It may give her that bit of extra confidence at school
2. Earlier is better as then she can grow with that system
3. Its not so expensive as to be prohibitive.

I really cant decide either way. Please someone help?

Buntingbunny Sun 17-Jun-12 11:33:12

Seriously, being ahead in maths will just make her bored. The NC starts slowly to ensure all DCs have the basics, but by Y6 it provides a really good grounding for secondary.

Seriously I'd only tutor if you find by Y4/Y5 that your DD is having particular difficulties or that your primary doesn't push bright children to get L5+ or what they need for selective secondary.

Save the money and most importantly the time for something that gives your DD confidence and pleasure.

Having people walking up to her and congratulating her on her singing does DDs confidence more good than any work sheet mark.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 11:44:45

Bun tins are great for teaching multiplication arrays wink so are egg boxes

RosemaryandThyme Sun 17-Jun-12 11:46:46

The research that linked Mozart to brain development was limited, and has since been surpassed with research into broader musical genres - another example of a whole load of "brain-boosting essentials for your baby" that played on parent anxiety,worth a google before buying up the baby einstien shelf.

clam Sun 17-Jun-12 11:58:27

I'm also a teacher. Think I made my view clear back there too.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 13:50:46

I think I understand where you are coming from megabored. I did start kumon for my 3.6yr old DS (shock horo from Mrz and seeker!!) last year because he was not interested in learning at all. Even though he was/is in pre school he just focussed on the playing part. I was not very happy with his progress in his setting in preparing him for Reception and he would not sit with me to learn. So i signed up for both Maths and English as I thought a 3rd party would help me break that attitude. The first week was hard as he cried but eventually he developed an interest and 8 months later he is a different kid that even his pre school has commented on how good he is with numbers and phonics. I have sinced stopped kumon as it has done what I wanted it to do.

Now he is learning to write his name and is having such great pride at his written work.

I do see the point about kumon being repetitive, because it is. It is not for everyone and may not be for your daughter especially if she is bright (like you mentioned) and willing to learn.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 13:51:21

shock horror i meant

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 14:15:36

If you'd saved your money you would probably find that being 8 months more mature would have achieved the same end result for nothing and without a single tear.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 14:53:48

You do not know my son, it had nothing to do with maturity (if it did then teaching primary school kids would be heaven as they would all be able to sit still and learn). and well I prefer to be proactive than reactive . £50 a month is nothing, when some people spend that on dining out and it all ends up in the toilet.

spending that on giving my son a good start is hardly a waste in my opinion.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 14:56:59

even if it made him cry initially

megabored Sun 17-Jun-12 15:03:34

iyatoda I agree with your dining theory. I am tempted therefore to initially put him in and see how it goes. It can't do any harm. I'd rather try it for a few months then regret later on. I agree with your proactive approach. Why is education so different to swimming? If your cold is crying at swimming you are old to just carry on even at 2 months old. What's going in here?

megabored Sun 17-Jun-12 15:04:23

Cold?!hmm I meant child!!! Predictive text!

mrsshears Sun 17-Jun-12 15:12:58

We use kumon for our dd who has just turned 6 and in y1.
I do agree with what lots of other posters have said however for us it does what we need it too.
Our dd is very able but lacked confidence and was also not too good at working independently and since starting kumon she has come on leaps and bounds in these areas.
Its not something we plan to do forever but we will continue for as long as dd enjoys doing it.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 15:13:00

crying does' nt kill. He is still a happy child. In fact he is a happier child now as he loves what he is accomplishing and is more responsive at pre school which can only be a good thing for teachers like yourself Mrz.

Megabond just to warn you that you would never be encouraged on mnet to do anything academically extra with your child, I do not understand why my self (more so from teachers like Mrz who have been made an expert on this issue by the popular view on Mnet).

Do whats best for your child. I have another DS in YR2 and I did absolutely nothing with him before reception because he was a completely different child to DS2 and he is already a year ahead of his peers according to his teacher. So its not one size fits all when it comes to children, and I'll always be a proactive parent.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 15:18:28

Sorry to disappoint you iyatoda but attending Kumon actually makes things more difficult for teachers like me as we have to spend extra time reteaching things the child has been taught.
Kumon isn't academic it isn't even teaching!

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 15:30:03

So how different is kumon in teaching a child to identify and write 1, 2, 3 than a teacher in a school? what special methods do you use? or do you have a different names for the numbers? of do you teach them to write the numbers standing on their heads or with both their left and right hand?

Utter rubbish. At the centre that we used to attend it was full of parents from state schools who had applied to the centre because their children were not getting maths in school and have been soo happy with their progress never mind the £50 a month, I would not use kumon for DS1 as doesn't need it but if he does I would consider every possible avenue.

seeker Sun 17-Jun-12 15:30:34

The problem is that Kumon isn't academic- it doesn't do anything to help understanding. I wouldn't be so opposed to it if was actually teaching something. Particularly if what it was teaching was in line with the National Curriculum. It's just boring repetitive stuff- there are online places that do much more interesting things that are actually likely to catch a child's attention.

And the though of a 3.5 year old crying because of schoolwork just makes my blood run cold.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 15:40:51

Yes I teach them to write the number standing on their head and on their feet and sitting and in any other position you like ... and yes with both hands ... different sizes ... different media .. you name it !

Malaleuca Sun 17-Jun-12 15:42:10

A few years ago I did after school tutoring with a 5-6 year old in the equivalent of YR. She did 10 minutes Kumon daily, 10-20 minutes piano practice, and about 10-20 minutes reading aloud. In total, less than an hour. She had plenty of play dates, and was a lively but tractable child. She has continued to shine and thrive at school. She had parents who were quite firm about the need for practice of skills in order to excel.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 15:43:46

perhaps I'm doing something wrong because none of them cry hmm

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 15:44:37

Oh well what can I say..

exoticfruits Sun 17-Jun-12 15:45:47

All I can say is that I don't like the results-it appears to make the DCs very rigid in their thinking.

CecilyP Sun 17-Jun-12 15:57:14

OP, none of your pros are actually pros at all.

1. It may give her that bit of extra confidence at school. This presupposes that she will lack confidence at school; something you can't possibly know until she starts school.
2. Earlier is better as then she can grow with that system If she doesn't actually have a problem there is no point in trying to solve it earlier.
3. Its not so expensive as to be prohibitive. Again, if it is something you don't need, even if it is affordable, there are still far better things to spend your money on.

Hulababy Sun 17-Jun-12 16:02:04

I wouldn't bother.

It is very expensive.
The tutors are often students - often sixth form age.
The tutors are not qualified teachers.
There was very little, if any, actual teaching - just sat at a desk answering hundreds of repetitive worksheets under time constraints.
It is death by worksheet.
It requires you and your child to do worksheets every single day as well as attending twice a week.
It is very repetitive.
It doesn't really each a child to understand maths - just focuses on answering questions as fast as possible over and over again.
They start your child on an incredibly low level - apparently to gain confidence but imo to ensure that the child makes so called massive improvements in the first year. The level is VERY low - thing counting dots - even for junior age children.

We looked into it, even had a couple or so trial lessons. Waste of money.

If you really want Kumon - go on Amazon and buy their workbooks - pretty much the same as they do in the sessions anyway.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:03:34

So you've never heard of children who cry at school? thats a first. My little brother cried for a long time when he started school many years ago. Its not hard to imagine children crying when they are told to do something they don't want to do.

My DS2 just cried today because he did not want to have lunch should I then leave him to starve Mrz?

And he has cried more times than I can care to count on eating, changing into his pyjamas for bed time, brushing his teeth, time to say goodbye to friends who have come over, you name it.

What of my DD who cried this morning because I won't allow her chew on wire?

crazy, confused world this is.

seeker Sun 17-Jun-12 16:08:02

Of course children cry at school. But a 3 year old should not be crying over school work. Over being left at school when he doesn't want to be, possibly. But jot over school work!

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