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What is Kumon maths?

(13 Posts)
Ifyoubuildit Mon 25-Aug-14 19:53:24

DH wants DC (nearly 5) to start doing Kumon maths as one of his work colleagues said it was brilliant. I've looked at the website but I don't really understand what it is other than some additional maths tutoring. Can anyone advise? Is it worth it? What are your experiences?


barrackobana Mon 25-Aug-14 21:15:31

if you type 'Kumon' into your Search window at the top right of your screen, it will return you loads of threads relating to kumon with varying opinions as to its worthiness. More than you will ever get on this thread. Good luck!

ChillySundays Tue 26-Aug-14 18:53:13

I know a Headteacher who doesn't like kumon maths as it doesn't teach them in the same way as the schools do.
I don't see the need at that age. Your DC could be a maths genius with out kumon.
I imagine it is not cheap either
I am not a teacher though

Ifyoubuildit Wed 27-Aug-14 07:29:01

Thanks! Did a search as suggested and think it sounds a bit hardcore for a five year old. Maybe if remedial help is needed later on I'd consider it. DH is very keen...

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 27-Aug-14 07:33:18

Of course you don't need kumon to be a maths genius smile I bet many maths PhDs never have them. DH and I didn't and we both have an engineering PhD and DH has also a maths undergrad. The only person I know who did and rave about kumon is useless at it.

But I think some people like it. It's a bit of extra tuition which might make your child ahead at school simply because of the extra effort put in.

BikeRunSki Wed 27-Aug-14 07:39:45

I'd speak to your child's teacher before signing up. It might not be very helpful if school and Kumon teach the same things differently.

Littleturkish Wed 27-Aug-14 07:41:34

Buying workbooks in waterstones that follow the UK teaching strategies and National Curriculum would be a far better use of time and money.

I was a 'tutor' at kumon when I was a uni student and quit after a week as it was so at odds with current educational philosophies, I couldn't stand it! There was a huge emphasis on time and speed over technique and understanding; both the English and maths exercises and task constructions were really poor.

ChillySundays Wed 27-Aug-14 10:28:26

Expect the reasons Littleturkish has given are probably the reason the Head doesn't like it. It is the old fashioned way of teaching whereby you learn how to but not why.
If you get to the point of needing extra coaching I would say a tutor would be the best route. They are often teachers so know the current methods being used

secretsquirrels Wed 27-Aug-14 19:20:29

DS1 is a Kumon tutor.( He has just got A*in Maths and Further Maths and is going to do Maths degree).
He says he wishes that he had been able to go when he was younger and was in need of stretching at maths. I always thought it was for those who struggle at Maths but in fact it's not. He has a student of 9 who is doing A level stuff.

Having said that, it is very repetitive and relies on a lot of work done at home. I would never have been able to get my DC to put the work in at 5 years old.
Also, all the tutoring is done by sixth formers, albeit A* students. Not quite what you might expect.

Leeds2 Thu 28-Aug-14 11:11:14

My friends experience of it, with a 7/8 year old, was that the children were sat at a table with a GCSE grammar school student "in charge." In reality, the children were given work sheets to do, which were marked by the GCSE student, and then these results were given to the lady running it. Friend commented that a lot of the lesson time was spent in a queue waiting to give the lady the results, and then being allocated new work sheets.

They were given work sheets to do every day, at home.

Friend persevered for just under a year. Felt she had wasted a lot of money, and that the group her DD went to had just too many children in it.

Hulababy Thu 28-Aug-14 11:31:44

My brief experience was very similar to what Leeds 2 states. We only did the trial and stopped. It felt like a waste of time and money.

From the people who were there when we went the other thing is that they seriously underestimate a child's abilities. So they do the initial assessment and then place children on a series of worksheets - but way lower than what they are really able to do. It was all counting blocks of dots iirr - pretty much preschool level, and most of the children involved at that assessment were ed of infants/start of juniors.

Kumon claimed it was to increase confidence quickly - I'm sure if had nothing to do with their claims of how much progress children make in the first year hmm

And the only adult was the one woman in charge. All the 1:1 stuff at tables involved GCSE and sixth form students. So not a qualified teacher in any way.

And its boring - worksheet after worksheet including for daily homework (though at least that is only 10 minutes). Death by worksheet!

Hulababy Thu 28-Aug-14 11:33:36

It is also very expensive iirr.

If you really want to do Kumon style (it is very different to how children are taught at school) then you can buy the workbooks from Amazon for a fraction of the price.

Lemonsole Fri 29-Aug-14 16:59:49

If you want to pay a premium for what amounts to the age-old monitor system, as used in the 19th century - sure: go for it.

A Kumon tutor I know is a 6th Former of MFL and History. She is tutoring Maths, and is horrified at how much money they take from parents.

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