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Kip Mcgrath - any details?

(28 Posts)
ssummers Wed 23-Jul-08 19:38:30

we are doing a 2 week taster of Kumon for my ds who is 6.

He is doing it in maths. I am a bit unsure whether I like it or not.

Somebody mentioned Kip Mcgrath. Has anybody any details/info on it? Their website is quite vague. I know that it is a 1 and half hour lesson a week - and it is £25 a week. Is it worth the money though? wwill it make much of a difference?

any info, details, opinions appreciated.

My dd goes to Kip McGrath - we started her just after Easter as she's really been struggling at school. She's only in Yr2 but has just been diagnosed with dyslexia and the school haven't been helpful at all.

She enjoys it and wants to keep going.

They do a free assessment of where your child is in English and Maths. They told me dd was fine in English but struggling with maths, which agrees with what I think and what dd says.

Although she's in (end of) Year 2 Kip McGrath are giving her Year 1 worksheets to do as they say she's not quite ready for Year 1 yet. But the tutor says she has progressed well. DD says she is now finding maths easier. She certainly ahs a better work ethic now aand her concentrtion is better. Now in her SATS at school she got a 2B, better than I thought she would. Part of me is wondering why Kip McGrath says she's still on Year 1 work if she gets a 2b..... But mybe she wouldn't have got 2b without Kip McGrath. Her tutor said something about raising her confidence, etc. I think we'l lstick with it till xmas and then maybe see where we are.

She gets one homework sheet a week which tkes her 5 mins to do and I'm not allowed to help her in any way with it.

ssummers Wed 23-Jul-08 22:23:43

thank you so much for your input. really good that your dd is doing well.

My problem is that my sons school is not very good, the schools in my area are not good at all infact. we looked to go private but it was just too expensive.

at the moment he is on a trial with kumon - but I am not mpressed at all as it involves a lot of parent participation and timed exercises. ds is finding it boring.

Is kip mcgrath something that you could do long term? do they get a lot of 1 to 1?


magentadreamer Thu 24-Jul-08 07:41:08

If he's finding it boring and your a bit jubious about it then I would stop the Kumon.

All tutors at a Kip Centre are trained teachers unlike Kumon where even the franchise owner doesn't have to be a teacher. At the centre my DD has just started about a month ago they are taught in groups of 4. Each child in that group will be doing different work eg one child might be English another maths and at various levels. DD's group has children of a similar age. Her work is broken up into a variety of activities during the 80 min session so your son wouldn't spend 80 mins on his 7 times table IYSWIM They also get to play a 5 minute computer game as well as a reward, also loads of stickers etc for good work. It's not 1to1 as such but for my DD it works well as its less pressured -she knows she can ask the tutor anything and they do spend alot of time with her and obviously the others. I think it works well in that respect as DD doen't feel pressured.

DD wasn't too sure if she wanted to go but after her first session announced that was fun. For DD who spent the last year at school bored this to me was great to hear. hopefully it will help her confidence in areas she struggled with and become more motivated when she starts High School.

As for long term I'm giving it till Xmas to see how she goes and how she feels about going.

magentadreamer Thu 24-Jul-08 08:00:05

Also unlike Kumon the children can have a mixture of English and Maths in one session. I think with Kumon you have to enroll in the Maths and in the English programmes paying for both seperately. DD does spellings and Maths within her 80 min session.

LunarSea Thu 24-Jul-08 09:12:11

ssummers - I don't know if there's one near you, but there's also Explore Learning. They can tailor the mix of Maths/English depending upon where your ds is with them. ds1 has been doing it because his school can't keep up with him maths-wise, but lots do it to boost them in areas they're struggling with a bit as well.

My dd's school/teacher ain't the best which is why we're doing it.

There's no one-to-one and at first that put me off. But I gave dd the choice of there or a private tutor and she chose Kip McGrath as she loved it at her assessment.

There are maximum of 5 kids (different ages and stages) in a session and they work through their stuff in worksheets and on the computer. The teacher floats between them checking on them and helping/answering questions.

I think the main thing for me is that dd is enjoying it and is very enthusiastic. Not how she is at school.

It can be along term thing if you want it to be.

smartiejake Thu 24-Jul-08 16:33:10

We had an assessment at a Kip Mcgrath Centre this morning for my dd who is interested in taking the 11+.

I was very impressed by the assessment and the set up there. As a teacher myself I could tell that the woman knew what she was talking about (a trained and experienced taecher) and my dd really enjoyed herself.

Lots of her friends have started going to this centre which opened recently and all the mums who I have spoken to say there kids love it.

I do not hear similar stories about Kumon however. I get the impression this is death by worksheet and very boring according to what kids I know have said.

sunnydelight Sat 26-Jul-08 09:54:31

A friend of mine has just started her two kids at a Kip Mcgrath centre here in Oz (Y1 and Y3). Both of them are fairly behind at school, and I wouldn't have thought that they would be very keen on the idea of extra tuition, but they both absolutely love it. Their mum says the tutor is fantastic. It looks like they really choose their staff carefully and the sessions are made fun for the kids.

Loshad Tue 29-Jul-08 23:17:21

I have two friends whose dss go to kip and they are both really impressed, one of them had done kumon and thought kip was much better, other lad was doing really poorly and a couple of years later is really flying.

ShallowWaterFish Tue 29-Jul-08 23:18:11

my mates son hated it

twinsetandpearls Tue 29-Jul-08 23:19:37

While they may have to be teachers to work for or run a kip md grath the one I know if is run by one of the dullest most uninspiring teachers I have ever met.

magentadreamer Wed 30-Jul-08 06:51:56

I suppose thats the luck of the draw with Franchise owned schemes some will hve exceptional owners, others good or indifferent. My Dd has the same tutor most weeks and she thinks he's great!

twinsetandpearls Wed 30-Jul-08 10:21:18

Yes you are right of course. I need to also declare my bias that i dont like such things and think school in itself should be enough. Meeting this woman just confirmed that.

Cleek Tue 21-Sep-10 12:50:24

My 7yr old girl has only been going to KMcG Centre for two weeks. Believe me she is very shy and very difficult to get her to join anything or stay anywhere on herown. However I am surprised that she finds it fun and has refused going there. It is too early for me to say weather KMcG has helped improve her Math and Eng yet.

Last year I had a Kumon tutor in our home to give her a test also explained to me how their programme works. Kumon expect the children go to their centre once a week as well as do a ten minutes homework everyday. Knowing my child’s personality I know I will struggle with the later at home. After her test even the tutor suggested she was ready for their programme.

Akiko Fri 24-Sep-10 10:31:22

We have tried both methods. Kumon was exellent for learning the basics in Maths like time tables, addittion etc. for two years from y1-y2. English was good for spelling and some Comprehention in year 1. However, when Dd needed to progress, they kept on returning her to the same pages, three-four times even for the smaller errors, or timimg. She knew the material by heart and was bored and discouraged, especially in English, when she had to go through the same text again and again. I know other children, who have to complete the same pages again and again, and not progressing for months. I was outraged, even changed centres, the same scenario happenned there, Dd was returned to simple addittion, even though, she is in top group at school and in English, she was made to do work, that she had completed two years ago. There is something wrong with this method. Do they just want to keep taking your money for the same material?
The programme in both subjects does not encourahe thinking skills, it only consists of calculation, and children need extra work on problem soving, time, monet, measuring and all other topic that they need at school. One child that has been at Kumon for years and brilliant at calculations, was still behind at school in maths. The same in English: Kumon does not teach Creative Writing, only Comprehention.
We moved to Kip McGrath. As some other posters mentioned, my Dd was given material that was far too simple for her, for months. I felt like we were wating time and effort. Talking to the tutors in both instances, did not help, they kept on insisting that accoring to their assessment, she was in the right group.
I resorted to just buying lots of books like Scoffiel&Simms, Nelson Thornes(Bond) Letts and CGP and now we work at home. Maybe, I'll look for a tutor later on.
I wonder if anyone have had similar experience like us, and appologise for taking so long.

Carolinemaths Fri 24-Sep-10 13:57:11

I'm a former Kumon instructor, so it's interesting to read all the comments about Kumon and Kip McGrath. I agree with both the positive and negative points about Kumon (it works but is boring!)

I think with all these tuition centres parents are paying for a combination of the following:
1 A system that works
2 A teacher as backup to explain the work
3 Something agreeable to their child

I have a maths blog where I encourage parents to get more involved with their childrens' maths learning. Kumon and Kip may work but they're hugely expensive. I've started reviewing online maths programs and your child could do Education City, Maths Whizz, Maths Factor and Mathletics and you'd still have change from the fees you're giving to Kip! For parents who don't want to do-it-themselves, these online programs are definitely a good option and cover points 1 and 2 above if you as a parent are willing to cover point 2.

emptyshell Fri 24-Sep-10 15:48:56

I've heard (from the other side of it among the tutoring community) that they're a good company to work for, that they DO use qualified teachers and that the resources are in place for their staff to call upon - which I guess means the backing's there for a good service from the other side as the pupil.

Everything depends on the personalities of those involved though - I tutor privately and I'd hate for a kid to not enjoy sessions because being selfish here, if they're not enjoying it it makes it feel like a right royal slog to me as well!

Sometimes the simpler work is something I do (I tutor privately) if the issue is what it is for a lot of children particularly with maths - confidence. In those cases I'll start with something slightly under the child's level, get them to explain it to me (means I get to see exactly what's going on) and then move the difficulty up from there - quite a lot of the calls I get are when the first Y6 maths homework of the year goes home and utter terror sets in with "I can't do this"... sometimes from both kids AND parents I have to say! If I'm doing simpler level work to build confidence I tend to crank the difficulty up quite quickly though - and usually build on it within the lesson in question.

jamaisjedors Fri 24-Sep-10 15:51:43

My mum works for them.

She is an ex-primary teacher.

But as someone said, it is the luck of the draw whether you get a good centre or not.

From what she says they are very well-organised with their programmes etc.

MayorNaze Fri 24-Sep-10 15:55:12

dd1 did this for 9 months last - maths and english both remedial

lady in charge marvellous. v passionate and enthusiastic

dd loved it

our centre seemed to have a lot of g&t kids being pushed as oppose to remedial kids being helped but i think that was just the nature of the territory so to speak

i would give it a try

tell Mon 01-Oct-12 18:37:32

I am just wondering whether to enrol my asperger syndrome boy aged nearly 13 onto a kip mcgrath programme. He is behind (using their australian tests) in both maths and english. I do not want to waste money but his education is important. The school will not give him a group of 1:5 or 1:1 and I do believe that he will benefit from this, but I need reassurance that this step will be the right one.

Thoughts please

LittenTree Wed 03-Oct-12 14:44:32

DS2 did Kip English for a year.

I personally think it helped him a lot. The 1:4 or 5 worked in that the teacher sets a task for each DC, then leaves them to have a go at it, helping where necessary, then goes through the answers with the DC, correcting and advising, so it's not pressured in the way a 1:1 might be.

He was tested before and again afterwards, albeit by them so yes, it could be in their interests to 'cheat' but we got to see all the questions with DS's answers and how they were marked. DS improved a lot but I cannot be absolutely sure we can attribute that just to Kip as he was in Y6 with teachers focussing on their borderline SATS DC, plus DS may well have risen up to the challenge as he was given this 'special treatment', iyswim. But it certainly wouldn't have hindered him!

He didn't really complain about going and liked the reward system, and his teacher was a nice, approachable bloke.

I have only heard anecdotally about Kumon, and confess it sounds boring as bat ordure, but horses for courses!

parms3000 Tue 16-Sep-14 11:20:58

I sent my son to a Kip Mcgraph center in Bradford(The one just of manchester road).

I had numerous discussions about my son eventually taking the 11+. They were well aware of this 6 months prior because I discussed the school selection with them on numerous occasions.

I even have text message where I sent them school preferences.

When it came to the tests it turned out that he was completely un-prepared. They had not done any of the 11+ preparation.

A week before the test the tutor started the training. It was too late.

On realisation of this I cancelled my sons classes and asked for an immediate refund on the remaining classes.

Be very vigilant whoever you take you kid/s to. Its important for you as a parent to know what you are expecting from the centers and make them justify the kids progress every few months.

TheNightingale Wed 17-Dec-14 15:15:46

Thanks to KipMcGrath maths tutors for reassuring me that she my daughter was capable of sitting a higher grade

I spoke to KipMcGrath at the time I was wondering how to approach my child's school about her maths exams registration.

I got some great advice here from mumsnet and also with some support from this private maths tutor Kip McGrath.

In the end the school asked me to pay to register her to sit the higher level; and her result for this maths exam came at A grade.

I can understand why parents are keen to hold this debate; it can be very stressful for children to be put through a rigorous exam and their parents to find ways of helping them to overcome exams preparations. My advise is - do follow-up tutorials and ask school or private tutors for regular feed backs.

Thank you all

skinnyamericano Wed 17-Dec-14 15:24:16

We have had fantastic results with Kip McGrath. My DC have gone from being behind in maths to being ahead and, most importantly, super-confident in the subject. It only took around a term, but we have continued as they enjoy it and it gives them such great confidence.

Certainly worth a shot.

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