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If your child has done Kumon, could you please answer a question for me?

(11 Posts)
Earlybird Mon 21-Sep-09 15:26:00

DD likes maths very much, but is not currently challenged at school in the subject (been this way for quite a while, and the school is unhelpful with providing her with differentiated work). I've wondered if Kumon might be the answer.

Is Kumon mainly (only?) geared for the child who needs extra assistance to reinforce what they are being taught in the classroom? Or could Kumon be stimulating for the child who would like more of a challenge than school is currently offering?

I realise this could be creating a rod for my own (and dd's) back as any stimulation/advancement offered by Kumon could make school maths seem even more boring to dd.

Any advice and/or suggestions?

overmydeadbody Mon 21-Sep-09 15:28:00

Sounds like your DD would benefit from Kumon. I understand it as being for kids who enjoy it and want more challenging stuff on it as well as for kids who are struggling.

SpaceNoodle Mon 21-Sep-09 15:36:32

I did Kumon myself about 15 years ago, and then worked at the centre until about 6/7 years ago. I wasn't particularly struggling with maths, my mum suggested I started it to help my confidence, which it did a lot. I'm sure the instructor would be happy to find a level for your DD which would challenge her and keep her interest in maths going. I did Kumon up until the equivalent of A Level maths, because I was doing it at college, so there is plenty for your DD to be going on with! And if she starts to get bored of it, then just pack it in. But I'm pretty sure the instructor will be flexible for your DD and will do what is right for her - you are paying after all. It's worth getting in touch with your local centre and asking the question anyway!
I think Kumon gets some bad press - it's very much associated with pushy parents, but it's one of the best things my mum did for me, so I would say go for it. The instructors I knew were so lovely and helpful, I can't imagine they would object to using Kumon as a way of encouraging and nurturing an interest in maths as opposed to it being a "support" for children who are struggling.

AtheneNoctua Wed 07-Oct-09 22:57:56

I'm a bit late to this. But my DD takes Kumon math. I've talked to quite a few parents and I think Kumon is much better for getting ahead and challenging a student who isn't being challenged at school than it is for a student who is behind and struggling.

I also think early is the time to start Kumon (year 1 or earlier).

notanidea Thu 08-Oct-09 22:55:36

Early Bird - How old is your DD. Can you not get some maths books and help her do it rather than doing kumon if she is young.

We were in the same situation - she is in year 4.This is what we did -We did lot of maths with carol voderman/gold stars maths book you can get from WH Smith.She did lot more than what the school was doing and when she was in the middle of year 2 we started doing kumon and she is nearly on the same level or if not better than who started in reception.I do agonise whether this is the right thing but it has certainly helped her confidence and the speed with which she solve problems as her basic maths is good.

amicissima Sat 10-Oct-09 11:48:33

My DD did Kumon for several years. She is bright but had no confidence in her maths ability - just assumed she wouldn't be able to do any problem.

The instructor assessed her and then set work just below the level she was working at to make sure she had the basics well and truly covered. This was good because at school they can move on from a topic too quickly for some children, who never really master it. It meant that she moved on with the Kumon level very quickly and that she thought Kumon was easy, both of which were good for her morale.

Kumon is arithmetic, rather than maths, IYSWIM, but leaves a child very competent and confident at the arithmetic, so they know what to do when they've worked out what the maths problem is. It involves a 10 minute worksheet every day, which you have to mark (there are answer books at the higher levels!) and the child moves at his/her own speed, with lots of rewards for acheivement.

It worked very well as support for my DD, but I did notice that some of the children at the centre were working at quite high levels for their ages, far beyond what I would expect a school to offer, and were obviously loving being stretched and meeting the challenge. They were also able to discuss their work, in as much depth as they wanted, with the instructor.

LouIsAWeetbixKid Sat 10-Oct-09 11:53:03

I did Kumon as a child (well about 20 years ago) and it did help me with my basic math skills but found it of no use when I reached high school. I did not like doing the worksheets though. Even today you can find folded up long division exercise sheets in various famous five and babysitter club books at my parents house blush

snorkie Sat 10-Oct-09 13:28:55

kumon is supposed to be geared to the whole ability range. Dd did it for a couple of years on the advice of an ed psych & it really helped her with number bonds & tables which she was struggling with. Ds who is extremely able in maths & like your dd not really challenged at school begged to do it too, but it didn't really work for him - he lasted about 3 weeks! I think the issue may have been that he went in at too low a level (they always do that to build confidence, but in his case it was probably due to his mental arithmetic skills not being as fast as required for kumon), so he ended up doing drills in arithmetic when he wanted to be doing abstract problems/puzzles. I don't know if kumon moves onto that type of thing at the higher levels, but I wouldn't really recommend the endless adding, subtracting, multiplying & dividing sheets for more able children (unless maybe they are very young when they start & so enjoy it).

brimfull Sat 10-Oct-09 13:36:03

about 9 yrs ago I had dd assessed by kumon tutor as she was ?bored ?lacking in confidence?struggling.

Kumon said she was very birght in maths and needed stretching in school. They didn't recommend Kumon for her but told me to see the school.
She's in yr 13 now ,doing A level maths but not a maths genius or anything.

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 06:38:02

This is hardly a scientific sample but I do not know a single child who is not bored to tears by Kumon.

Parents like it because it's old fashioned repetitive stuff they understand, and it feel like "proper" homework, but it's so tedious for children. And you have to do it every day without fail.

The school should provide proper differentiated work - keep pushing to get it rather than paying for Kumon.

noideawhereIamgoing Sun 11-Oct-09 12:45:54

Why don't you encourage your child to do Math puzzles instead. Something like this book will really get those grey cells working, rather that the brain dead repetitive nature of Kumon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Mathematical-Amusement-Arcade/dp/0521269806/ref=sr111?ie =UTF8&s=books&qid=1255261381&sr=1-11

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