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

(1000 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?

Hulababy Sun 17-Jun-12 16:08:49

Very sad at the thought of a pre schooler crying at having to learn maths. Why put a little child through that. I mean - why?!

If you want to develop confidence I agree with others - drama. Can work wonders and it is a much better form of confidence that can then be applied to all areas, not just specifics such as Maths.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 16:09:07

They don't cry when I say who wants to do a maths job with me iyatoda ...

yes a crazy confused world where three year olds are sent to Kumon hmm

Hulababy Sun 17-Jun-12 16:10:31

Oh - children cry at school. But not over being forced to work. School, esp reception, just doesn't work like that. Ever heard of learn through play? A far more pleasant experience that, surprise surprise, appears to get good results too!

And we are not even talking of a school age child here - these are toddlers, 3 year olds for goodness sake - only just no longer babies!!!

Rockpool Sun 17-Jun-12 16:12:46

iya they're supposed to focus on the playing part at 3 and at 4 and I do believe 5 even 6. Kids learn the most from play and in the early years all develop at their own rate.

They have the rest of their school years for w/ss and will learn 100 times more at anything with practical,fun activities.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:12:53

and made that law?

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:13:20

who made that law because I have never heard of it.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 16:15:07

Have you heard of EYFS? It's the statutory curriculum for England (so the law)

Hulababy Sun 17-Jun-12 16:18:43

EYFS is statutory for all providers for children to age 5y I believe - so that includes school (state and primary) reception years, pre schools, nurseries, etc.

Rockpool Sun 17-Jun-12 16:19:43

mrz beat me to it.EYFS even childminders have to follow it.Any settings not following it(pre schools included)or say making 3 year olds sit and do w/s would get slated in an OFSTED inspection.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:21:51

Learning through play hasn't worked for my son. he was disruptive in his setting. He is 4.6 now and what a joy to teach!! the children that were his cohorts in being disruptive 8 months ago are still getting the time out and naughty corner. So 8 months did not 'mature' them and they propably will go on to be disruptive in school.

Like I said, I am a PROACTIVE parent not a oh 'he is just a baby' and then 3 years down the line chasing the SEN provision in school or worse still coming here to seek advise from you lot. Who will then suggest special needs. No thank you.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 16:23:10

If he's 4.6 he's still learning through play because he is EYFS

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Jun-12 16:24:15


The thing is, iyatoda, is that you can do lots and lots MORE BENEFICIAL maths with your child at home than Kumon could possibly provide - and none of it would involve your child sitting and learning with you, most of it would be free, and all of it would be fun...

Do you, for example:
- Cook together (reading the numbers on the scales)
- lay the table together (everyone needs two plates, count out how many you need altogether)
- Play board games involving dice (the Orchard Toys games are brilliant for this Bus Stop is great for simple addition and subtraction, especially if you talk all the time about how many people are on each bus etc).
- Count things (anything, from apples to stepping stones, from steps to school to cats you pass as you walk along)
- Read numbers (numbers are everywhere. Read them with your child, and discuss them - house numbers on a walk are brliiant for all kinds of maths investigations, number plates on cars are good for reading bigger numbers and e.g. adding all the digits together.)

Not a worksheet or a tear in sight, but some open-ended maths that can challenge every child ...

Hamishbear Sun 17-Jun-12 16:24:55

It's very popular with local children in Singapore, they all seem to be very good at maths. It's good as a tool IMO, you need to be quick with tables etc in order to do maths problems later on. Agree it doesn't help with understanding etc but I'd expect all of that to come from school. Not having to even think about the answer to 7x8 or 9x5 by the age of 7 or 8 is very advantageous IMO. Apparently our school recommend it as an add on for some children.

I think the discipline is good too, the idea that there's a non negotiable 10 minutes where a child has to work isn't a bad thing IMO. It will help when homework becomes part of their lives. Providing there is lots of other play going on etc it won't do harm. It's 10 minutes a day.

CecilyP Sun 17-Jun-12 16:25:45

That's more than a little bit presumptious on your part, iyatoda.

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Jun-12 16:26:53

(Oh, and this is definitely not 'just maths for babies'. DS, before starting school, could read the 4,5 and 6 digit numbers he saw on e.g. lamp-posts, and could work out how many houses would be on each side of the road if the final number on one side was 54, for example)

insanityscratching Sun 17-Jun-12 16:28:10

Save your money, go to the park, count the swings, the steps on the slide, write numbers in the sand pit. Bake cakes and biscuits let them weigh and measure, decorate with smarties they've counted,make numbers with the dough, play dominoes, snakes and ladders, orchard toys have some nice number based games, play shops, get out and about point out numbers on buses and doors and road signs,let them help with shopping "how many apples do we need for our family?" "oh no daddy doesn't like red apples so we need one less how many is that?" "How many do we need if Grandma and Grandpa come for tea?"
All ways to introduce numbers that are fun but will still get the message across.

Rockpool Sun 17-Jun-12 16:29:46

iya you just can't force it and personally I'd question the setting not him.

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Jun-12 16:31:13

Hamish, having a useful store of number facts at 7 or 8 (which the vast majority of childre will acquire in school anyway) is not the same as sending a 3 or 4 year old to Kumon!

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Jun-12 16:33:07

So iya, your child was disruptive and has now calmed down at school.

He has also done Kumon.

It doesn't necessarily show that Kumon changed his behaviour. It may be completely irrelevant - his behaviour might well have changed without Kumon, it just happened at the same time. Are all the children who have not done Kumon disruptive??

Hamishbear Sun 17-Jun-12 16:34:01

Ah, I'd missed that OP's child was 3/4? Personally I'd do it around 5 and a half at the very earliest.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:34:51

Thank you for breaking it down for me Hamishbear. The discipline to sit down for 10mins a day is sooo worth it. I could'nt do it on my own and needed a 3rd party hence kumon. The cost is irrelevant. Like I said people spend more than that on lifestyle choices and don't get crucified for it.

I do not usually contribute but the 'are you mad' from Mrz got my goat. How can a parent be mad for wanting to prepare her child whether she spends £50 or not.

Teacherwith2kids, I would have gladly done all those things with DS2 if would participate, he is quite smart and would automatically switch off if I had suggested any fun things to do with numbers or alphabets. I do not get the opposition to worksheets from kumon to be honest.

iyatoda Sun 17-Jun-12 16:37:33

Silly correlation Teacher. I did not say kumon is a cure all, in fact if you read all my post I said its not for everyone. But it helped me when I needed it.

mrz Sun 17-Jun-12 16:38:28

what do you imagine are you preparing your child for iyatoda?

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Jun-12 16:41:05

Could you explain why I am silly to have suggested that there might be no correlation (except of timing), while you are not silly to have suggested that there is?

You cited as evidence in your own support that those who have not done Kumon are disruptive, which is why I asked the question?

Vickiplum79 Sun 17-Jun-12 16:44:14

I would do lots of life based maths, baking, shopping,measuring, playing with money, shape games,sharing and lots of ( laying the table dividing sweets), talking about time, halving and doubling and enjoy your time together. I also completely agree that reading would give a massive confidence boost.All things others have suggested and seem wise.

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