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Kumon startegy

(50 Posts)
Robindrama Thu 17-Nov-16 13:30:24

My y4 DD started kumon in sept. Both English and Maths, both from level 2a ( basic skills - eg Maths addition one digit numbers). The tutor suggested that she needs to reinforce those basic skills to be fluent later on. Fine, no problems with that.
However as time goes by I noticed that she is now given half of a set per day ( standard is 10 per day, she is given 5) in both subjects. In Maths she repeats sets.
I am getting a bit upset now, as I am paying so much for it and there is no indication she needs to slow down: generally 100% correct, sometimes, 1-2 mistakes per set, great timing.
I am happy with my child's attitude and I can see the positive results but on the other hand I seem to be ripped off. I spoke with the tutor and I can understand his approach but I am not sure how honest he is...
Can you please share your experience? Do your kids follow the tables as in the programme?

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:32:57

My DS2 has about 10 sides (5 sheets) per day. He's nearly at the end of level E. It is supposed to take about 12-15 minutes

The time your daughter takes will be taken into consideration when deciding how many sheets to give her.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:33:47

Surely she should be past addition of 1 digit numbers by year 4 though?

mouldycheesefan Thu 17-Nov-16 13:34:48

Do maths factor online instead

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:36:58

I have to say that whilst I was very sceptical it really does work. DS2 is a mental maths whizz now. He can tell you how many 17s in [random large number] in a flash whilst DH and I are still reaching for the pencil and paper to work it out.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 13:37:06

I think Kumon is waste of money, since there's no teaching and just repetition.
As pp said, online stuff is far better.

Robindrama Thu 17-Nov-16 13:52:55

I have no problem with repetition, I am also not that keen on online study. Pen and paper at this stage is fine.
I spoke with the teacher and he said he expects 5 Maths sets to be done within max 15 min - it takes my dd 6-7 minutes. He agreed to give her 10 sets per day ( she is in the middle of level B), but still repeats sets sad
English - no repetition but half a set ( middle of B1).

mouldycheesefan Thu 17-Nov-16 13:54:27

With the online you get a tutorial showing you what to do. That's what we find helpful.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 13:59:09

If you are happy, it's great. But you know you can buy Kumon worksheets from amazon?
I just don't see the point of going there, do the repetition work without any teaching, and pay a lot of money.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:06:44

what do you mean by a "maths set"? One side? One page both sides?

He either doesn't think she's quick enough yet/making too many errors or else he's trying to drag it out. You need to speak to him.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:08:23

The kumon books on amazon are not the same as the booklets they use in the lessons.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 14:25:02

atticusclaw2, I actually know that, since my nephew used to go there.
I am intrigued, why is kumon so good?
To me, it only makes you better with mental maths, but not problem solving or other important skills.
If I made my ds do that everyday, he would definitely start hating maths.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 14:46:22

I don't know why it works but the repetition makes the skills stick. Mental maths is important for everything.

Six months of kumon has made a massive difference for DS2.

I do agree that there is very little teaching and contact time.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 15:09:34

I agree mental maths skill is really important. Gives children confidence. But that's not enough, I think.

I have seen a post on parenting forum from my native country recently, dc was 2/3 years ahead at kumon but failing miserably at school maths. Parent didn't know why. Posters' answer was in unison. Kumon don't actually teach maths skills. Being quick at calculation gives an illusion that the child is good at maths in early years, but as years go by, it doesn't actually translate to be good at maths in later years.

If you like pencil and paper, doing few pages of workbooks(not kumon) at home is better, imo.

wanderings Thu 17-Nov-16 15:16:44

One important maths skill (reflected in GCSE exam questions) is using maths to ^solve problems^; in particular deciding which piece of maths you need. From what I have seen of Kumon, there is not much of this. Some pupils who are very quick at mental arithmetic struggle to get full marks with problem-solving questions, because they don't write down all their working; they do a lot in their head.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:31:34

I'm not sure how you can say a workbook is better than a Kumon workbook.

Anyway, I am not saying it is the holy grail, I am simply answering the OP's question about Kumon. Most people will come on here and say Kumon is a waste of time and many people will have formed that opinion without trying it.

What I can say is that I was also sceptical but we are struggling with DS2 and his retention. He was understanding in class but then forgetting things by the time he was tested a few weeks later. He has done it for about six months now. It has helped no end and he is now in the top set. He is currently multiplying decimals by fractions very quickly without any errors e.g. 0.247 x 1/56. It costs £6 a session (2x week) and so for us it is very affordable.

I agree that the Kumon method encourages them to skip stages and not write down their workings but I have told DS2 that this is a bad idea and that he will not get the maximum points in school if he adopts this approach.

Clearly you wouldn't want a child to have learnt all of their maths through the Kumon method and I agree it is a bit boring. But it can give a very solid mathematical foundation and is helpful to those who are struggling.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:32:31

DS2 is in Year 5 btw.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 17-Nov-16 15:40:48

"He is currently multiplying decimals by fractions very quickly without any errors e.g. 0.247 x 1/56"

But that's not something that would ever be useful to anyone?

247/56 is worth knowing it's about 4.5
and it's worth knowing how you can make that 0.0045 to get close to the original. But it's not worth knowing how to do that sum quickly, it's not a skill that's tested, it's a waste of opportunity that could've been spent doing something else.

Maybe Kumon is great, but if you're selling it on such pointless parlour gamesm you're not selling it.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:54:30

How is it not useful to be able to convert fractions to decimals and vice versa multiply fractions and decimals and reduce fractions. Its basic maths skills. Hardly a parlour game hmm and certainly something that they will cover in school.

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 15:56:48

I'm really not selling it anyway. I was trying to help the OP with her query and simply then addressing the comments about it being crap.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 17-Nov-16 16:20:18

You said he was calculating 0.247 * 1/56 - there's no "converting fractions to decimals" in that sum. Either you do it with a calculator, or you do 247 / 56 in your head and then account for the 1000. Converting 1/56 to 0.0178571429 doesn't get you anywhere.

Those numbers are not basic maths skills - the basic maths skills are with simpler numbers and understanding the concept enough that you could answer it. Actually being able to is pointless.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 16:25:28

I don't think it's crap. I do think it's enough though.
For workbooks, kumon ones has its place, but other ones normally covers other skill not just calculation, that's all.

Can he actually calculate those even if it was presented in word problem form? If so, it's quite impressive.

irvineoneohone Thu 17-Nov-16 16:27:11

It's not enough though

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 16:32:03

That particular sum was just an example off the top of my head, it might just have easily been 0.368 x 7/29

He has to convert the fraction to a decimal
multiply the decimals


convert the decimal to the fraction (which is what he was doing yesterday)
multiply the fraction having reduced it down using the cross reduction method (using mental multiplication skills)
reduce the fraction answer right down as far as it will go
change it to whole numbers plus the fraction if it's a top heavy fraction

and yes each section has problem solving questions too (although there could be more IMO)

I'm pleased with his progress anyway. He's become far more confident in his ability which makes all the difference

atticusclaw2 Thu 17-Nov-16 16:38:32

and I agree that the skill can gained by doing 0.4 x 3/9. They start off like that and then get more complicated to show the child that its just a method and that whether they are presented with a simple looking sum or a complex one, all they have to do is follow the same method and they'll get there. They shouldn't be worried about how complicated it looks.

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