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Kumon? yes or no?

(37 Posts)
Malkaperlichka Sat 10-Jan-09 09:06:37

My Dd has been doing Kumon for a year and a half. It has helped her a lot in Maths and English, but I am beginning to have some doubts. The Maths programme is very restrictive and does not teach any problem soving. She is now getting behind at school because of that. We do not have time to do all after school. Has anyone had such an experience?

nametaken Sat 10-Jan-09 13:17:39

Many of my friends say the exact same thing, and not one of them has stuck "with the programme" for more than 18 months.

I enquired about it but felt that as they didn't use qualified teachers to teach that I was just as capable of offering my dcs extra support, for free!

LoveMyLapTop Sat 10-Jan-09 13:23:32

I looked int it for DS2 as he is behind in reading. I was put off by the fact that is a business (franchise) and anyone can buy into it , qualifid or not, I think money would be better spent on a private tutor tbh.

smartiejake Sat 10-Jan-09 20:25:13

Look for a Kip Mcgrath centre. They have fully qualified teachers and the individual programmes they set up for kids are fun. My dd goes to one every week and she loves it.

clutteredup Sat 10-Jan-09 22:23:33

No no no no no !
If your DC really need extra help get a proper qualified tutor who will teach them what they are supposed to know at school. IME Kumon only confuses them.

smartiejake Sun 11-Jan-09 11:25:20

Kip Mcgrath tutors follow the national curriculum so won't confuse your child with the mothods they teach.

cornsilk Sun 11-Jan-09 11:29:58

I also like Kip McGrath. My ds really came on with them.

RockinSockBunnies Sun 11-Jan-09 15:31:22

I'm a big fan of Kumon maths. My DD has been doing it for 16 months so far and it's really helped in terms of her confidence and ability. I think there is a 'luck-of-the-draw' element though, depending on what the Kumon teacher and centre itself is like.

There are children at the place we go to who have been doing Kumon for 5+ years and the levels that they are doing are very impressive (10 year old doing GCSE higher papers for example).

Malkaperlichka Mon 12-Jan-09 12:30:43

Yes, it has helped us a lot, but I have the suspition, that our teacher has intentionally held my dd back to repeat the same papers for about 5 times, although she knew them by heart and did very few errors. She was bored and had not progressed much during that time. I had the feeling that they were just trying to make more money out of us.

amber2 Mon 12-Jan-09 13:15:52

It's a franchise business with a low entry for qualification - I would be wary of it - as far as I know there is no requirement that the franchisee are professional tutors or even qualified teachers, from the one person I know who is a Kumon "teacher" (ok it's a small sample I admit) - it seems to be therefore orientated around repititious rote learning more than anything because that's the least individual and least challenging.....sound like they are just lazily giving test papers over and over to your dd......yes maths should be about problem solving, recommend you get a proper tutor instead.

mumnotarobot Mon 12-Jan-09 22:42:51

how much is the kip mcgrath programme??

elastamum Mon 12-Jan-09 22:47:02

Kumon is great for getting early arithmatic and tables established, the english papers also helped me identify that my DS was dyslexic. We gave it up when we moved as I made a decision to drop all activities that involved driving around after school. Now only have after school clubs and cubs. Lifw is sooo much better!

LunarSea Tue 13-Jan-09 08:33:11

Depending upon where you are there's also Explore Learning as another option.

smartiejake Tue 13-Jan-09 20:54:55

Kip Mcgrath is between £23 and £25 per session depending on how many lessons you book at once.

The more you book the less it costs. The sessions are 80 mins long and the last 5 mins or so are a feed back on how your child has done and to tell you about the homework they have been set.

There are usually 2 or 3 children in the same session but they all work on individual programmes which are set up after an intial free assessment.

chaliepud Fri 06-Feb-09 23:18:07

Hi, how much homework do the children get at Kip McGrath and do you know if you can pay using childcare vouchers?
Many thanks

seeker Sat 07-Feb-09 08:32:41

I know this sounds obvious - but if you are worried about your child's progress have you had a proper conversation with her teacher about it? I do think these schemes often (not always) feed parent's insecurities. Do talk to the school first!

mumstheone Sat 07-Feb-09 12:53:13

Kip McGrath get one piece of homework each week. Its given to see what the child can/cannot do independently. So if homeowrk is too easy/difficult the programme for the following lesson will be changed accordingly. They have qualified teachers and can get down to the real problem. The work is also varied whereas Kumon tend to focus on just one skill for example addition. At Kip McGrath the child is taught to think mathematically and apply skills learnt. So for problem solving the child can figure out if the mathematical operation is + - x or divide.

ABetaDad Sat 07-Feb-09 19:56:17


I have never been involved with Kumon but I know a lot of parents who have.

My view is that if a child has been to school and has a decent teacher and you put an effort in as well to monitor their homework to spot any problem areas then a child should not need to go to Kumon after school as well.

I am not making any judgement about Kumon as an organisation or a teaching method. I just genuinely feel it is unecessary.

Malkaperlichka Sun 08-Feb-09 00:53:27

Our school (state) does not do enough teaching. If we did not do Kumon(Maths and English) I would not know where my Dd is in her knowledge and would not be able to help her.They do not have text books, I do not know what they do at school and Dd does not always remember. I will give you just one eample: Her school teacher (yr2) gave them a homework (2,3,5,10 time tables) for the first time on monday and tested them on friday. We were supposed to learn it at home in just 3days.
The problem with Kumon is that progress is very slow and does not teach the whole curriculum, things such as prolem solving etc. Dd worked hard to complete her Kumon sheets each day,Kumon teacher kept her at addition for 3-4 months, I pleaded with him to move her on to the next level because despite of all hard work, she was behind at school maths as they were already practicing Sats papers.This is why I am now changing to Kip MC.

seeker Sun 08-Feb-09 07:57:29

What do you mean, doesn't do enough teaching? Don't you get a hand out at the beginning of the year telling you what they are going to cover? And presumably they had been working on tables for a while before they were given them to learn?

mumstheone Sun 08-Feb-09 17:17:58

Its a shame that parents have to resort to extra tuition for their children. We didnt have extra help at school and I clearly remember that we only got homework when I started high school.

Extra tuitionis now becoming a fact of life. The trouble is that it is hard to teach your own child so you have get outside help.

My son gets handout at the beginning of each term which lists all the learning obectives. It helps as reference point but no more than that.

seeker Sun 08-Feb-09 21:33:35

But do they ahev to - or do companies like Kumon make them feel they have to?

mumstheone Mon 09-Feb-09 09:17:03

I'm sure that these companies play on parent anxieties - though that is a very big generalisation. It depends on the person running the business. However, they don't put a gun to your head and say that you have to sign up - it is down to parental choice.

Don't schools do that as well? They want to improve their exam results so that they can come up higher in the league tables so they give extra homework to children and put more pressure on them.

Malkaperlichka Mon 09-Feb-09 11:25:29

Yes, we only get hand outs at the beginning of the year, but not each term, so I do not know what they do on a weekly basis.One to one parents evenings are only two: in October, when it is early in the year and at the end, together with the report, when it is too late if the child needed extra help.
We do not HAVE TO do extra work at home or places like Kumon or Kip McGrath, but in our dd's class, children that do not get help at home, are at the bottom. Home work does not do much and yes, I am trying to find the best way to help Ds and prepare her in advance for the very competitive London secondary school scene. I am also extremly unhappy with the standards at her current school, but unable to afford a better one.

Yurtgirl Mon 09-Feb-09 11:31:15

shock £25 AN HOUR is appalling in my opinion!

These are skills they should be learning at school, if they are struggling then the school should differentiate the learning at school in order to help every child - or as a parent help them at home

Save your money or pay for dancing/music/sport classes instead

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