KUMON MATHS ADVISE NEEDED(12 Posts)
Does anyone send their child to Kumon Maths? DD is in year 7 - she is in the top set for maths and does well with class and home work, however, when she sits tests she does not do to well. Her teacher said she needs to revise before tests by going over and re doing the work not just reading it. Therefore would Kumon help or should I just buy self study books to do at home?? Any advise would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
Hi olivebranch. I don't think Kumon maths would be good for your dd. My dd has always struggled with maths and I found Kumon very helpful for her as it kept repeating the basics until she got them. Her main problem was that the class had moved on to another topic before she had understood the one she was studying. She is now happily on the middle table (year 5) which is great news. If you are good at maths I think you would find Kumon repetitive and boring.
I would have thought practising test papers at home and getting your dd used to exam technique would be more useful. My dd tends to do fairly well in exams (better than her natural ability!) and I think that is down to the fact that I have often spoken to her about the need to read all the questions, always try and write something and move through the paper at a steady pace. Also some people tend to panic and this will get better with age and experience.
Hi Caroline - this was what I suspected so I'm really glad you answered my thread. Thing is she is only 11yrs (Aug birthday) so she is doing very well holding her own against girls already 12. I just don't want her to lose heart. I think your idea of sitting the test papers a good exercise. Many thanks for your advise.
It would be useful to know exactly what goes wrong in the tests she does at school. I'd say, if she is making arithmetic slips under pressure, or is simply working too slowly then Kumon could be helpful - it is good at improving speed and accuracy of basic arithmetic. However, if the problems arising are more to do with not reading the questions properly or understanding exactly what the question is asking, then Kumon wont help much imo. My guess is that her problems are more likely to be the later type, but not necesarily.
Maths needs lots and lots of practice (remember learning your times tables). Kumon is one way to provide this practice, but it comes at a price. The best way to revise for a test is to do previous papers - and at her level there are always plenty of exercises in the text book that she will not have done for homework. My DS had problems that he could do the work when it was being taught but soon forgot it when his set went on to the next topic. He improved with some sympathetic tuition and lots of practice so that all the rules/techniques etc were deeply embedded in his mind.
My DD did Kumon from the age of 5 till 11, I instigated it because she was good at maths and enjoyed it. Although it seems to start slowly, the more understanding and ability the child has, the more quickly they rise through the levels (not always possible in school, which aren't always able or willing to accelerate an able child to the point where they are being stretched as much as an average child.)
DD is now 18, has a place at Oxford for October, and has always felt entirely confident with Maths, something I feel is due in part to Kumon. My summary would be:
It's a long-term commitment - you may feel it starts too slowly and too easily
Children are not that keen to do it - even my maths-loving DD was not enthusiastic when her worksheets came out every day - even though the work should take no longer than 20 mins or so - and NOW she can see it was worthwhile
It doesn't cover every aspect of maths - but is brilliant at ensuring facility with both simple and complex calculation (and thus giving great confidence to tackle problem-solving)
It does very successfully (after the early months) give any child the chance to work at a level she is capable of, despite her age - even if this means quadratic equations at 9. Evaluation and assessment is continuous and always with an eye to moving the child on when ready.
It is VERY expensive - but I'd say it does offer something you will get nowhere else, it's likely you just won't have the discipline or inclination to achieve what Kumon can by working on your own with your child.
So overall I'd say if you can afford it and are ready and willing to keep your child doing it daily despite some reluctance, and if you won't get impatient and expect short-term results, it's well worth it. (I wouldn't say the same about Kumon English, which we also tried, and I felt just doesn't lend itself as a subject to the Kumon system the way maths does.)
Thanks everyone for your responses. We sent an e-mail to her maths teacher and he said DD is doing fine and her focus is good - but suggested that she studied before tests (although she has said they don't often get warning of a test). That to study for maths is not done by reading over notes and work but by actually doing the work over and over again. He said that the bottom line was that there was nothing to worry about.
I've been quoted from the Kumon teacher £45.00 a month including two half hour drop in sessions a week and the daily work sheets.
I find the whole thing stressful because I'm torn between trying not to appear to be the pushy educational driven mother to taking a more laid back approach and letting her go at her own pace. However, I don't want her to slip in her maths its too important a subject. Any advice welcome, perhaps I'm just too close to the situation to see it clearly especially as she is my first child at secondary school.
I hesitate to butt into a conversation about Kumon, but by September there may be another option for you and your DD. MathsWhizz website here currently goes up to Year 7 but have said that Years 8 & 9 should be ready for September. Take a look at the demo. If you like what your see (and your DD can try some sample exercises) then this code,
will get you a discount on your first month or an annual subscription. If you want to know more I'd be pleased to tell you.
Hi Olivebranch. Have you spoken to yr dd about this? It might be worth asking her what she thinks will help and whether she is struggling with a particular area. Given that she does well with class work and home work it really sounds to me like she is panicking in exam situations. Perhaps it might help if you try and analyse with her why she finds exams particularly difficult in this area??
Thanks for your help I will ask DD to have a look at the website later to see what she thinks.
Hi Caroline - yes we have spoken to DD and she says she doesn't know why she is doing badly in her tests. Tiredness may be playing a small part in this - she goes to bed at 9 pm and quite often we will go up at 10.30 and she will be reading under the covers, then she's up at 7am looking like a zombie.
As we know maths is a very mental subject and she has said that you have to really think sometimes about working out the answer. When asked about how she thinks she's doing, she feels she is doing just fine and her exercise and homework books confirm this.
MathsWhizz has a revision bit for tests so that they can practise particular things. Might help?
The MathsWhizz looks good. I have two children can you use the discount code for each child for the first month?
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