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Math with Kumon
updated: Feb 14, 2013, 1:10 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

I'm interested in hearing reviews from parents who are using Kumon for math. Are you using it to supplement public school for an advanced student or to catch up to grade level? Pros and cons? I'm also interested in hearing feedback from teachers who have students using it. Thanks!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 374402 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:50 PM

I passed because their rates are ridiculous.

We opted to use Kahn Academy, online. It's self-directed, so it may not be for everyone. However, my child went from a solid C to A in less than a semester.

Oh, and the best bit? Kahn Academy is free.


 COMMENT 374403P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:50 PM

Do not know anything about Kumon, but before I try a paid service I would try Kahn Acadamy. It is online - www.khanacademy.org - and free. I have heard amazing things about it both for catch up and advanced students. Even Bill Gates uses it with his kids from what I hear :-).


 COMMENT 374406 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 01:52 PM

I used it for a 3rd grader with high functioning autism for 6 months. We went to the one on State & Los Positas. My child was about a year behind on math. My child did not improve at all. He continued week after week with "+3's" work sheets. As he never scored 100% on quizzes, he was never advanced. We faithfully did the worksheets nightly which was somewhat painful for him & us. The atmosphere felt like a "puppy mill"--overcrowded kids sitting at tables with tutors that weren't really there to tutor but to check work. Two years later, my child is getting A's & B's in math with a heck of a lot of hard work and Lindamood Bell. Not only was Kumon not helpful, it sapped the joy right out of learning and it eroded our child's faith in us as we promised our child Kumon would definitely help. That said, if you have a kid that learns best with rote memorization and grilling, it might be ok but not if your child learns a little different.


 COMMENT 374444 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:50 PM

You are better off getting a one-on-one tutor that is a good match for your child.


 COMMENT 374445 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 02:51 PM

Don't get me started. Great way to get kids to hate math. It's not even math. It's enforced drudge work. If you want them to learn assembly line work at a young age, I guess it's good training. It must work for something, since it's been around so long, but instilling joy and love of mathematics? No.


 COMMENT 374465 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 03:13 PM

OP here - in our case we would be using it to get an accurate, advanced learner's math facts mastered more quickly. I've read some really mixed reviews online at the national level, but work with kids in the classroom. The highest performers are all doing Kumon and do not hate doing math. I wouldn't even have considered Kumon but for that, plus the fact that our highly respected teacher recommended it. I appreciate the feedback on other sources / workbooks too that we can use at home.


 COMMENT 374519 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 04:36 PM

Like with anything, Kumon is not a fit for all kids. It requires work everyday, and some kids dont do well with that regime, and some parents dont do well with it either. It is 100% skills only. first you add one digit without carrying, then you get to carry.....then you get 2 digits...then two digits without carrying. It is all skills, no frills. It is not designed for kids with learning disabilities such as autism....but Lindamood Bell is. As a math teacher, I have seen some kids thrive using the Kumon method, and others find it a burden. I would suggest that if Kumon is chosen, then let it be the only extra thing your kids does afterschool...because it takes a lot of thought and brainwork, and it is exhausting for kids. Learning facts takes time....not sure why the OP wants to do that more quickly....


 COMMENT 374522 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 04:37 PM

Hi, we used Kumon for about 3 years for both our boys, to strengthen their math facts and accuracy. I honestly could not see any measurable results. They were both very strong in math, but it's so independent and self-directed - they expect the kids to do all the work, and then each week they correct the work. It's very repetitive, and it did become a chore, or drudgery, to the point where we had to bribe them to do it. We didn't feel for what we got out of it, that it was worth the money. I agree with Kahn academy, and there are other very valuable math resources online for students. Save your money for the serious stuff- like prepping for the SAT.


 COMMENT 374533 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 04:56 PM

google math magician. Its a fun way to memorize facts and its FREE


 COMMENT 374536 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 05:04 PM

I love Kumon for my daughter. It has helped us to instill a better study habit at home. It has helped her to get caught up to her class level (she fell behind a year in school because she did not understand the concepts). Go talk to the instructor, they will help you understand the program to see if it will best fit you and your home. For me and my home getting involved with Kumon was the best thing we did. We will continue the program for years to come. The fee is the investment we are making into our child's future.


 COMMENT 374601 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 09:13 PM

Our son did Kumon for a couple of years. Grades 4-6. It was painful at times for him, and more so for us! That said, he improved his math skills a LOT. After Kumon, he found math much easier and was able to do a lot of factoring in his head, because of all the drilling of math facts. They do not move ahead until they have mastered the current level. I can't say that he liked it, in fact it was drudgery at times for our family, but later on he actually thanked us for making him do Kumon!
He's in H.S. now and is doing great in math.


 COMMENT 374607P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-14 10:41 PM

My children went to Kumon for a couple of years and it was very helpful. For several reasons, they hadn't learned math facts at the appropriate time. So this was remedial work. Once the math facts were mastered, we stopped the lessons. They did very well in junior high & high school math, including AP Calculus. The drills are no more onerous than practicing scales when learning an instrument. They didn't always like it at the time, but now they say they are glad that they did it, as it allowed them to master advanced math far more easily.
One child also needed remedial language work. We did the language program for one year. (I don't know that it's still offered.) It was expensive, but it made a huge difference and helped bring her up to grade level.


 COMMENT 374616 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:24 AM

I have been using the Jumpmath workbooks with my daughters ever since I read an article on their math program in the NY Times ( google it) a couple of years ago. I love their teaching method and although my girls don't jump for joy (weak attempt, I know...sorry) at my insistence of doing their Jumpmath pages they are both proud of being top math students at school. I have scoured Bennets and the internets for other math learning materials and not come up with anything that comes close. I am a true believer. I know little of kumon other than what I've read online...that is increadibly boring and joyless. If you would like to discuss further feel free to give a call. 805 705-0445


 COMMENT 374620P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:52 AM

Math requires an understanding and love of logic. Teach and instill that; and math becomes enjoyable. Art requires an understanding and love of aesthetics,....etc.
I have a relative who says that kimono has helped her daughter tremendously with all aspects of school.
I remember that the best education I ever received was in an all boys Episcopal school back East. They taught discipline and how to learn and study, not specific facts to memorize. That having been said, memorization of fundamentals of math until you no longer even need to think about them is absolutely necessary to advance in mathematics.


 COMMENT 498134 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-26 07:19 PM

I sent DD to kumon for help when she's struggling in math. I think it helped tremendously. However, I think it helped because it forced kids to actually do their homework. It's a pity that DD can't bear the heavy work. Then we switch to this site beestar. Her teacher recommended it, full of all real life word problems, challenging stuff to help her thinking. So far so good.


 COMMENT 499550P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-03 08:20 AM

ALEKS is an online program. Can use w parent assist or a tutor. Created by Univeesity of California and McGraw Hill. It has advanced my children far more than kumon. Kumon is good exercise but this teaches real math in an interesting way and is much faster paced than school. I had a 5th grader get through California core curriculum in 5th,6th then traditional alegbra 1 (a middle school or freshman high school course), high school geometry all in 8 months! He had a tutor for the last half of that time but what An amazing program! Future of education.


 COMMENT 567988 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-11-08 03:51 PM

I taught an enrichment program for a few months and tried using Kumon for the students. They did not enjoy the tedious and boring questions and started to despise the worksheets. I then was told to try a website called Beestar. The students loved the different math worksheets I provided. It really increased their interest in the subject and gave them challenging questions. I was also able to choose various levels to better suit the needs of my students. Not only is Beestar free there are also multiple subjects for me to teach them and help with their weaknesses in class.


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