What do you think of Kumon?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by orangetea, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Feb 26, 2012

    Kumon is a math/reading learning center based on repetition. Students do one packet of work everyday.
    I used to do Kumon, and it was incredibly helpful for me, but also torture. But I will say that Kumon did help my math skills so much and raised my confidence because I was horrible at math in elementary. I also used to work there in high school, and it seemed like the kids hated it.
    I was just wondering what elementary educators think of this program. Do you think it is beneficial or not?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sounds like you already know a lot about it. I think it is a very poor way to teach reading. The math component is a bit better, and should be reserved for children really struggling with math facts. Though, it is very poor in getting children to understand the concepts of math. It is even more out of date with what is expected in the common core. I would never suggest Kumon reading and only suggest Kumon math as a last resort. There are far better ways to learn math facts online now.
     
  4. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Thanks for your insight. I was just wondering because my aunt is asking about Kumon for her 7 year old. She asked me because I'm a teacher, but I don't know much about elementary education.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have limited experience with Kumon.

    My neighbor put her children there for help when they were struggling in elementary school. She thought it was worth the $$$ it cost. I think it helped the girls tremendously. However, I think it helped because it forced the girls to actually do their homework. Normally Mom was the biggest distraction from their studies when they got home and she could not help with even the most basic problems.

    The other "experience" I have is that all of my high-achieving Asian students have small Kumon pencil sharpeners :)
     
  6. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    I have seen it really improve the instant recall skills for basic math facts, but not actually seen it make much of a difference for problem solving.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I don't know about the reading part of it, but I have had a couple of students who struggled greatly in math, and both went to Kumon and it really helped. One of my students is a current student, so he is still going there.
     
  8. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I went to a program exactly like Kumon as a child and I agree that it was absolute torture at the time. It does work as long as you know the basics of a concept, because all you do there is practice over and over. There just isn't too much instruction involved for new things. This does make it great for math facts as someone mentioned above.
     
  9. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Thanks guys. So the general consensus is that Kumon reading is bad, and that Kumon math can be helpful for facts, not concepts.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    It sounds a lot like Sylvan. I think it will depend on the kid if he/she gets anything out of it. When I applied there (but unfortunately I could not work their hours) I saw a lot of kids working hard and also a lot of kids looking bored and not wanting to do anything. It might help in general if the student is getting the 1:1 or small group attention and, as someone mentioned, less distractions from mom or whatever it is at home that is keeping them from getting their work done.
     
  11. asnmdirteha

    asnmdirteha New Member

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    Oct 10, 2014

    Try Beestar!

    I understand that Kumon has its perks and benefits with helping my daughter on her arithmetic but the worksheets got tedious. After a few test trials I noticed she stopped trying to even complete the worksheets. The repetitiveness of the worksheets got her so exhausted I was unable to get her to be interested in them anymore! I asked her teachers and also her after-school enrichment programs and they all recommended me to try out Beestar. I gave it a try and although we still have to weed out some of the less interesting worksheets for her she thoroughly enjoys them and likes the challenge!
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    This was not my experience working at Sylvan at all. I found that the students found most of the materials engaging, and were motivated by the reward system. My favorite Sylvan program is the study skills one, which gives organizational help and help learning how to learn in addition to just helping with homework. I also liked that the materials didn't look like little kid things for the lower level skills that high school students were working on.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I wonder if the premise is based off of the Japanese cram school model.
     
  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I know of Kumon from the sign, which I always found very odd: instead of a smiley face, it is the grim straight-mouth sign (not unlike this :mellow:) which I suppose is telling from what I'm hearing.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The math to me seems very drill drill drill.....
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Actually, Japan completely rejects Kumon. That is why, the creator of it brought it to the United States. Japan sits students in groups and uses lots of creative learning. A Japanese elementary school can be a noisy place. There is a lot of critical thinking and problem solving.

    I think you might be referring to China that does do most things by cramming and rote memorization.
     

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