Jump to content

What is your opinion on Kumon?


  • Please log in to reply
114 replies to this topic

#26 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 23 August 2018 - 02:22 PM

Interestingly, our school (large private grammar school Melbourne) did an analysis of its year 12 high achievers one year and found that very few of the kids in the extension groups in year 8 were top performers in maths in Year 12. (Anecdotally, that year 8 group was largely made up of kids who were pushed hard and did a lot of tutoring and Kumon.)

"

My eldest struggled in Math last year in Yr 10, so we ended up getting her a private Tutor, it was way too late by then, that ship had sailed.


She has since dropped Math because it way too hard for her."



I suspect the problem your eldest had though was a lack of understanding of concepts - which is what Kumon does NOT teach.  Maths becomes too hard if children don't really understand the concepts behind it.

#27 annodam

Posted 23 August 2018 - 02:27 PM

^   Is Kumon rote learning?

If it is, my eldest would definitely have benefited if we enrolled her in Kumon earlier (say Yr 7) as she learns best by rote.  Her Tutor last year had minimal success trying to explain concepts etc., & therefore the school did not allow her to undertake any Math subject this year due to her low end of year mark in Math.

#28 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 23 August 2018 - 02:57 PM

I did it 30 years ago. I’ve found the rote learning has stayed with me and been very useful (who would have guessed that knowing your 17 times table would be so useful?). I found that having instant recall of a large number of sums freed my brain up when doing more complex calculations. I’m not a natural at maths, but the rote learning gave me confidence to tackle the more difficult stuff.

It’s not for every kid. But for kids who need more repetition than they got at school, or for kids who love maths and love doing the sheets and want to skip ahead, it’s great.

#29 Magratte

Posted 23 August 2018 - 03:01 PM

Thank you for all your responses.

Annodam’s response made me think. I assumed, incorrectly that math would be taught at school to the child’s best ability. It was like that in my days (very long time ago). Private tutors were used for musical instruments, sports, dancing, visual arts, etc.

These days math tutoring is used for 1 struggling children to catch up, 2 get ahead of others.

Which disadvantages children from low social economic background.

#30 jayskette

Posted 23 August 2018 - 03:35 PM

I love Kumon not because of the subjects or even the teaching but because it instils discipline. Also yes not everything need to be done from rote but timestables absolutely.

#31 Hands Up

Posted 23 August 2018 - 05:25 PM

I did it as a child. My mental arithmetic is still very good as an adult and I find it handy. I’ve always been good at practical maths (accounts, shopping etc) and found economics, accounting etc easy at school and uni. I work in a role now where basic maths is extremely important and I really enjoy working with numbers in a practical sense.

It didn’t help me with trigonometry or algebra though. I had a tutor in grade eleven and twelve to get me the B- I required for my university course.

#32 just roses

Posted 23 August 2018 - 05:35 PM

I think personalised tutoring is much better.

DS was below average at the end of last year. I spoke to his teacher about where his weaknesses were. Then I found a tutor. She’s a maths teacher. And follows the Australian curriculum while working on what DH needs help with. His mid year report has him at above average. She is a wonderful tutor. We do an hour a week.

Kumon will do bugger all unless your child’s only need is repetition. If they have particular learning needs, Kumon won’t address them.

#33 liveworkplay

Posted 23 August 2018 - 07:32 PM

Quote

Kumon is just worksheets, worksheets, worksheets.  Drills, rote and repetition.

This. It is not going to help them understand concepts which in the long run they need to be able to move forward. You would be much better off paying for a private tutor if your child is really struggling.

#34 liveworkplay

Posted 23 August 2018 - 07:35 PM

 jayskette, on 23 August 2018 - 03:35 PM, said:

Also yes not everything need to be done from rote but timestables absolutely.

What evidence do you have for that? It has been shown that understanding the "how" is much more important overall. If you don't know the how, automatic recall of number facts isn't going to get you far

#35 seemingly

Posted 23 August 2018 - 07:35 PM

I managed to get through my entire primary years not knowing my times tables, fractions or decimals. How? Because I could count quickly on my fingers and in my head.

5 x 6? 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5.

It wasn't until I was in year 8 and had to really start learning algebra and rearranging linear equations that my math teacher informed my parents.

They immediately enrolled me in Kumon, which I attended initially twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons). I was placed in a what I considered super easy level, booklets of 2 + 7 = 9 sort of questions.

Those questions built to 23 + 87. And then 146 - 39, etc.

Then it was times tables, starting with 2 x 2 etc, all the way up to 12. Followed by division tables, 81 / 9.

Next was fractions - adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing.

I was then topping my class in Math by the next year, because I could easily do the basics.

My 2 cents is that if your child does not know their times tables, or needs a calculator to solve sums like 25 + 93,  doesn't understand fractions and/or wants to advance to more challenging mathematical concepts, Kumon is a great learning tool.

#36 jayskette

Posted 23 August 2018 - 08:14 PM

 liveworkplay, on 23 August 2018 - 07:35 PM, said:



What evidence do you have for that? It has been shown that understanding the "how" is much more important overall. If you don't know the how, automatic recall of number facts isn't going to get you far

You learn your ABCs by rote in kinder. You don't ask how or why you just know a letter is pronounced thus and looks like thus. It is not until senior high or uni where you get to learn about linguistics and etymology, but until then you still need to learn how to read and speak English. Times tables is one of those concepts that should be taught by rote as early in primary school as possible you kids get to then learn about concepts like artithmetic and number manipulation without calculators. Then you start to understand the concept of multiplication, ratios etc because it clicks. The aim is getting it without the teacher explicitly stating how or why. The teachers can do the explaining for the more advanced concepts.

#37 Crombek

Posted 23 August 2018 - 08:23 PM

 jayskette, on 23 August 2018 - 08:14 PM, said:



You learn your ABCs by rote in kinder. You don't ask how or why you just know a letter is pronounced thus and looks like thus. It is not until senior high or uni where you get to learn about linguistics and etymology, but until then you still need to learn how to read and speak English. Times tables is one of those concepts that should be taught by rote as early in primary school as possible you kids get to then learn about concepts like artithmetic and number manipulation without calculators. Then you start to understand the concept of multiplication, ratios etc because it clicks. The aim is getting it without the teacher explicitly stating how or why. The teachers can do the explaining for the more advanced concepts.

There is an incredibly strong argument that we shouldn’t be teaching preschool kids the alphabet by rote at all. Learning the alphabet (I.e. what we call each letter) doesn’t teach kids to read.

That said - I do believe we should be teaching kids maths facts by rote. AFTER and in addition to teaching them the concepts and different problem solving skills. Teaching something by rote only increases fluency (speed of response), not understanding.

#38 mayahlb

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:36 PM

 Crombek, on 23 August 2018 - 08:23 PM, said:



There is an incredibly strong argument that we shouldn’t be teaching preschool kids the alphabet by rote at all. Learning the alphabet (I.e. what we call each letter) doesn’t teach kids to read.

That said - I do believe we should be teaching kids maths facts by rote. AFTER and in addition to teaching them the concepts and different problem solving skills. Teaching something by rote only increases fluency (speed of response), not understanding.

And, well, this is exactly what the school my kids go to does. I don’t think the school is all that different to many others. Letter wise they didn’t teach them the alphabet by rote at all. It was sounds and the letter. (For the record my older child calls some letter by their sound rather then name). This letter makes a “c” sound. C-a-t (kh-a-t) makes cat. It’s name is C. What other words have a “c” sound. :shrug: as I mentioned above they use a combined method for maths. Learn the concept and some memorisation or facts. Learn what multiplication actually means (yr 1-2 I.e. grouping and skip counting), then memorise the times tables (yr 3-4). I’m actually pretty sure that is how it’s laid out in the curriculum.

#39 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:47 PM

Oh gosh ... should I even start?

*backs away slowly*

#40 Riotproof

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:49 PM

 Expelliarmus, on 23 August 2018 - 09:47 PM, said:

Oh gosh ... should I even start?

*backs away slowly*

No, no... come back.

#41 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:50 PM

What schools are still teaching the alphabet by rote?

Not too many I would think especially not if they follow the curriculum.

#42 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:51 PM

 mayahlb, on 23 August 2018 - 09:36 PM, said:

And, well, this is exactly what the school my kids go to does. I don’t think the school is all that different to many others. Letter wise they didn’t teach them the alphabet by rote at all. It was sounds and the letter. (For the record my older child calls some letter by their sound rather then name). This letter makes a “c” sound. C-a-t (kh-a-t) makes cat. It’s name is C. What other words have a “c” sound. Posted Image as I mentioned above they use a combined method for maths. Learn the concept and some memorisation or facts. Learn what multiplication actually means (yr 1-2 I.e. grouping and skip counting), then memorise the times tables (yr 3-4). I’m actually pretty sure that is how it’s laid out in the curriculum.
Curriculum says 'learn multiplication facts to ten' (year 4) actually.. People think time tables are the same but I disagree.

*damn, why am I not backing away*

#43 Crombek

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:54 PM

 ~J_F~, on 23 August 2018 - 09:50 PM, said:

What schools are still teaching the alphabet by rote?

Not too many I would think especially not if they follow the curriculum.

That’s why I said preschoolers. It’s not most (not all) schools, it’s that most kids get to FYOS having 4 years of ABC’s drilled into them & teachers then have to teach a new code using the same letters. Which can be very confusing for some kids.

#44 TheGreenSheep

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:54 PM

 jayskette, on 23 August 2018 - 08:14 PM, said:



You learn your ABCs by rote in kinder. You don't ask how or why you just know a letter is pronounced thus and looks like thus. It is not until senior high or uni where you get to learn about linguistics and etymology, but until then you still need to learn how to read and speak English. Times tables is one of those concepts that should be taught by rote as early in primary school as possible you kids get to then learn about concepts like artithmetic and number manipulation without calculators. Then you start to understand the concept of multiplication, ratios etc because it clicks. The aim is getting it without the teacher explicitly stating how or why. The teachers can do the explaining for the more advanced concepts.

Well there would be a lot of special education teachers who would disagree with this approach and now advocate the teaching of phonics, ie the sound the letters makes and not the name of the letter. For example teaching children the letter ‘a’ has five sounds, not the name of the ‘ay’. Our primary school teaches phonics from prep. My DS has been learning about etymology of language for two years. You cannot say that all learning is by rote and the understanding is left until senior high and Uni. That is just bizarre.

#45 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 August 2018 - 09:57 PM

 jayskette, on 23 August 2018 - 08:14 PM, said:

You learn your ABCs by rote in kinder. You don't ask how or why you just know a letter is pronounced thus and looks like thus. It is not until senior high or uni where you get to learn about linguistics and etymology, but until then you still need to learn how to read and speak English. Times tables is one of those concepts that should be taught by rote as early in primary school as possible you kids get to then learn about concepts like artithmetic and number manipulation without calculators. Then you start to understand the concept of multiplication, ratios etc because it clicks. The aim is getting it without the teacher explicitly stating how or why. The teachers can do the explaining for the more advanced concepts.
Your Education degree backs all this up then?

#46 Overtherainbow

Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:16 PM

It focusses on number and learning number facts through repetition. I find it's similar to how many students in Asia learn and has its pros and cons.

There is a weakness in problem solving, the ability to explain thinking, and the ability to try different methods to solve a problem. It also doesn't focus as much on geography or chance and data.

The chn do have confidence in fact recall.

I would prefer my child to have a strong 1:1 tutor to work through the misconceptions and then use a range of activities to develop fact fluency. Número is a brilliant game to help with this.

I think there's a challenge in finding a good tutor. I know several incompetent teachers and inexperienced uni students who are working as tutors. The brilliant are rare and usually fully booked. Hiring a high school student, is just foolish (seen it done and cringed).

#47 AdelTwins

Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:51 PM

 Overtherainbow, on 23 August 2018 - 10:16 PM, said:

I think there's a challenge in finding a good tutor. I know several incompetent teachers and inexperienced uni students who are working as tutors. The brilliant are rare and usually fully booked. Hiring a high school student, is just foolish (seen it done and cringed).
DH is a maths teacher. He keeps a spreadsheet of past students who tutor maths while doing uni.
Check with your head of department to see if they have any recommendations.

#48 Literary Lemur

Posted 23 August 2018 - 10:55 PM

 annodam, on 23 August 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

^   Is Kumon rote learning?

If it is, my eldest would definitely have benefited if we enrolled her in Kumon earlier (say Yr 7) as she learns best by rote.  Her Tutor last year had minimal success trying to explain concepts etc., & therefore the school did not allow her to undertake any Math subject this year due to her low end of year mark in Math.

So maths is not compulsory in year 8?

#49 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 August 2018 - 11:00 PM

I believe annodam's DD is now in Year 11 or 12.

#50 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 23 August 2018 - 11:03 PM

Where does one purchase Numero?




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.