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What is your opinion on Kumon?


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#76 annodam

Posted 29 August 2018 - 10:43 AM

 Elizabethandfriend, on 27 August 2018 - 01:50 PM, said:

I think a key point is that Kumon is costly in both money and time.  You are generally expected to attend twice a week and do a daily worksheet.  For most families, including travel, that would be something like a 3-4 hour commitment.

Its not that children get nothing from Kumon but if you spent 3-4 hours a week doing the other things people have suggested in this thread - online programs, maths books from the newsagency, maths games, asking for extra work from the teacher or even tutoring, you are likely to produce a stronger maths student than through the Kumon approach.




Yet people are easily spending 3-4hrs a week at kiddie sports.
If my child was failing in a subject (any subject) & they required tutoring, sports training would be the first to go!
My kids know if their school marks drop, sport goes.
DD has Coaches in the past who have said, you will be dropped off the team if we hear your school marks are suffering.



EFS:

Edited by annodam, 29 August 2018 - 10:45 AM.


#77 liveworkplay

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:16 AM

 annodam, on 29 August 2018 - 10:43 AM, said:






Yet people are easily spending 3-4hrs a week at kiddie sports.
If my child was failing in a subject (any subject) & they required tutoring, sports training would be the first to go!
My kids know if their school marks drop, sport goes.
DD has Coaches in the past who have said, you will be dropped off the team if we hear your school marks are suffering.



EFS:

Surely if kids are failing people are turning to one on one tutoring and not turning to commercial group hothousing?

My kids play a heap of sport, some at state level. Every one requires keeping up with school work as a priority over playing.

#78 annodam

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:46 PM

 liveworkplay, on 29 August 2018 - 11:16 AM, said:

Surely if kids are failing people are turning to one on one tutoring and not turning to commercial group hothousing?

My kids play a heap of sport, some at state level. Every one requires keeping up with school work as a priority over playing.





You may see it as hothousing, others see it as tutoring.
If for example, you cannot find a suitable 1 on 1 Tutor & Kumon is in the next suburb over, surely attending a couple of Kumon lessons a week is better than doing nothing?

The excellent Tutors, the ones with experience & ones required for Senior students are already booked for 2019.


My opinion is neither for or against Kumon, we had a 1 on 1 Tutor all of last year for my eldest when she was competing at National Level O/S.  However, had there been a Kumon class near me & the times suited us, why the fk not?

#79 Expelliarmus

Posted 29 August 2018 - 09:01 PM

 annodam, on 29 August 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

However, had there been a Kumon class near me & the times suited us, why the fk not?
Because it doesn't do the same thing as tutoring, would be one reason why not.

I don't like how restriction of sport is used as punishment for academic failure.

Edited by Expelliarmus, 29 August 2018 - 09:01 PM.


#80 annodam

Posted 29 August 2018 - 09:48 PM

Again, surely doing something though is better than nothing?

If you're unable to source a decent Tutor, what options do you suggest parents take to help their struggling kids?

Or are you one of those Teachers similar to DDs Yr 10 Math Teacher last year that told me not to bother with a Tutor, we'll wait & see how she goes...

Ah, no thanks mate!
If she's struggling now & has asked for help multiple times from you in class & you just point to the text book & ask to her go over it again instead of, gee I dunno teach properly you lazy mofo, using your wait & see approach will not help!


Oh & I love how Coaches will kick you off the team if your grades slip!
My eldest would like to enrol in College in the US, see what happens over there if your GPA drops.


EFS:

Edited by annodam, 29 August 2018 - 09:52 PM.


#81 Feral Snow

Posted 30 August 2018 - 01:27 AM

It's weird how people talk about times tables and multiplication as repeated addition as if they're mutually exclusive skills. You don't suddenly forget how to add when you learn your times tables.

I had learnt up to 12 x 12 in Grade 2, which seems to be common amongst friends that are the same vintage as me, although I suspect it was less than 10% of the class who'd achieved this.

Knowing times tables, and therefore factors, means that nearly every number up to 100, and many beyond, have distinct personalities to me. This helps with memorising things that are in numerical form (phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, post codes, various user names and passwords) and makes manipulating figures in my mind quite easy. My only regret is that I was never encouraged to learn times tables higher than that. I'm still very quick at multiplication with larger numbers, but it's not the same as the instant recall up to 12 x 12.

I'm friends with a couple who've both been high school maths teachers for over 20 years. Their high-school aged kids do Kumon. Their primary-school aged kids don't, but will in high school.

#82 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 August 2018 - 07:25 AM

No. I’m not one of those teachers.

I was unaware you meant ‘if you can’t get a teacher’ - I was responding to ‘if there’s a Kumon, why not?’

Obviously if you’ve not found a tutor, can’t help them yourself and there is a Kumon that is probably an okay option.

Competent mathematics teachers would be the best option, but I can’t be everywhere.

#83 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 30 August 2018 - 07:34 AM

 Feral Snow, on 30 August 2018 - 01:27 AM, said:

It's weird how people talk about times tables and multiplication as repeated addition as if they're mutually exclusive skills. You don't suddenly forget how to add when you learn your times tables.

I had learnt up to 12 x 12 in Grade 2, which seems to be common amongst friends that are the same vintage as me, although I suspect it was less than 10% of the class who'd achieved this.

Knowing times tables, and therefore factors, means that nearly every number up to 100, and many beyond, have distinct personalities to me. This helps with memorising things that are in numerical form (phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, post codes, various user names and passwords)

I don't know my times tables. My 'progressive' school in the early '70's didn't do this.
My memory is amazing for all sorts of phone numbers, pins etc.
I actually function quite well in society without being able to tell you instantly what 9X7 is.
I suspect you have a brain that was always going to be able to do those things which is why learning tables was something you mastered well.

#84 Sincerely

Posted 30 August 2018 - 08:11 AM

 seayork2002, on 27 August 2018 - 01:57 PM, said:



I topped my class for alegbra and was pretty good at other high school maths, I did some uni maths courses and got high marks for those - I can work timetables out in my head but have no idea how to recall them instantly and I have no idea how the heck to help DS with primary school maths!

A couple of my friends did well at 4U maths (equiv to Extn 2) in high school but said they'd forgotten almost everything and had trouble helping their kids with Yr 9/10 levels maths. Fortunately, they said, Eddie Woo's Youtube videos were a great help to them & their kids and they were able to work things out without external tutoring.

As a more general comment for this thread, I've never looked into either Kumon or Eddie Woo's videos, but as someone who did grasp maths in high school & still able to help my kids with all levels of school maths despite little use of maths in my profession, I think rote learning does have limited value because once one is very familiar with numbers, underlying patterns and principles are easier to appreciate, but the most effective way to succeed at senior high school maths is to properly grasp concepts. Despite maths being taught as discrete topics, it is a connected system, so it is rather difficult to understand the more complex principles if one has gaps of understanding with the basic concepts. I've always encouraged my kids to ask me when there's anything they don't understand & eventually they stopped having to ask as they had built their own solid foundations. DD1 applies this very successfully as a casual tutor (she's fully booked as she is a full time Uni student), with her students making such significant gains, their teachers have made positive comments to their parents which they happily share, even with me.

#85 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 August 2018 - 08:20 AM

Sincerely, it is indeed the underlying patterns and principals that are key. I would challenge that this is attained by rote learning though as it is more likely to be gained by students noticing the patterns themselves, thus undoing misconceptions and overgeneralisations to see the real patterns.

Rote learning is more likely to cement misconceptions and overgeneralisations and is thus better left until after noticing a and correction of misconceptions. If a child is wrong, don’t get them to tell you how they did it - you’ll reinforce the misconception. Ask them to notice things, state back to them what they told you, tell them to check it or try it in a different situation and see if it works. Kids need to see for themselves that what they did does not work, not merely to rely learn a pattern that they then still cannot see because they didn’t do any noticing themselves.

#86 annodam

Posted 30 August 2018 - 10:01 AM

 Expelliarmus, on 30 August 2018 - 07:25 AM, said:

No. I’m not one of those teachers.

I was unaware you meant ‘if you can’t get a teacher’ - I was responding to ‘if there’s a Kumon, why not?’

Obviously if you’ve not found a tutor, can’t help them yourself and there is a Kumon that is probably an okay option.

Competent mathematics teachers would be the best option, but I can’t be everywhere.




Of course getting a competent Math Teacher is the best option, that goes without saying!
In fact, I believe they're worth their weight in Gold but there's a shortage of good Math Teachers out there.
We had 3 great Math Teachers in Yrs 7/8/9 (one of which has since retired).
I would walk over hot coals if it meant DS ends up in their class!  

Getting back to the topic of Kumon, you can't be 100% certain that those parents who choose to send their kids didn't try for a 1 on 1 Tutor but couldn't source one, they are fully booked (the good ones are, anyway).
You're eye rolling because you believe Kumon to be crap.  You should be eye rolling at those who don't GAF.

If we hadn't have found a Tutor last year, DD would've gladly enrolled in Kumon.
Because as I stated up thread, doing something, anything is better than sitting on your hands.

#87 Sincerely

Posted 30 August 2018 - 09:04 PM

 Expelliarmus, on 30 August 2018 - 08:20 AM, said:

Sincerely, it is indeed the underlying patterns and principals that are key. I would challenge that this is attained by rote learning though as it is more likely to be gained by students noticing the patterns themselves, thus undoing misconceptions and overgeneralisations to see the real patterns.

The main thrust of my post was of the importance of understanding underlying concepts. I commented that rote learning has limited value. Does challenging that mean you think it has no value? Rote learning of multiplication facts appears to be widespread in schools (my kids were still expected by teachers to participate in these rote exercises at school well after they had mastered the underlying concepts).

For the record, my kids didn't learn by rote & I do not advocate for it over any other method of learning, but many educators, parents & students claim benefits through increased familiarity & confidence with numbers, so I acknowledged this.


#88 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 30 August 2018 - 09:58 PM

This is an interesting discussion. From what I remember of Kumon, the sums were introduced in such a way that I saw patterns. I actually learnt to really love numbers, the way they work together, the patters they form. I don’t suppose it would necessarily work that way for all children, but I do seem to recall that the design was meant to help children make those discoveries by themselves.

#89 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 August 2018 - 11:18 PM

 annodam, on 30 August 2018 - 10:01 AM, said:

Of course getting a competent Math Teacher is the best option, that goes without saying!
In fact, I believe they're worth their weight in Gold but there's a shortage of good Math Teachers out there.
We had 3 great Math Teachers in Yrs 7/8/9 (one of which has since retired).
I would walk over hot coals if it meant DS ends up in their class!  

Getting back to the topic of Kumon, you can't be 100% certain that those parents who choose to send their kids didn't try for a 1 on 1 Tutor but couldn't source one, they are fully booked (the good ones are, anyway).
You're eye rolling because you believe Kumon to be crap.  You should be eye rolling at those who don't GAF.

If we hadn't have found a Tutor last year, DD would've gladly enrolled in Kumon.
Because as I stated up thread, doing something, anything is better than sitting on your hands.
Settle down. I don't care what parents do, am not eye rolling and think do whatever floats your boat.

OP asked.

I answered.

 Sincerely, on 30 August 2018 - 09:04 PM, said:

The main thrust of my post was of the importance of understanding underlying concepts. I commented that rote learning has limited value. Does challenging that mean you think it has no value? Rote learning of multiplication facts appears to be widespread in schools (my kids were still expected by teachers to participate in these rote exercises at school well after they had mastered the underlying concepts).

For the record, my kids didn't learn by rote & I do not advocate for it over any other method of learning, but many educators, parents & students claim benefits through increased familiarity & confidence with numbers, so I acknowledged this.
I did misread that you were advocating rote learning.

But also I do think it has no value.

*dons flame retardant suit*

Edited by Expelliarmus, 30 August 2018 - 11:18 PM.


#90 Feral Snow

Posted 31 August 2018 - 12:47 AM

 Expelliarmus, on 30 August 2018 - 08:20 AM, said:

Sincerely, it is indeed the underlying patterns and principals that are key. I would challenge that this is attained by rote learning though as it is more likely to be gained by students noticing the patterns themselves, thus undoing misconceptions and overgeneralisations to see the real patterns.

Rote learning is more likely to cement misconceptions and overgeneralisations and is thus better left until after noticing a and correction of misconceptions. If a child is wrong, don’t get them to tell you how they did it - you’ll reinforce the misconception. Ask them to notice things, state back to them what they told you, tell them to check it or try it in a different situation and see if it works. Kids need to see for themselves that what they did does not work, not merely to rely learn a pattern that they then still cannot see because they didn’t do any noticing themselves.

 Expelliarmus, on 30 August 2018 - 07:25 AM, said:

Competent mathematics teachers would be the best option, but I can’t be everywhere.

You say this, and yet you didn't have the literacy, logic, or problem-solving skills to solve a couple of simple Year 6 maths questions: http://www.essential...se-souls-of-eb/
- a classic example of misconception and overgeneralisation, and a complete failure to understand the key underlying patterns and principles.

I wonder how often you've convinced a child to "see for themselves that what they did does not work" when, in fact, it worked perfectly, but you had got it wrong.

#91 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 August 2018 - 07:23 AM

For a start I do not ask students to ‘see for themselves it does not work’. I ask them to prove it is right. If it can be proven right, then great. In the two year old thread linked many posters proved OP right. Being a good maths teacher isn’t about always being right. It’s about modelling and encouraging mathematical thinking. Which includes being wrong.

But everyone likes being shamed and sarcastically put down when they’ve put themselves out there. PP, I guess you forgot the conversation had as part of that thread which is valuable in learning. Too busy remembering that time someone got something wrong.

Second I was being tounge-in-cheek to a poster being aggressive as is her wont.

Edited by Expelliarmus, 31 August 2018 - 07:40 AM.


#92 Riotproof

Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:18 AM

 Feral Snow, on 31 August 2018 - 12:47 AM, said:





You say this, and yet you didn't have the literacy, logic, or problem-solving skills to solve a couple of simple Year 6 maths questions: http://www.essential...se-souls-of-eb/
- a classic example of misconception and overgeneralisation, and a complete failure to understand the key underlying patterns and principles.

I wonder how often you've convinced a child to "see for themselves that what they did does not work" when, in fact, it worked perfectly, but you had got it wrong.

Please explain how rote Learning would have helped in that question.

Also, have we somehow lost the rule about referring to other threads within threads? Snippy little point scoring from you.

#93 BeAwesome

Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:26 AM

I have very quick rote recall of number facts and times tables, but very little ability to solve number problems, because I just learnt to regurgitate data to pass tests, rather than actually making connections with the material.

#94 Sincerely

Posted 31 August 2018 - 08:40 AM

 rainne, on 24 August 2018 - 02:46 PM, said:




Just popping in to say a big thank you to both of you - these threads make me so anxious that I am letting down my children by not buying them private tutoring or extension classes, even though they're both already strong academically. Having experts weigh in and explain the issues so clearly is immensely valuable. Thanks.

(Now if someone can reassure me that the same principle holds true in high school, that would be great, because another thread has me convinced that even the smartest kid stands no chance in the modern world without their parents paying out for private tutelage).

The modern digital age provides a fantastic opportunity for the motivated smart kid to learn almost anything on the Internet. Eddie Woo's Youtube videos, Numberphile & the Khan Academy are some very popular websites. There are an incredible number of free tutorials & lectures and the kids can browse and start learning at their initial level and progress to the more complex.

There are many leisure activities (how to play musical instruments, speedcubing, martial arts & other sports techniques etc) which can also be successfully learnt or improved by self directed research on the Internet.


#95 Kreme

Posted 31 August 2018 - 10:36 AM

 Riotproof, on 31 August 2018 - 08:18 AM, said:



Please explain how rote Learning would have helped in that question.

Also, have we somehow lost the rule about referring to other threads within threads? Snippy little point scoring from you.

Actually “Kumon kids” would blitz those questions because they would have done 500 worksheets of them and would know what to look for.

I agree with your second point.



#96 Riotproof

Posted 31 August 2018 - 11:56 AM

 Kreme, on 31 August 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:



Actually “Kumon kids” would blitz those questions because they would have done 500 worksheets of them and would know what to look for.

I agree with your second point.
I guess so. I still see a potential for a question to be different in some way, which could be missed.

#97 TheGreenSheep

Posted 31 August 2018 - 12:16 PM

 Expelliarmus, on 30 August 2018 - 08:20 AM, said:

Sincerely, it is indeed the underlying patterns and principals that are key. I would challenge that this is attained by rote learning though as it is more likely to be gained by students noticing the patterns themselves, thus undoing misconceptions and overgeneralisations to see the real patterns.

Rote learning is more likely to cement misconceptions and overgeneralisations and is thus better left until after noticing a and correction of misconceptions. If a child is wrong, don’t get them to tell you how they did it - you’ll reinforce the misconception. Ask them to notice things, state back to them what they told you, tell them to check it or try it in a different situation and see if it works. Kids need to see for themselves that what they did does not work, not merely to rely learn a pattern that they then still cannot see because they didn’t do any noticing themselves.

I actually remember doing just that, recognizing the patterns and click, I 'got' my timetables. I can see the poster on the wall, the classroom, where I was on the floor. I also still remember them now. And I also put it down to the way my brain is wired to see patterns and numbers, to look for patterns, to remember numbers, I have quite a few number things i do, like autorecall of number plates, birthdates and phone numbers etc. I loved maths, still do in a nerdy way.

#98 annodam

Posted 31 August 2018 - 01:05 PM

Totally agree with brains wired Mathematically.
I'm amazed how my 9½yo gets the answers to some questions & when I ask him, he says he just sees the numbers/answers in his head.  DD & I just look at each other like, WTF?
My paternal gr/father was exactly the same though, number recall in 2secs flat despite not having any education, it's genetic, it has to be!

#99 TheGreenSheep

Posted 31 August 2018 - 01:49 PM

 annodam, on 31 August 2018 - 01:05 PM, said:

Totally agree with brains wired Mathematically.
I'm amazed how my 9½yo gets the answers to some questions & when I ask him, he says he just sees the numbers/answers in his head.  DD & I just look at each other like, WTF?
My paternal gr/father was exactly the same though, number recall in 2secs flat despite not having any education, it's genetic, it has to be!
Pretty sure thats what is referred to as form of Synesthesia

#100 Sincerely

Posted 01 September 2018 - 09:43 PM

There's obviously a wide range of aptitudes across the general population and as some people are 'naturally talented' at sport, so others have a 'natural talent' for mental arithmetic or spatial reasoning etc. However, it's a pity that some people, particularly kids, believe that maths ability is binary (pun intended) & one either has it or doesn't have it. Such people often convince themselves that they are 'just not good at maths' & deny themselves the opportunity of understanding maths. Maths & it's applied form of physics underlies the mechanics of everything, therefore understanding maths helps in many areas of life.




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