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 Post subject: Kumon maths
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
Hi everyone

Our DS is a few years off taking the 11plus but we have started him on Kumon maths.

Does anyone elses DS/DD do Kumon, or any other Kumon related advice would be welcome :)

Our DS is at a good state CofE primary and we are hoping this will bridge the gap and up his maths before we have to think about tutoring.

Look forward to any advice and comments
Villagedad


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:29 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Berkshire
This was discussed here...

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=4664&highlight=kumon

May be of help.

BW


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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I really can't support Kumon - I only hear bad things about it - 'boring' being the most frequent!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Lots of fun activities to speed up mental calculation and times tables, there are loads on the web, try woodlands junior school and bbc websites.

this one is excellent!

http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... eteor.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Both my daughters did Kumon maths for approx 3yrs. Yes it did get tedious at times, however their mental arithmetic is second to none and they know the times tables inside out back to front. Fractions, long multiplication as well as long division was also well taught. I felt that a good age to start was 7yrs or younger because the work ties in with the curriculum and you tend to find that progression is fast and they soon overtake where they are at school. It is a huge commitment though as you need to get into a habit of completing the worksheets on a daily basis.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:22 pm
Posts: 526
Location: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells
rosie wrote:
Both my daughters did Kumon maths for approx 3yrs. Yes it did get tedious at times, however their mental arithmetic is second to none and they know the times tables inside out back to front. Fractions, long multiplication as well as long division was also well taught. I felt that a good age to start was 7yrs or younger because the work ties in with the curriculum and you tend to find that progression is fast and they soon overtake where they are at school. It is a huge commitment though as you need to get into a habit of completing the worksheets on a daily basis.

Thanks rosie

Yes I think the little and often approach of Kumon works well, plus the fact you go to the centre adds a level of importance which keeps the children motivated (we call it maths club at home)...

I would be interested in your view about the downside of Kumon is that it doesn't teach "applied maths" and real world scenarios..?

Thanks
Villagedad


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:54 pm 
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Sorry - I'm a Maths teacher and many other teachers would agree with me it is NOT recommended.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
yoyo123 wrote:
Lots of fun activities to speed up mental calculation and times tables, there are loads on the web, try woodlands junior school and bbc websites.

this one is excellent!

http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... eteor.html


yoyo,

That link looks brilliant.


Quote:
The software was inspired by arcade games and the intense engagement they fostered between the game and player. We reasoned if this kind of engagement could be focused on educational content, it would be truly a magical approach to certain kinds of learning.

Philosophically, the games embrace research on learning dealing with ‘automaticity’ and ‘fluency.’ Automaticity is fast and accurate object identification at the single object level. Fluency involves a deeper understanding, and anticipation of what will come next.

Fluency impacts three types of critical learning outcomes:
- Retention: the ability to perform a skill or recall knowledge long after formal learning programs have ended
- Endurance: the ability to maintain performance levels
- Application: the ability to apply what is learned to perform more complex skills in new situations.


Make it fun, then it is not perceived as boring learning, then when they have to do it with pen and paper they find it easy and rewarding. :)


steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
Posts: 2001
yoyo123 wrote:


You can play these on the Wii - through the browser.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 136
My daughter has been doing kumon for 3 years. We started doing kumon because my daughter felt bored and frustrated at school. She is now in year 5 and working on Algebra for Kumon Maths.

Kumon works for us - it has improved her speed at maths and she is doing all her eleven plus practice papers within time, often with 5-10 minutes to spare for checking her answers. Her scores are also very high. What I dislike about the maths programme though is the lack of word problems for maths for the student to apply the basic four operations they are mastering (there are some problem sums but they are just very simplistic ones). But her kumon instructor supplements the programme with 2 to 5 challenging word problems weekly. I find however that my daughter has been honed by kumon to calculate and play with big numbers so fast that she confidently solves very challenging problem sums speedily.

For English, I like the fact that my daughter has to read daily and then work on her understanding of the text she has read. I also like the vocabulary builder section, which is very good for the elevenplus exams in our area. However, I dislike the inflexibility kumon displays at the lower levels. For now, my daughter has to copy out huge chunks of the passages she reads in answer to the questions posed. I feel this is unreal as I believe studying English and doing comprehension is about reading and then writing it the way you feel - read and then inference. But I understand from another mother whose son does kumon that at the higher levels, kumon starts to become very flexible, and children learn how to interpret nuances in texts and how writers influence readers though language. At this higher level, children study passages from plays by Shakespeare, Coleridge and other classical English writers and poets. They also study and write about the characters, plot and themes of the text they are currently studying.

By spreading out the work to 20-30 minutes daily, my daughter has learned good habits of studying - a little effort a day goes a long way. Tuition would have cost us £20 a session anyway, so Kumon, though it looks expensive, is value for money from our perspective because we have to do it daily. My daughter is doing work way ahead of what her peers are doing and she isn't held back at all. Her kumon instructor does not leave her alone to struggle through the work and will teach on an individual basis at the drop-in sessions if necessary.

I didn't write this to start an argument. I just wanted to say plainly the good and bad about kumon. Every child is different. For my daughter, kumon works and the good outweighs the bad...for now.

**I'd like to add that Kumon maths has helped my daughter in VR. The question types that require use of numbers and the four basic operations for e.g. Type 19 - my daughter is very quick and has no problems. We did give tuition a go and thought she could work on her maths on the Nintendo and then use a tutor for VR, English and Maths - tutor was doing the wrong VR papers for a start, no feedback and very difficult to monitor learning progress on Nintendo - plus she wasn't learning anything new. So tuition lasted all but 3 to 4 weeks and we reverted to Kumon and using the materials bought from this website - The Tutors' CDs.


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