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 Post subject: Your thoughts on Kumon
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:41 am
Posts: 43
Location: London
Hi,
I was talking to my friend the other day about my Year 8 DD who wants a challenge in maths. She recommended Kumon: her year 7 child is apparently whizzing through year 10 maths on the Kumon maths program. I’ve heard that it is very repetitive, but effective nonetheless. Any first hand thoughts on it?

Decisiontime639


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 16127
Don't touch it with a barge pole - it is boring, repetitive and expensive - just a maths teacher's thoughts. If you do a search then you will see this has been asked before.

If she wants a challenge I can point you to free resources that will be far better like UKMT resources, NRICH etc etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 6546
If you search on Kumon there are quite a few posts. I know our resident maths teacher, Guest55, will be along soon to explain why she isn't a fan.
There are some suggestions here
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11016
ETA: cross post with Guest55!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:41 am
Posts: 43
Location: London
Thanks for the replies. Dd likes Nrich maths- there are some interesting challenges on it. think we’ll just stick to that and Guest 55’s suggestions on that link- very helpful, thanks! I’ve pointed out the UKMT website as well to DD, who said she’ll have a look at it. I’ve heard Kumon is repetitive, and I don’t think it’s worth doing. I had a look into it- our local one is £65pm- and given the fact it is just worksheets I don’t think it’s worth it. Some people swear by Kumon for their results- I think it’s like marmite-love or hate it, although I don’t know much about it.
Decisiontime639


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 6281
Location: Reading
DD has a friend who works as a tutor for kumon, so bear in mind that some of the tutors may be young teens themselves, rather than qualified teachers.

DD knows some of the girls in her class have done kumon. Her view is their mental maths is excellent, but for some of them the problem solving skills they need are lacking. Kumon just doesn’t seem to cover this (I’ve not seen it myself). Since the new gcse maths especially is quite focused on on problem solving (the new gcse question styles I have seen), I would say that kumon isn’t going to help with that at all.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
As other posters Kumon is mental maths and certainly helps with speed but does not cover word problems.

11 plus Maths is increasingly about word problems as is GCSE and this is something that Kumon does not address.

I find it hard to believe that a year 7 is working at year 10 level and I have met several parents who have been told by Kumon that their students is working two years ahead in Maths.

The Kumon material is not what a year 7 should be focusing on. DG


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Decisiontime639 wrote:
I think it’s like marmite-love or hate it, although I don’t know much about it. Decisiontime639

It's not marmite - I'd describe as poisonous - it focuses on arithmetic not mathematics.

I have plenty more suggestions but do get your daughter to talk to her teacher who may well have plemty of other ideas. I find the curriculum map on NRICH particularly useful as you can pick problems linked to what you are learning. Does her school do the UKMT challenges? The Junior one - aimed at Y7 and 8 - is in April.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Kumon likes to keep itself as a bit of a mystery and one should never have to pay for a mystery -- especially not a boring one.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am
Posts: 1636
Does anyone know why it is called 'Kumon'? is it intended to be an amusing adaptation of 'come on' ? for that reason alone I would avoid it like the plague. :lol: I cannot stand stupid spellings.

Listen to Guest55.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:52 am
Posts: 90
Kumon is named after Toru Kumon, the Japanese maths teacher who created the system in the 1950s, initially to help his son learn maths and study-skills.

According to their website.

The English-sounding name is just coincidence, fortunately!


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