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[OP]
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Aug 10, 2013
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Kumon? Worth the $ ?

Hey just wanted some info on kumon, has anyone ever enrolled their child and did it work? Any info you guys have would help me greatly thank you!
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Jan 8, 2009
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Is your child actually having issues or are you trying to supplement what they're doing in school?
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jrbb0309 wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 10:30 am
Is your child actually having issues or are you trying to supplement what they're doing in school?
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Jan 8, 2009
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I don't have personal experience with Kumon but my daughter's best friend went there for years. With her friend, she did really well in grade school and it seemed to help but somewhere along the way she missed something and by high school her marks had tanked. Her parents kept sending her (huge waste of money) and now she's in grade 12 with awful math marks. With my daughter, on the other hand, we didn't send her to any programs, she did really well all the way through to high school, started having issues in grade 11 (still decent marks, just struggling) and we got her a really good tutor instead. She still didn't have the best marks ever but she easily pulled in the 80s (rest of her marks are in the 90s) and her stress level was lessened and her understanding of all the concepts increased.

If your child is having issues, have you talked to their teacher?

I'm not sure how old your child is but you might want to look at the free online Khan Academy. I know my daughter (and a lot of her friends) use this to supplement their learning/knowledge and the lessons do start early with the earliest ones more like games (which is appropriate for younger children). Much easier on your pocketbook and something they can do at home, rather than you having to haul them somewhere.

And again, depending on their age, you could go the tutor route but it might take you a bit to find the right one. Often if kids are having issues and you catch it early, it's just a matter of figuring out what they missed (because math is like a wall you're building brick by brick and every brick you miss will threaten the structural integrity) and also how they best learn.
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Feb 23, 2015
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I heard they pay their staff (teachers or tutors) minimum or close to minimum wage and yet charge clients a lot of money.

If I was getting paid minimum wage to improve your kids schooling grades I sure as hell wouldn't have much motivation to do so.
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May 25, 2009
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If you're going to send your kids to tutoring, better to go with personal/private 1 on 1 tutors. Kumon is class-room style tutoring, I've known people who have worked at Kumon and have sent their kids to Kumon and you're paying out the wazoo for what is essentially glorified baby-sitting. They just give the kids a stack of work sheets and tell them to work through them (I'll rather buy work books and work through them with my kids myself at home), the tutors are there to answer questions or help them if needed but since they have to work with a bunch of kids they don't get much 1 on 1 time.

AFAIK, Kumon and other class-room style tutoring services are not really regulated and are more of a cash grab then anything. Private tutors are not that much more expensive and are definitely more worth while since the tutors are more likely to actually be qualified and they get more 1 on 1 time with the kids.
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May 1, 2003
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Spend time with your kid and teach them yourself.
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bionicbadger wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 11:37 am
Spend time with your kid and teach them yourself.
Yeah, this a very noticeable change from my younger days. When I was a kid and I had some struggles with certain subjects at school, my parents took and spent the time to do my homework or test-prep/study with me to help me through it. Nowadays everybody just dumps their kids at a tutoring place and thinks throwing money at it will make the problem go away. If nothing else you're generally overpaying somebody to throw a workbook/work-sheets at your kids when you can do that yourself at home for a fraction of the cost.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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My teenager niece took Kumon for years and is a part-time instructor right now. As much as I love her, I'm not sure if she's qualified or skilled at communicating as a tutor. Even as a parent that's not qualified but helping with homework, at least they have a vested interest - my niece is doing it purely for the money.

That being said, I do see some benefits to the actual Kumon method. I don't think elementary schools emphasize mathematical drills enough, but Kumon's "brute force" might be a little too much as well. I've done some of the worksheets myself and so I get whole "mind-numbing" criticism part. But maybe that's exactly what your child needs to excel at math.

For my kids, they're enrolled in the Jump Math program. Not that one is better than another - this program was just a lot closer to where we live and we liked the style of the old-fashioned instructor we met. I don't think I've ever seen a definitive report or study of any math tutoring program (ie. Kumon, Jump Math, Spirit of Math, etc.) that one method was superior. A lot would depend on how your kid learns.
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bionicbadger wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 11:37 am
Spend time with your kid and teach them yourself.
Some parents just can't (or shouldn't.) If my sister had tried tutoring her kids at math, not only would they'd be flaming out of school math classes, but be completely confused with the whole concept of numbers...
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bionicbadger wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 11:37 am
Spend time with your kid and teach them yourself.
I do! Tirelessly ...and it seems he has a hard time grasping the concepts , kumon would be a last resort as I figured they may have better teaching methods and more experience at this than I do. My son is 6 btw
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Depends what you want out of it. All my siblings and cousins all took Kumon growing up. It made the simple math stuff a breeze but once high school started, it was no longer useful.

Now it's hard to say what it really does because I can do simple math in a split second and I assume my financial knowledge is pretty good compared to general population but my siblings/cousins are not the same.

Basic math yeah but personal finance comes from education not taught in school or Kumon.

Everyone learns differently and Kumon may not even help your child. I found it useful and hated tutors, they didn't do anything for me to be honest.
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akira1971 wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 12:13 pm
Some parents just can't (or shouldn't.) If my sister had tried tutoring her kids at math, not only would they'd be flaming out of school math classes, but be completely confused with the whole concept of numbers...
Agreed. Past a certain grade, unless you're in a math-based profession and have kept up with your knowledge, it's ready hard to help your kids yourself PLUS often the way they teach the concepts has changed entirely since we were in school and you'll only confuse things more unless you take the time to bring yourself up to date and check in with the teacher.
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gonna speak from personal experience here. I was a kumon student growing up (started when I was 4 and was the top ranked student in NA for a few years). I finished both the math and reading program, and I've been working part-time at my center for over 11 years now while supplying on the side for the TDSB.

obviously there is going to be some bias here.. but I will try to be as truthful as I can.

1. kumon is not for everyone. this is probably the most important thing to keep in mind. the kumon method focuses a LOT on repetition because the two key aspects of the program are speed and accuracy. I've met a lot of parents who don't understand this mentality and constantly ask why their child is repeating worksheets even though they've completed them before.

2. there are many things that can factor into whether your child is successful in the program or not. just because you don't see results does NOT mean your child is incapable or dumb. everybody learns in different ways, and rote learning is not always the most effective.

3. one of first questions we ask newcomers is whether their interest in the program is for enrichment or remediation. kumon is a long-term program that is focused on enrichment and not remediation. this isn't a program for students who want specific help in a certain area unfortunately.

4. it's MUCH better to start the program when you're young. when you're older, it is a lot harder to go back and rebuild shaky foundation because you're so used to doing things a certain way already.

I also wanted to touch on a point made above about tutors not being motivated or qualified to teach students. I obviously can't speak for every center, but at my center, most of the staff are either current or former students (like myself). the reason for this is because staff are already familiar with a lot of the worksheets and can work a lot more efficiently. we help students to the best of our ability not because of the pay but because we genuinely want students to succeed. we all know the pain of going through the worksheets over and over again but we also know how beneficial the program can be when done correctly.

it's honestly really hard to give a straight yes or no answer as to whether the program is worth it. for me it worked wonders.. math came so easily for me throughout my schooling and kumon ended up being one of the reasons why I chose to become a math teacher. the most you can do is be as informed as you can about the program before making a decision.

anyway I hope that helps :) feel free to ask me anything else!
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flyingnurse wrote:
Feb 21st, 2017 10:54 am
I heard they pay their staff (teachers or tutors) minimum or close to minimum wage and yet charge clients a lot of money.

If I was getting paid minimum wage to improve your kids schooling grades I sure as hell wouldn't have much motivation to do so.
Kumon is a system based on repetitive exercises; it's not so much teaching rather than rote learning hence why they can hire minimum wage supervisors.

OP you may want to find a private tutor instead ... at least the learning would be more personalized.

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