This is my Kumon advantages disadvantages review. Its TOTALLY unbiased because I have 4 years, first hand experience as support staff at Chester Kumon centre. Also I was a paying customer to my two younger sisters, for English AND Math Kumon. So, I got to see both sides of the tables.

Are you a Kumon 'fan' or 'failure'? Considering doing Kumon? Give us your 2 cents and let us know exactly what you think about Kumon advantages disadvantages!

Kumon was designed by Toru Kumon many moons ago. He wanted to help his son with math. He found that repetition and accuracy was the key to successful math. As a result created worksheets, which are now successfully in operation in centers all over the world.

I worked at Kumon for 4 years as support staff. I also encouraged my 2 sisters to do maths and english Kumon.

As I worked at Kumon I discovered that my mental arithmetic was atrocious and as a result was forced to do the worksheets to improve my mental abilities. Also completing sheets up to multiplication tables was a requirement for all support staff.

Whilst working at Kumon, I noticed that every single student, whether they were 4 years old or 50 years old, were starting on addition level.

There are 10 questions on one sheet.

The first 10 pages are adding 1's to 10 from numbers 0 to 10.

For 1 week they do this same 10 pages everyday.

Tedious and boring springs to mind.

0+1=1

1+1=2

2+1=3

3+1=1

etc

Students complete 10 pages per day. So, thats 20 sides they must complete everyday. Accuracy is the key. So if your mind slips for a moment and you get 1 wrong, that same 10 pages must be repeated for the next week, so thats the same 10 pages to be completed the next week. Tedious and boring again.

Once these first set of pages are completed to some level of standard and accuracy, you are able to move on.

The next 10 pages are adding 11 to 20 for another week. The next 10 pages 21 to 30 and so on upto 200. T and b again!

You weigh the pro's and con's of Kumon advantages disadvantages here. This is from my own experience. I believe my opinion is unbiased as I did enjoy working there and I encouraged two little sisters to complete all of it to a higher level.

So, my review comes with an unbiased view and is totally honest.

1. It works (eventually)

2. Its easy to start

3. Encourages independent learning

1. Its boring

2. Its expensive

3. Its time consuming

4. It requires parental guidance

5. Its as flexible or rigid as instructors would like it to be.

6. You have to attend a centre once or twice a week

7. You have to do on average 10 pages everyday

8. Its independent learning

9. Its repetitive

10. Parents have to mark work

11. Requires patience and motivation

12. You still need private tuition!

1. It works. Eventually, after about 6 months to 1 year the penny drops and the brain works in automatic mode. In other words metal arithmetic becomes second nature.

2. Its easy to start. All students, whether 4 years old or 50 years old start with addition worksheets. I observed this fact over 4 years.

It takes on average, approximately 6 months to complete the addition level. After addition, students move on to subtraction. Subtracting 1's over 10 pages for a week, then 2's, 3's, 4's etc up to 200. After subtraction its multiplication and then division.

3. Encourages independent learning. Students are encouraged to learn new skills and techniques on their own. There are worked examples on worksheets and so students dont need to ask for help, they can just try and work problems out on their own.

1. Its boring. This is the number one complaint made by students. Just reading the above 'What level do students start on?' is enough to realize how tedious and boring it is. This is number one on the list and can't be stressed enough. (Don't say I didn't tell ya!)

2. Its expensive. If you compare what you receive in relation to the amount you pay its actually very very very expensive. Considering, its only sums and sums of worksheets. Taking into account that parents have to do all the marking at home.

AND the instructor doesn't really do much, apart from coordinate, distribute worksheets and greet students at the door. My observation of parents, is that they were rich and famous, and if they were poor, somehow managed to scrape the funds as their children were just down right desperately needing help with math or english.

3. Its time consuming. Students are expected to complete each worksheet within 10 minutes. This sounds contradictory, but trust me, it takes 10 minutes just to get kids to sit down and do work in the first instance.

If its not completed, within 10 mins or less, that worksheet has to be completed again, and again and again and...time consuming, tedious and boredom springs to mind yet again!

Sometimes students can not even maintain the motivation to work accurately and speedily.

Its certainly hard enough to initially get children to do work, let alone at very very high standards. Which one springs to mind over Kumon advantages disadvantages? (T and B?)

4. It requires parental guidance. Parents are expected to guide their children in all aspects of it at home. From reminding to do the work everyday to marking work. It requires constant reminding of doing worksheets.

This may actually be an advantage, but if one day of worksheet is missed out, then a back log of worksheets start to accumulate. If any day is not completed then..money down the drain.

5. Its as flexible or rigid as instructors would like it to be. Instructors are in-charge of their own centers, therefore can bring whatever rules they want. They can make the marking system as rigid or flexible as they want. Centers do not require instructors to have any formal teaching qualification.

6. You have to attend a centre once or twice a week. If you don't go to the center you can have work sent to you by post. I have found that most centers are located in affluent parts of town!

7. You have to do on average 10 pages everyday. AND when you are on HOLIDAY! There are no 'if's and buts'. This is actually a good thing, another tick for the advantage column. However, if you have children, work, a busy schedule, sometimes its very difficult to get on top of reminding children to do work everyday.

Once a back log starts its very hard to maintain children to do another 10 minutes of work or look at it as 20 worksheets! Every single child I have come across has missed days of work...and the point is...money down the drain.

8. Its independent learning. Independent learning is actually an advantage, however sometimes guidance is required with higher levels and even some children, especially younger children have great difficulty with independent learning and require guidance. Some instructors refuse to help or guide children as discovered in the forums, where children have been reduced to tears.

9. Its repetitive. The same 10 pages are done everyday for a week. If they are not done up to an instructors standard then they are repeated. And repeated and repeated...

10. Parents have to mark work. This may be considered an advantage, good parenting skills blah blah...but any single parent, working parent, busy schedule parents, may find it difficult to keep on top of marking work everyday.

I certainly did. To be honest with you, sometimes I just couldn't be bothered to mark work. !0 pages of tick, tick, tick, cross...ughh...boring again. If I have to pay for it, then get them to do the dirty work! Its as simple as that. But, no, Kumon...you HAVE to mark it yourself lol.

11. Requires patience and motivation. These skills are required on the outset. Motivation soon dwindles after about a week or two and boredom kicks in.

Even with all the motivation in the world that is provided by Kumon, with stickers and rewards, its still not enough to keep it going.

So, patience and motivation on behalf of parents is key in keeping children motivated and on their toes.

12. You still need private tuition. Ohhh yes. As ridicules as this may sound, after 4 years of my younger sisters doing Kumon, they still needed a private math tutor! Kumon covers the grounding and roots of maths and english. Such as 'how to read and write', 'how to do addition and subtraction'. It does not show you how to find the equation of a line or it does not show you how to work out the angles in a triangle.

How to achieve your own Kumon style work at home without going to Kumon centres

Kumon style work can be achived at home very easily. I worked there for 4 years and I saw the same thing day in, day out. Kumons philosophy is speed and accuracy. Mainly accuracy.

I apply the same method at home with my own kids. I write sums on a piece of paper, very easy ones,

1+1=

1+2=

1+3=

.

.

.

etc, up to 10. Then photocopy this 10 times. Give your child a target time and encourage a high standard of accuracy. After they have finnished the work, mark it and make them do their corrections.

The next of sums are adding 1's, but all jumbled up.

1+9=

4+1=

0+1=.

.

.

etc,, up to 10. Then photocopy this 10 times and give it to your child to do over the next week. If you feel their are many corrections to do, then they need to do the first set of worksheets again. When you feel the speed and accuracy is to a good enough standard, you can do the next set of worksheets, which is adding 1's to 11 up to 20.

1+11=

1+12=

1+13=

etc. You can continue adding 1's up to however many numbers you feel is necessary. Personally, I would stop at 20 or 30.

Next using the same method, add numbers with 2's.

2+1=

2+2=

2+3=

.

.

.

etc, up to 10. Apply the same procedure as above and keep going up until you feel is adequate.

Then add numbers with 3's, 4's, 5' etc up to 10. Use the same method as above and keep going up until you feel your child has mastered the art of addition.

Next, is subtraction. Use the same method as above, by subtracting numbers with 1.

1-1=

2-1=

3-1=

.

.

.

etc. And the process starts all over again...yawn.

The same procedure is also applied to multiplication and division.

Do you see now why children get bored with this? In my opinion, it really is a terribly, boring way to in-still education into children.

At least doing it at home, on your own terms, using your own handwritten worksheets, their is some satisfaction of having created your own worksheets, their is the flexibility to have a day off, to extend or relax the number of sheets, to jump to which ever level is necessary, all for free of course!

Alternatively

You can type it on the computer and they can fill the answers in by typing in the answers. This method I use with my daughter now. She is getting bored of the paper style and to be honest, so am I!!

Will it work?

Now, if your thinking, 'How do I know its going to work?'.

It will.

Eventually.

My daughter has learning difficulties. She couldn't count up to 10 properely, when she was 6 years old. Or do her alphabets a to z by that age. Even though I have been doing work with her since she was 2 years old.

She is 7 now and the penny has dropped! Her number bonds are excellent and she knows her times tables perfectly.

The End

I hope you have enjoyed this review of Kumon advantages disadvantages and hope its not been as boring as doing Kumon itself! Do me a little favor and tweet or pass this page along to all your buddies. I am sure they will appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

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Here are some examples of Kumon style worksheets. They are designed to show you exactly what we mean by repetition. You can design these types of worksheets very easily at home on your own.

Try your own worksheets. Try adding with 2, 3, 4 by changing the number 1 to 2, 3, 4 etc. Its very easy and free of course

1. Subtracting worksheet (Subtracting one's)

2. Subtracting mixed questions worksheet (Subtracting one's)

And again try your own worksheets. Try adding with 2, 3, 4 by changing the number 1 to 2, 3, 4 etc. Its so easy AND free of course

31 Days to Faster Times Table Programme

And for those of you who needs a cheap easy crash course to learn the times tables, then this maybe the programme for you.

31 days to faster times table is exactly what this is.

Its an intensive 31 day programme designed by Caroline Mukisa to help children learn their times tables.

Caroline used to be a Kumon Instructor, so the Kumon philosophy is instilled in her. She has used her expertize to brand a cheaper more affordable alternative to Kumon. Definately a thumbs up in my opinion .

• There are worksheets for 31 days.

• A set of audio each around about 2 minutes and 35 seconds long. A young child's voice is reading the tables out.

• 31 tips on how to practise the times tables, THE FUN WAY.

• Caroline also has video clips and explains in detail on how to use the programme.

• Its a lovely site and easy to navigate around.

I recommend this programme for anyone who needs that 31 day crash course on how to learn the times table.

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