Costs vary around the country but David Samuel at Kumon Math And Reading Center Of Westchester, CA, says he has seen prices from $90–$180/month per subject, but that a good average is $150 per subject. Also there is a registration fee of $50, and initial material fees of $15. Get free estimates from local Kumon centers and tutors near you.
While math and reading tutoring used to be only given to help kids pass exams, it’s now a standard practice whenever any child is struggling in school. What’s made it even easier is the accessibility of tutors or learning programs at a price point you can afford. With current money being diverted from the classroom, the onus is falling more and more on parents to make up the difference in a child’s understanding and knowledge. Kumon is one resource parents can use to get their kids all the help they need.
Kumon centers were first started in 1958 by Toru Kumon in Osaka, Japan, after he found the teaching methods he developed for his son, Takeshi, helped him greatly with his reading and math skills. Kumon had previously been a high school teacher, and he developed the program based on teaching students rote memorization of math facts. Soon after, he changed the name of the center from the Kumon Institute of Mathematics to the Kumon Institute of Education to reflect the fact that the center also had reading programs.
The program really began to grow after the success of Kumon’s book, The Secret of Kumon Math, to where Kumon is now a program that teaches 4 million students around the world, with 2,200 Kumon centers in the US alone. There are also Japanese and Kokugo courses available for Japanese speakers in some of the centers.
Costs vary around the country due to variances in overhead. Most centers prefer to give a quote in person rather than online, but Kumon Math & Reading Center of Anaheim Hills-Weir Canyon charge $150/month per subject.
David Samuel at Kumon Math And Reading Center Of Westchester, CA, says he has seen prices from $90–$180/month per subject around the country, but that a good average is $150 per subject. Also there is a registration fee of $50, and initial material fees of $15.
Part of the reason why many students don’t get into college is because they can’t get high enough scores in math and English, and it’s not only because of a lack of understanding; it’s because they haven’t been taught basic math and vocabulary facts they can recall instantly during exams. Students often decide they won’t need math or reading in their future careers, and that if they do, they’ll have their phones for looking up what they need; but there are too many degrees that require students to pass basic math and English in their first year of study. Not having these skills can set them back severely from a well-paid future career.
One student says that going through the program has helped her so much more in her fashion studies because of the amount of math and technology she needs to know. The Kumon Math and Reading Center of Westchester says, “With a strong academic foundation, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, your child has the potential to achieve whatever he or she desires.”
Each school and each school district is dependent on many things which will affect the student’s overall ability to learn what he or she needs to, including the quality of the teachers, the school budget, the general attitude toward learning in the school, and the level of parental involvement. The parents must take up the fallout from anything missing in their children’s education.
Kumon’s reading program includes a “recommended reading list that contains 380 books designed to help you as a parent select material that enhances your child’s appreciation for and understanding of the English language and helps to develop a lifelong love for reading. Many of the books on the Recommended Reading List have won literary awards such as the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award.”
The Kumon math program begins with counting and number sequencing and over the program, builds up to calculus, probability, and statistics.
Over the last 25 years, schools have been expanding their class size and shrinking the ratio of teachers per student. Given that most students are followers of the student with the most influence in the classroom rather than the teacher, it’s safe to say that about 80% of students are not giving their teachers their full attention during any given lesson, if we use the 80/20 rule.
According to a 2015 report from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average US high school class size ranges from 18.7 in Alaska to 34.5 in Nevada. This shifting number makes it incredibly difficult for teachers to keep the class’s attention, let alone convey what they are trying to teach in that hour.
Given that it now takes two working parents to afford current living costs, many parents are not available for their kids after school to help with homework or even to explain basic facts. Without that support, children are finding it more frustrating trying to learn what they need to alone. The benefit of a Kumon center means they can get that help after school as they need it.
Even if one parent is able to stay at home, he/she might not have the ability to recall school learning, let alone be able to explain certain concepts. Children need to be able to have someone familiar with their schoolwork available for questions after school.
While there are many teachers who are gifted and excellent at conveying what the students need to know, there are others who cannot teach well and leave the students feeling even more confused. Unfortunately, parents have no control over which public school teachers their children get.
Many Kumon students volunteer their time once they complete the program, and they go on to become teachers because of their love for teaching that is developed during that time. Kumon teachers have ongoing training and are constantly helping improve the teaching program based on their experience with students and student case studies.
The less a child is able to keep up with the rest of the class or understand the topics, the more frustrated the student becomes. This leads to children giving up and not paying attention in class, and as the curriculum builds, they get even more lost. Self-confidence disappears and they start to become afraid of even asking a question in class that might display their lack of knowledge.
Many children have testified that Kumon has helped them face challenges and overcome them. The practice of pushing through in small steps rather than getting overwhelmed with the end picture has given them tools for life. “My determination to keep going has become stronger,” says one aspiring ballerina. “Kumon improved my self-esteem, because every time I saw a hard math question on a test at school, I’d know how to do it,” says Abishek.
“Knowing how to do it is great, but knowing how to do it efficiently and fast is much better.” The owner of Kumon of North Arlington, TX, says, “I create an at-home study plan for each student in addition to monitoring classroom assignments, and I emphasize the importance of accurately completing each assignment within a designated time frame. This has helped many of my students increase self-confidence, thus becoming more self-reliant.”
Some kids have other problems they are dealing with in life and it’s taking their focus off paying attention in school. Perhaps bullies are picking on them or their friends are ghosting them or a sibling is sick. Once in the smaller, safer environment of a Kumon center’s class, children can focus on what needs to be learned.
One child says that she enjoys getting higher scores on her math and English tests thanks to what she has learned with Kumon. One part of the program that incentivizes children is that they write in their start and end times on every worksheet, and each time they are encouraged to improve their personal best. This encourages personal pride in their work.
US families often have to move out of town or to a new state because of job opportunities, which can make things difficult for children as they struggle to adapt to the new environment and new classmates. Also, the quality of teaching might be worse than at the old school or at too high a level for them. Kumon can bridge that transition.
Deciding to work on math and reading at the delicate tween and teen stage can become a battle between child and parents as children begin to assert their individuality and independence. Letting them learn at a Kumon center rather than listen to parents yelling at them to do their homework can be hugely beneficial, as they don’t have the same issues with teachers.
The Kumon method is unique in that it teaches the students math and reading facts through memorization. Students learn skills incrementally and don’t move on to the next level or skill until the first one is mastered. It’s a step-by-step system that has proven itself over and over throughout the world, and is particularly useful for kids who find other methods of learning overwhelming.
Daily assignments take about 30 minutes to complete, two of which are completed at the Kumon center and five which are completed at home. The main beauty of the method is that students are self-taught from the content in the program and guided in their learning by the teachers, rather than taught by the teachers and told what they can learn and when.
Parents have found the routine and predictability of Kumon to be very helpful for kids who need this level of routine. Children with autism and other disorders have said that it helps to learn at a pace they can set for themselves, and that always having an instructor present while at the center or available through e-mail is settling. The father of Peter, a Down Syndrome kid with leukemia, has said that the dedication and consistency of Kumon has been very helpful to Peter.
Because no children start without taking an assessment to gauge how much they understand, you can rest assured that they will begin in the right place. The assessment not only studies the number of correct answers, but instructors also look at a child’s posture, handwriting, way of holding the pencil, and level of distractibility in order to best customize the program to the child. Worksheets are designed to teach students everything they need to know at that level.
Once students get the answers right, they can move on to the next level, thus insuring that, unlike school, they know the material before moving on to another concept. This helps children become self-taught rather than spoon fed, and they get to set the pace for themselves without having to slow down or scramble ahead to match the rest of the class.
The instructors are all certified in the Kumon method, and they have regular conferences with the child and parent in order to evaluate and monitor progress and help the child achieve success at each level. Children feel a great sense of pride in passing each level, and when they are struggling with the material, they are encouraged to try to solve the problems on their own first before asking for help.
An instructor is always present in the room to explain concepts or help a child problem-solve, and the perspective is that there is always a way they can adjust the learning schedule to fit the child’s learning curve and learning style. You’ll find that many students stay in touch with their former Kumon instructors for the rest of their lives, such is the feeling of care their instructors emanate.
Darryl Young, a former Kumon student, is now a professor of mathematics in Harvey Mudd College, Los Angeles, and he says Kumon has helped him see his students through different eyes. Imitating the Kumon method, he seeks to know what they can and can’t do and what they are successful in, so he can help each student build off those successes. He started a group in 2007 called Math for America, providing teachers with everything he can possibly give to help them at their craft. He says what Kumon tries to do is show that math is a skill, just like any other skill that must be learned; and if you work at it, you will get better. Many former students have found Kumon so helpful that they want to help at their local center long after they’ve completed the program.
A study of the effects of the Kumon Method upon the mathematical development of a group of inner-city junior high school students was this: “103 Hispanic junior high school students were instructed using the Kumon Mathematical Method. Instruction took place 1 hour per day, 5 days a week in a public school setting. Instruction extended over an eight month period. ... Reported were significant gains in math computation, math concepts, and math applications scores at the seventh grade level; grade 8 students maintained their percentile rankings for the duration of the study; subjects significantly increased their speed on the Kumon exam.”
Your children can start the Kumon program at the age of three, if desired—once they are ready to learn to read and hold a pencil. In order to figure out if the Kumon program would be a good fit for your child, meet with an instructor at your nearest Kumon center. There you will be able to get answers for any and all questions you might have.
Attend an orientation. You can find your nearest location here. Your child will be given an orientation test to assess current abilities and gauge where to start in the program. Once enrolled, you can monitor progress through the online portal.
As one parent said, “These results translated into a self-esteem boost that I didn’t anticipate. They’ve gotten that there’s a thrill in achieving something. I care more about that than I care about them reading. ... I treat them both with more respect now, because I see what they’re capable of intellectually.”
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