What is it with Kumon? Why is Kumon popular and why does it work?
“Kumon Maths tutoring” certainly is the most searched term, when looking for Maths tutors, according to Google statistics.
I did a bit of research, as I am not that familiar with it. The name is associated with Maths tutoring and that’s as far as my knowledge of it goes.
Kumon Maths tutoring in a nutshell:
Here is the basic information on Kumon Maths tutoring, as shared on the internet:
A parent in Japan, whose child struggled with Maths, started Kumon. He developed homework practice sheets to solidify arithmetic skills.
Today this has grown into a multinational business across the world. He has also developed a similar system for language skills.
There are about 4000 worksheets with 23 Maths skill levels to be mastered. The learner can complete these at his/her own pace and has to complete similar Maths worksheets until he/she passes and masters a Maths skill.
Some would call this a “boot camp” or “drill-style”-learning.
Thus, the good old: “repeat, repeat, repeat”-teaching style is coupled with enough time for each individual to master Maths skills at their own pace.
Despite its simplicity, it seems to be working perfectly, as most students who were enrolled at Kumon, attest to this.
If this is true, it means that:
– Some learner’s aren’t good at Maths, because they cannot keep up with the teacher/the rest of the class’ pace.
– and that the key to not doing well in Maths, is not understanding, but lack of practice and time spent on the subject.
So, then, after all. You do not need a natural Maths ability or “to be gifted” in Maths to be great at it. Nor do you need a brilliant teacher.
In fact, Kumon is just using University graduates, which they then train for 6 weeks on administering the Maths worksheets. Their role is more that of Maths homework supervisor, than that of a Maths teacher.
Conclusion? Practice makes perfect. Even for the so-called more complex subjects.
I may or may not be wrong. I am sure a good Maths teacher can excel a Maths student’s knowledge at a better pace with some individual attention.
However, Kumon has highlighted the importance of homework and practise, which should not be overlooked.