April 16, 2008


Teddy and Benedict started this great math after school program almost 6 weeks ago. It is called Kumon and was started by a Japanese guy. It's mostly a series of drills that the kids have to do daily for about 20-30 minutes on average (daily means even on Saturdays, Sundays and every day during the summer break). They start at a level that is below their grade and only go to the next level if they've mastered the material. The material covered is only the pure math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals and then algebra etc.). They don't do reading time, measurements etc.

After becoming familiar with the Kumon method, I realized that in learning math, accuracy by itself is not enough. It's accuracy AND speed that really tell you that you've mastered the material and are ready to move on.

Benedict is very good at math but lately he had hit a wall. He just didn't enjoy it anymore and started complaining that it was too hard. I think I pushed him a little too much at a point where he just needed more practice at a lower level.

Teddy is at grade level and doing just OK which I decided was not good enough. I didn't want math to become something he dreaded. So I decided that 6 months of Kumon (maybe more) will benefit both of them. They are doing great and really enjoying it. The best part for them is that they're getting these tokens every time they return their homework and they can collect them and buy really cool prizes with them.

About 3 weeks ago Cecilia joined her brothers at Kumon. She is starting Kindergarten in the fall and I thought we could use some help preparing her since she's no longer going to preschool. She is doing the Kumon reading program and the instructor is very impressed with how well she's doing. Every time she goes there she gets these little worksheets to work on every day, a set of flash cards and 2 books that I read to her every day.

Here is Cecilia's latest homework package.

Here is Benedict's homework for the week plus his tokens. He is currently at level B, which is 2nd grade.

And this is Teddy's (currently level C or 3rd grade)

I highly recommend Kumon, both math and reading (at least for preschoolers, since I'm not familiar with the reading program for older kids). It's not only great as a remedial program but it's also good for keeping kids challenged and above grade level.

Here is their official website : www.kumon.com

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