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Rec. a math tutoring program like Kumon?


Alicia64

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I'm beginning to think I'd like my boys who are 10 to have more math exposure, but I don't know where to begin. They're not behind so I'm not trying to shore up their lagging skills. I'm trying to expose them to a different way of learning math based on a book I've been reading.

 

If you've used Kumon, Aloha, Mathnasium or something like it. . . can you share your good or bad experiences?

 

Thank you!

 

Alley

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Kumon for two kids would be between 100 and 130 dollars a month for each kid (each Kumon franchise sets its own price). Kumon is a drill program only. If your kids don't automatically know their addition/subtraction facts, mult/division facts instantly then they will start at a really low level and it will take a while to get up to where they are probably working conceptually. So they may be doing 200 problems a day of 4+8; 7+5; 15-7, etc. for the first month or two. Then Kumon moves on to multi-digit addition/subtraction, then multiplication, etc. through fractions, decimals, and then it continues on into alg. and further. There is only one way math will be taught there -through speed and accuracy and repeating problem sets until a child can do them automatically. Some kids do not need the drill and can do well with a program like Singapore Math, while others need the drill. Many kids in Singapore are attending a drill program or their parents are drilling math facts with them at home.

 

Mathnasium is more expensive and they have their own worksheets that cover more areas than computation. 

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From what I understand, the Kumon type places are basically for public schooled kids who aren't learning their math facts and school and their parents want them to have more drill.  You can replicate that by having them do more timed math tests and worksheets.  Last time I was at Dollar Tree, they had a big bin of timed math tests at different levels.

 

I don't know where you live, but it sounds like you're talking about something like the Russian School of Mathematics?  I think they have locations in MA and CA.  I've heard great things.

 

You could always find a college math major who will tutor them.  The student might not understand how to put together what you want, but maybe could work through a Zaccaro challenge book or something.

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My son goes to JEI learning center for summer camp last year. They offer school year program as well. I like their booklets. They have certified teacher teaches small group of students for concept first and then students do their own level of booklets base on their own assessment and progress. Then teacher will grade the work and identify the weak area to work further. The mateials increase difficulty in baby step so children won't get frustrated. My son has been asking to go back this summer.

I know there is another similar learning center called eye level. Their math program contains basic math and critical thinking math which my friend's math gifted child enjoys a lot.

I personally do not like kumon but it has some advantage. We do some kumon booklets at home for timed math but not overly killed with it.

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From what I understand, the Kumon type places are basically for public schooled kids who aren't learning their math facts and school and their parents want them to have more drill.  You can replicate that by having them do more timed math tests and worksheets.  Last time I was at Dollar Tree, they had a big bin of timed math tests at different levels.

 

 

This thread has been awesome -- thank you! Well, I've eliminated Kumon! (I don't want or need "drill and kill.")

 

My boys have completed Xtra at 1.5 second. (Please don't think I'm bragging. It's been a solid year of doing Xtra.)

 

I've been reading an awesome book called The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way. Finland is doing really well and they seem to have a different approach to math than we do in the U.S.

 

An aside: South Korea is doing really well too, but they have their kids in school from early a.m. until 11 p.m., but Finland isn't doing that crazy-schedule-thing.)

 

Anyhoo, in our state we have a program called Aloha that teaches kids w/ an abacus initially and eventually everything is done in the head. They can do 75 + 8 - 12 + 63 etc. etc. in their head.

 

Some experts are saying that this "fluency" in math is helping these kids do really well in advance math.This goes w/ a math major once telling DH that knowing their math facts cold is what helps everyone do better in higher math.

 

I'm wondering if our kids can do more than just know 8 + 5.

 

Please don't beat up on me. I'm brand new to looking into how important math is in our current culture.

 

Any feedback is welcome.

 

Alley

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What is their main curriculum? It's hard to recommend a supplemental program without knowing that.

 

Some ideas for supplemental math:

 

Right Start tutoring http://store.rightstartmath.com/alabacuspacket.aspx

Beast Academy (don't worry about only the 3rd grade books being available, it's very advanced for that grade) https://www.beastacademy.com/store/

Singapore Intensive Practice http://www.singaporemath.com/Primary_Math_Intensive_Practice_U_S_Ed_s/147.htm

Zaccaro http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Zaccaro/e/B001JS569W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Problemoids http://www.rfwp.com/series/problemoids-math-challenge-program

Hard Math for Elementary School http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Elementary-School-Glenn-Ellison/dp/1489507175

Borac http://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Borac/e/B00DXHDM2A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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What is their main curriculum? It's hard to recommend a supplemental program without knowing that.

 

Some ideas for supplemental math:

 

Right Start tutoring http://store.rightstartmath.com/alabacuspacket.aspx

Beast Academy (don't worry about only the 3rd grade books being available, it's very advanced for that grade) https://www.beastacademy.com/store/

Singapore Intensive Practice http://www.singaporemath.com/Primary_Math_Intensive_Practice_U_S_Ed_s/147.htm

Zaccaro http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Zaccaro/e/B001JS569W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Problemoids http://www.rfwp.com/series/problemoids-math-challenge-program

Hard Math for Elementary School http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Elementary-School-Glenn-Ellison/dp/1489507175

Borac http://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Borac/e/B00DXHDM2A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

They've been doing Teaching Textbooks and Xtra. They're ten and in 5th grade. One finishes his math easily and one struggles a bit. They're on disc 6.

 

My math is abysmal so that's why I love TT because someone else is teaching. I can't use a program where I'm the primary teacher.

 

That's also why I'm interested in Aloha or something like it.

 

Thanks,

 

Alley

 

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If you are using TT, I would strongly encourage you to supplement with a problem-solving focused program. I'm sorry, but TT has the reputation of being one of the weakest math programs on the market. I've heard a bunch of horror stories from moms of older kids who made A's in TT high school level math but then got to college and were forced to enroll in remedial pre-algebra after bombing the placement test.

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If you are using TT, I would strongly encourage you to supplement with a problem-solving focused program. I'm sorry, but TT has the reputation of being one of the weakest math programs on the market. I've heard a bunch of horror stories from moms of older kids who made A's in TT high school level math but then got to college and were forced to enroll in remedial pre-algebra after bombing the placement test.

 

I don't mean this rudely at all, but I hate to not speak up. My son's piano teacher -- who is 18 -- did TT all through highschool and is doing fine in a very nice university. He's getting A's. He started junior college at 16 and went into a four-year as a sophmore.

 

But I have heard that TT is weak, but it's stronger than me! Trust me!

 

Would you suggest doing TT along with Singapore Fan Math Process Skills? I'm open to doing more than one program? Or switch entirely?

 

When we first started homeschooling DH said he'd handle math but he travels a lot w/ a new job.

 

Thanks for helping me!

 

Alley

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What you're looking for in supplements should make up for areas in which your main program is weaker.  Aside from sequence differences, the aspects of TT that may be weak, at least as often discussed here, would include concept instruction and problem solving.  So, those are the areas that you may want to find supplements for.  Problem solving supplements abound but thorough concept instruction may be tricky to incorporate without changing programs.

 

The other aspect that you mention, adding multi-digit numbers in one's head, is just mental math, which can be improved with practice and there may be various strategies to employ there.

 

 

Anyhoo, in our state we have a program called Aloha that teaches kids w/ an abacus initially and eventually everything is done in the head. They can do 75 + 8 - 12 + 63 etc. etc. in their head.

 

Some experts are saying that this "fluency" in math is helping these kids do really well in advance math.This goes w/ a math major once telling DH that knowing their math facts cold is what helps everyone do better in higher math.

 

I'm wondering if our kids can do more than just know 8 + 5.

 

Obviously knowing one's math facts cold is helpful as it frees up the brain to work on the hard stuff.  Same for the fluency with mental math that you mention.  However, knowing math facts is not the same thing as mental math fluency.  I'd describe the difference like this:  knowing math facts is a memory thing whereas mental math fluency is a combination of concept understanding and practice manipulating numbers.

 

A program that does all of the above - strong concept instruction, lots of problem solving, and lots of mental math practice - would be something like Singapore or Math Mammoth.  Singapore has a lot of different supplements available for problem solving (and there are all sorts of other problem solving supplements, as CW lists above).  I don't know whether Singapore has a supplement that would involve mental math, but Math Mammoth might have a topic book for getting started with that - perhaps this one.  Beyond addition and subtraction, having a deep understanding of multiplication, factoring and primes, etc. may be a useful addition to mental math skills for later on - I can't think of a supplement off the top of my head; it's just something that came to mind.

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What is their main curriculum? It's hard to recommend a supplemental program without knowing that.

 

Some ideas for supplemental math:

 

Right Start tutoring http://store.rightstartmath.com/alabacuspacket.aspx

Beast Academy (don't worry about only the 3rd grade books being available, it's very advanced for that grade) https://www.beastacademy.com/store/

Singapore Intensive Practice http://www.singaporemath.com/Primary_Math_Intensive_Practice_U_S_Ed_s/147.htm

Zaccaro http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Zaccaro/e/B001JS569W/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Problemoids http://www.rfwp.com/series/problemoids-math-challenge-program

Hard Math for Elementary School http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Elementary-School-Glenn-Ellison/dp/1489507175

Borac http://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Borac/e/B00DXHDM2A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

What grades would beast academy be appropriate for?

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What grades would beast academy be appropriate for?

 

Only grade 3 and a quarter of grade 4 have been published so far.  Ultimately, it will include grades 2-5.  Beast Academy is by Art of Problem Solving.

 

eta, oops, you're asking a slightly different question.  I think the answer is that if you're using it as a supplement, it depends on your student.  The actual topics, at least most of them, are supposedly at grade level but some amount of the problems are significantly deeper and more challenging than in a traditional program, and perhaps from a different angle, so to speak.

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Beast Academy is hard to peg a grade level for because some of the topics in the 3rd grade books are easier than others. I would say that most of the BA chapters are harder than Singapore's 3rd grade books, which is why I'm running BA slightly behind Singapore (DS is in Singapore 4A and BA 3D). There was one chapter in BA that Singapore doesn't cover at all (perfect squares) and my oldest took a break from Singapore 7 to play around with that chapter.

 

I would say that if you've got a 3rd through 5th grader, there will likely be enough in BA to make it worth using as a supplement.

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This thread has been beyond helpful. I'm reading through it with a fine tooth comb.

 

My tendency -- because of my background -- is to focus on grammar, writing, cursive, literature. I'm reading a book right now that is waking me up to the fact that people in our current culture need fabulous math skills.

 

I'm glad I caught this at 5th grade.

 

If you were a "not math" person like me. . . would you still do Singapore? Of course, I want to do right by my boys, but I have to be realistic about what I can actually do.

 

Where would Khan Academy fit in do you think?

 

A million thank you's!!!

 

Alley

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If you were a "not math" person like me. . . would you still do Singapore? Of course, I want to do right by my boys, but I have to be realistic about what I can actually do.

Math Mammoth would be my recommendation over Singapore. All the teaching is written to the student directly in the worktext. I seriously considered making it my kids' spine because Maria Miller's explanations are that good but as I'd still want to supplement with Singapore Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems, I decided to stick with Singapore and just supplement certain chapters with some of the MM "blue" worktexts. Plus our charter stipend can be used to purchase the hard copy Singapore materials but not the Math Mammoth downloads or the Lulu.com printed copies.

 

HSBC has MM for 20% off at the moment and the discount could get up to 50%. Or you can get just the grades 4-7 bundle if you prefer that for $63.

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Math Mammoth would be my recommendation over Singapore. All the teaching is written to the student directly in the worktext. I seriously considered making it my kids' spine because Maria Miller's explanations are that good but as I'd still want to supplement with Singapore Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems, I decided to stick with Singapore and just supplement certain chapters with some of the MM "blue" worktexts. Plus our charter stipend can be used to purchase the hard copy Singapore materials but not the Math Mammoth downloads or the Lulu.com printed copies.

 

HSBC has MM for 20% off at the moment and the discount could get up to 50%. Or you can get just the grades 4-7 bundle if you prefer that for $63.

 

Crimson Wife -- DH has read this thread and is on board w/ buying Math Mammoth. Our first step is to give our ten year old boys the fourth grade MM test -- which I think should be fine for them to pass -- and the 5th grade test -- that looks challenging.

 

But then DH said something about "there isn't a workbook. Well, there is but you have to print it out yourself."

 

He's not loving that idea. Is that your experience too? That MM doesn't have a workbook except the kind that you print out?

 

Thanks for all your help. Looking at the MM test I can see now how teaching textbooks is not going to meet our needs.

 

Alley

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I'm beginning to think I'd like my boys who are 10 to have more math exposure, but I don't know where to begin. They're not behind so I'm not trying to shore up their lagging skills. I'm trying to expose them to a different way of learning math based on a book I've been reading.

 

If you've used Kumon, Aloha, Mathnasium or something like it. . . can you share your good or bad experiences?

 

Thank you!

 

Alley

Mathanasium is a waste. kumon has repetitive problems, that one can create at home.

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I am having a strange problem.  Don't think I am bragging, but I am trying to understand US math structure.. And I have not yet enrolled my first grader into Kumon, as most Indians do. She did go to Mathanasium for a short while of 3 months, but I felt it wasted. My first grader is already doing math problems of Third Grade, Time , money , and all topics mentioned on Common Core. Being pro math myself, my instinct is that she understands the concepts well, and is good at math. She does not halt long on any work I give her, and is quite confident. On all her school homework she gets everything right, not even a single mistake. Asking some idea, as I did not study here.

 

A big thanks to all who can help me.  :laugh:  But,  I am feeling a bit lost here, and wanna scratch my head.  :confused1:  

 

PS: I started math late for my dottie, lazy me. She started counting when it had been 6 months to Kindergarten. But she has picked on fast, with about 4 hours a week.

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I am having a strange problem.  Don't think I am bragging, but I am trying to understand US math structure.. I had been a math topper at my school, India. And I have not yet enrolled my first grader into Kumon, as most Indians do. She did go to Mathanasium for a short while of 3 months, but I felt it wasted. My first grader is already doing math problems of Third Grade, Time , money , and all topics mentioned on Common Core. Being pro math myself, my instinct is that she understands the concepts well, and is good at math. She does not halt long on any work I give her, and is quite confident. On all her school homework she gets everything right, not even a single mistake. Yet, she is getting Outstanding "On Grade". This has been repeating for three quarters now.  Am I missing something important here, as I did not study here.

 

A big thanks to all who can help me.  :laugh:  But,  I am feeling a bit lost here, and wanna scratch my head.  :confused1:  

 

PS: I started math late for my dottie, lazy me. She started counting when it had been 6 months to Kindergarten. But she has picked on fast, with about 4 hours a week.

 

One of my best pals is from India -- been here 12 years -- and she also put her son who is now in 7th grade in a Kumon-type place called Aloha.

 

I'd like to offer an update as the OP and my .02. Initially I didn't want to hear it, but for us Teaching Textbooks is not meeting our needs. So, several on here -- and especially Crimson Tide --  encouraged me to do Math Mammoth. I gave my two 5th graders Math Mammoth tests yesterday and -- omg -- major bomb. They couldn't do the Math Mammoth 5th grade test. They were fine with 4th, but still. . .

 

A thank you to Crimson Tide and everyone who pushed me to try Math Mammoth.

 

So we'll spend the spring and summer in 4th and hopefully we'll be in Math Mammoth 5th by September. A year behind, but I don't see an alternative.

 

Your English is awesome, by the way. My friend perfected hers by watching I Love Lucy! :lol:

 

Alley

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Her teacher tells us she is very fast on math, and the concepts. But, I believe a good supplement out of the regular daily stuff may be good for her. I am looking for more of a puzzle, logical thinking exercises kind of supplement for her. On these, MIF, and Beast Academy have been recommended best for PS skills, and greater math approach.  Any other suggestions? We have invested in MIF, and plan to start it this week. Both are quite expensive. Any suggestions for better priced material?

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Thanks. Will try math mammoth assessments. Yes, I understand that the school structure is not enough. My daughter says she gets bored with her daily classwork, and would like to do higher topics, which is as per me, what a 7 year old should actually be doing. But we live in a good school area, and most of her friends are doing some form of supplementary math,most popular being Kumon. If I enroll my dottie into a supplementary math, then I want it to be the right one. I am looking more for Problem Solving supplement.

One of my best pals is from India -- been here 12 years -- and she also put her son who is now in 7th grade in a Kumon-type place called Aloha.

 

I'd like to offer an update as the OP and my .02. Initially I didn't want to hear it, but for us Teaching Textbooks is not meeting our needs. So, several on here -- and especially Crimson Tide --  encouraged me to do Math Mammoth. I gave my two 5th graders Math Mammoth tests yesterday and -- omg -- major bomb. They couldn't do the Math Mammoth 5th grade test. They were fine with 4th, but still. . .

 

A thank you to Crimson Tide and everyone who pushed me to try Math Mammoth.

 

So we'll spend the spring and summer in 4th and hopefully we'll be in Math Mammoth 5th by September. A year behind, but I don't see an alternative.

 

Your English is awesome, by the way. My friend perfected hers by watching I Love Lucy! :lol:

 

Alley

 

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And thanks for the compliment on my English. I studied in a Convent. In India they have different significance, and there, it just means a standard school. :) So I owe it to the dear Sisters, for training me well on the English. :)

One of my best pals is from India -- been here 12 years -- and she also put her son who is now in 7th grade in a Kumon-type place called Aloha.

 

I'd like to offer an update as the OP and my .02. Initially I didn't want to hear it, but for us Teaching Textbooks is not meeting our needs. So, several on here -- and especially Crimson Tide --  encouraged me to do Math Mammoth. I gave my two 5th graders Math Mammoth tests yesterday and -- omg -- major bomb. They couldn't do the Math Mammoth 5th grade test. They were fine with 4th, but still. . .

 

A thank you to Crimson Tide and everyone who pushed me to try Math Mammoth.

 

So we'll spend the spring and summer in 4th and hopefully we'll be in Math Mammoth 5th by September. A year behind, but I don't see an alternative.

 

Your English is awesome, by the way. My friend perfected hers by watching I Love Lucy! :lol:

 

Alley

 

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 I am looking more for Problem Solving supplement.

 

The possibilities for a problem-solving supplement include the Singapore Math Challenging Word Problems (CWP) or Intensive Practice (IP).  Other options include Zaccaro's Primary Grade Challenge Math, and as you already mentioned, Beast Academy (BA) though BA is also a full program.

 

As your child gets into higher levels of math, there are many more options.  As your child seems to be working ahead, you might read on the Accelerated Learning board, where many types of math resources are often discussed.

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For problem solving skills, we are working through Zaccaro's Primary Grade Challenge Math and really enjoying it. I like how it walks the kids through solving before jumping in to the problems. I'm using it (and the second book for oldest DC) as a supplement to MM.

 

Logic books and games would be a great addition. There are a few recent threads on logic and games kids can play alone.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 2 years later...

This community had helped me a lot on starting the right books for my kids. My kids never went to Kumon or other but have great command on math concepts today. They are on the problem solving GT classes as the logical aptitude is good on solving problems. They started these below only around second grade.

 

My suggestion is not to burn your kids with Kumon. It is iterative math and can burn off their creative thinking. Couple of suggestions that I got from these forums have really helped my kids:

 

1. Singapore math /Beast academy until 4'th grade. Just workbooks should be enough supplemented by Khan academy for basics.

2. Lots of puzzles, such as Moscow puzzles.

3. Creative thinking text books and workbooks.

 

Thanks due to all moms/dads who helped me find right books here.

 

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