Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 21:59:39 EST
Subject: Kumin Math

Perhaps I am not spelling this correctly,since there is nothing to be found on Kumin Math, but my search for info on this topic led to this site. My understanding is that it is a program of repeated drills. Do you have any additional information? I know that this will come up during Parent conferences since some of my Jr. High students are talking about it.

Sixth grade teacher -
Grosse Pointe, MI

Hi Kathy,

It is spelled Kumon. Here is a reply to you question from Jack.

Dear Kathy You are right. Kumon math is an after-school business that parents pay a fee to for the right to send their children. It is my view that it involves a series of "drill and kill'' worksheets and I don't like it. I feel that, if the students spent the same amount of after-school time on meaningful mathematics, they would do better. However, if defence of Kumon, it does seem to give the students confidence. The problem is that it seems to concentrate on the technical side of mathematics and ignore the artistic side (analysis, synthesis, appreciation, etc).


I know very little about Kumon. What I know I read in an article in the September 1997 issue of Report on Business, a publication of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper. The article, titled Basic Drill is by Daniel Stoffman and is on pages 109-113. I can give you a couple of quotes from the article.
   "Kumon is based on the simple idea that if you want to get good at something, you need to practice it. In the Kumon system, children do worksheet math problems. They stay at one level of difficulty until they can do the work with 100% accuracy within a specified period of time."
   "No one in North America has evaluated the relative performance of children who take Kumon and those who don't, but studies in Japan have shown that Kumon kids get better grades."
You can find additional information on the Kumon web site at, but I do agree with Jack that there is much more to mathematics than drill in numerical computations and algebraic manipulations.


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