To enable children to self-study with ease senior high school mathematics even in grade school.
This was the goal of our founder Toru Kumon when he started developing the Kumon worksheets. Thus, he included only those topics that were essential to achieve that objective. Contents that did not directly help students to self-study high school math have been left out.
This is why the Kumon Math Program, as you may have noticed, doesn’t cover all the math topics your child is studying in school. Comparing them with your child’s school textbooks, Kumon materials are lean and to the point; they don’t encompass a bulky, wide-ranging curriculum.
But you’re probably wondering, if the goal of Kumon is for children to self-study with ease higher math, why aren’t there too many word problems? In fact, only a few sheets contain word problems. Looking closely at the contents of the Kumon worksheets, most of them are leaning towards calculation problems. If children struggle a lot in solving word problems, shouldn’t Kumon address this concern as well to ensure a smoother progress in higher math?
To answer this question, let’s first solve this problem: 48% of the students are girls and 260 students are boys. How many students are there in total?
Now imagine a child solving that question. Even if he can understand the logic to the problem, if he doesn’t know how to solve for x in the equation ()x = 260, then neither will he be able to answer the question! If this child freezes at the sight of fractions or division, or if he cringes at the mere thought of solving for something, then he won’t even try to answer the question above.
The number one reason why children hate math so much is because of their weak calculation skills. However, if you boost their abilities and confidence when it comes to this area, children will not struggle when it comes to math! And this is why the Kumon Method of Learning has more calculation problems than word problems.
According to our founder, “Calculation is the breakthrough to math. If you master calculations…it will be a breakthrough to high school math where algebra is predominant. If primary students become good at fractions, equations…they will love math in high school.”
Tokuhiro Kimata, author of The Value of the Kumon Method, understands that problems other than calculations appear in school curriculums. However, he strongly believes that it will be much more beneficial if children have good command over calculation, which will be needed to solve more complex problems in higher math.
Thus, do not fret if the Kumon Math Program doesn’t mirror your child’s school curriculum, or if it doesn’t feature too many word problems. Through continuous Kumon study, your child will still be able to conquer his math subject—and gain the other benefits of Kumon such as confidence, discipline, and a love for learning.
Reference: The Value of The Kumon Method by Tokuhiro Kimata