To enable children to self-study especially at home.
When our founder, Toru Kumon, created the worksheets, his goal was for children to study high school mathematics with ease, even in grade school. Thus, he included only those topics that were essential to achieve that objective.
This is why the Kumon Math Program doesn’t cover all the math topics your child is studying in school. Comparing Kumon with your child’s school textbooks, Kumon materials are lean and straight to the point; they don’t encompass a wide-ranging curriculum. This makes the Kumon worksheets flexible – your child can study the worksheets at home as the program does not require multiple activities aside from the worksheets alone.
But you’re probably wondering: if Kumon’s goal is for my child to self-study higher math with ease, why aren’t there too many word problems?
Only a few sheets contain word problems. Looking closely at the contents of the Kumon worksheets, most of these are leaning towards calculation problems. If your child struggles a lot in solving word problems, shouldn’t Kumon address this concern to ensure 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 your child solving that question. Even if he/she can understand the logic to the problem, if your child doesn’t know how to solve for x in the equation (x) = 260, then neither will he/she be able to answer the question! If your child freezes at the sight of fractions or division, or if your child cringes at the mere thought of solving something, he/she won’t even try to answer the question above.
The number one reason your child may hate math so much is his/her weak calculation skills. However, if you boost his/her abilities and confidence when it comes to this area, your child will not struggle with math! Also, supporting your child as he/she does Kumon worksheets at home will help you understand why the Kumon Method of Learning is designed this way.
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, the author of The Value of the Kumon Method, understands why problems other than calculations appear in school curriculums. However, he firmly believes that it will be much more beneficial if your child has good command over calculation, which will be needed to solve more complex problems in higher math. The best part is, your child can quickly develop his/her calculation skills even by just doing his/her Kumon worksheets at home.
Thus, do not fret if the Kumon Math Program doesn’t mirror your child’s school curriculum or doesn’t feature too many word problems. Through continuous Kumon study, your child will be able to conquer his/her 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