Frequently Asked Questions

Are all Kumon Centers the same?

Kumon is a program, which combines product with service. All centers use the same product in the form of Kumon worksheets much in the same way as teachers in schools across Massachusetts use the same books or music teachers use the same instruments. However, since the prescription of worksheets is based upon monitoring by individual instructors in the same way that direct teaching does; naturally, all decisions and instruction are based on the experience and perceptions of the Instructors. Hence, each Kumon center is affected by the individual styles of the Instructors who run them and the service granted to your child varies accordingly.

Why is it important for my child to learn independently?

Children can only go so far with someone constantly looking over their shoulder.  Kumon’s systematic approach allows children to work through material themselves and continually strengthen skills needed throughout school.  The difference between tutoring programs and Kumon can be thought of as the difference between towing a car and turbo-powering its engine.  Kumon gives children what it takes to succeed on their own.

What is covered in the Kumon curriculum?

Kumon is not meant to replicate topic-by-topic your child’s school curriculum.  It’s designed to develop a strong command of core skills that can be applied in subject after subject, from the most basic material through higher level study.  Kumon harnesses a streamlined, fundamentals-focused approach to helping students become better learners and ultimately succeed with challenging material at the high school level.

How long will it take my child to catch up to grade level?

Kumon’s aims are different from tutoring programs that may provide a short-term boost in your child’s performance.  Kumon makes children better learners with the skills to succeed on their own throughout school.  That’s why Kumon encourages parents to take a broader view.  Kumon students reach – and often surpass – grade level by working daily at their own pace, setting goals with the Kumon Instructor, and developing tools to help them succeed now and in the future.

Why isn’t my child progressing faster with Kumon?

Kumon students who hit their stride with the program may advance a grade-and-a-half level or more with each school grade.  Be sure to monitor your child’s Kumon study at home, stay abreast of his or her progress at the Center, and encourage your child to work closely with the Kumon Instructor to set goals.  Helping to keep your child motivated is the best way to ensure steady and meaningful advancement.

My Child is caught up at school.  Why stay with Kumon?

Kumon provides a complete curriculum, covering material from preschool all the way up to college level.  Some parents are surprised to learn how many students pursue advanced study with us or just continue to supplement their schoolwork long after catching up to grade level.  Indeed, Kumon is a truly progressive program intended to benefit children through high school and help them excel in their academic careers.

Why is my child starting at such a low level?

A solid starting point enables children to succeed from the outset by building on a rock-solid foundation without any learning gaps to hinder them down the road.  That’s how they gain confidence and momentum, and are able to advance on their own steadily and confidently through the curriculum.

Why must my child be timed and complete assignments so quickly?

Speed is just as important a gauge as accuracy of how well a child has grasped a concept.  A student must know that 9 + 7 equals 16 without hesitation, or be able to read a passage fluently without stumbling on individual words or sentences.

Why must my child do so much repetition?

As with learning to play the piano or hit a baseball, gaining proficiency with learning skills requires frequent practice.  A piano student doesn’t begin to play compositions until simple scales have been mastered.  In much the same way, he or she shouldn’t tackle words until letters and letter combinations are mastered, or take on multiplication of two-digit numbers until achieving a total command of the operation with single digits.

Why can’t Kumon be more flexible with the order of material covered?

Every part of the Kumon curriculum, from individual worksheets to entire curriculum levels, is designed to build incrementally on the foundation of learning established up to that point.  Multiplication by 2 is followed by multiplication by 3; sentence building is followed by paragraph building; and so on.  Just as you might use training wheels on your child’s bike, remove one and then the other, Kumon nurtures mastery and independence by simple and logical progression.

Why is home grading necessary?

While even ten minutes can be difficult for a busy parent to spare, it can make an enormous difference.  Kumon students whose work is home graded advance to new material sooner with fewer errors and less repetition.  In fact Kumon Instructor records have shown time and again that home graded students progress 30% to 100% better than those who aren't.  That means they become better learners.  Isn't that worth ten minutes a day?

What if my child is not motivated to do Kumon?

Most children respond favorably to initial exposure to Kumon, and few have problems once they are completely accustomed to the routine.  However, it is not uncommon at some point or another for Kumon students to be less than fully cooperative participants in the program.  Parental perseverance and enthusiasm for your child's progress are the most effective ways of handling this challenge.

Why shouldn’t we take a vacation from Kumon?

Kumon is a year-round program of daily study because it is designed to promote steady, incremental progress in the acquisition of key learning skills.  Consistency and regular "conditioning" are most conducive to your child's comfortable and continual advancement with Kumon.  Uninterrupted study also fosters commitment, dedication, and perseverance.