I’m an advocate for teaching children based on their individual abilities and thirst for knowledge. My 8 year old daughter attends a wonderful school but in my honest opinion, no matter how good a school may be the one major factor in the detriment of public education is “grade level”. Everything is based on, compared to, and all relative to grade level.
How can a child fully engage in learning if the content is limited by their grade level?
There was a time when grade level was simply the minimum standard of what a child should know. Now, it has become the standard of what every child will know at a specified grade.
We take my daughter to the Kumon Learning center at Piedmont Park in Atlanta twice a week for roughly 20-30 minutes of math. Each Kumon center is independently owned and operated so the experience we have may be different from someone that goes to another Kumon.
The other 5 days a week she doesn’t go to the center, she has to complete Kumon work sheets at home. This is a challenge for us especially when traveling, but we get creative and find ways to motivate her.
Participating in Kumon can be a struggle for some families. The time commitment is one of the biggest sacrifices. Taking your child into the center twice a week and making sure they complete the assignments at home. By participating in Kumon you are agreeing to support your child daily and work with the instructors to give your child the best experience.
My daughter is taught to master each unit before moving on to the next level. Her progress is based on her speed and ability of each unit and not on her grade level. Some units go a lot fast than others. She spent more time on subtraction than she did on addition. She is currently on 2 digit multiplication and she’s slowed down a bit. We, the instructor and I, decided to have her review earlier units to build back up her confidence and speed.
My daughter works very hard and is rewarded not just by Kumon dollars earned at each session, but by her ability to quickly calculate basic math facts . She enjoys being at the top of her class in math, she feels accomplished for working hard everyday. Completing her worksheets also helps her to develop independent study skills. This is often the missing component from formal education today.
Parents can work with their children at home everyday and get similar results. It does take a lot of patience and consistency but the results are evident. Students that practice math everyday have a solid math foundation and are more likely to do well in Math AP classes.
Kumon offers free initial consultation and screening for families that are interested in registering their child. I recommend families that want to give their children an academic advantage to check out Kumon.
The summer is approaching and like most families, we have a lots of travel and fun things planned. But while some children will forget most of what they learned this school year, mine will be working on her Kumon daily.