Kumon Math and Similar Programs

  • #1
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I have been a long proponent of beginning calculus being introduced early in math education at about grade 7 or so, and in the US (with or just after Algebra and Geometry), Calculus BC is taken in grade 10 or even earlier. It's not well known, but believe it or not, a few hundred students in grade 8 or less take the Calculus BC exam across the US. I thought they were just keen outliers like me, who taught myself Calculus at 13. Not real analysis - that waited until university - by the intuitive ideas behind it and doing problems like finding areas, etc., even Eulers magical relation (I still remember encountering it with awe - it also made easier understanding phase shifts in inductors and capacitors I was interested in at the time).

But I recently read an article about; a math syllabus, Kumon, that turned it on its head:
https://au.kumonglobal.com/michael-goes-beyond-calculus-with-kumon-mathematics/
https://au.kumonglobal.com/reaching...ld-matthew-studies-university-level-calculus/

The expectation is that the students who stick with the program take calculus by grade eight and move into university math. A few do it by grade 6.

You start at age three and spend 30 minutes a day. From what I can gather, most do the early levels quickly, but parents (or maybe the students dislike it) often stop at year one but are already at year five or so; parents believe it provides a good foundation.

I am curious about what people think of the program. There are others, like Shoreman Math, where many students do calculus by year 8, but it is usually year 9-10 in that program - although some take it slowly and finish year 11. Shoreman likes year 11 because admissions people see you have completed it when applying to college. Basis schools (well-known charter schools in the US) do it that way - but it can be done by year 10). BASIS has designed it so you have enough credits to graduate in year 11 and go to college, but many stay for an extra year to complete a project, do more advanced work, etc.

Thanks
Bill
 
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  • #2
In my opinion, I have observed that some students are quite adept at solving math problems analytically, often with the assistance of technology. However, what seems to be lacking is a deep understanding of the underlying concepts. For example, they may quickly solve a quadratic equation, but they may not clearly understand how the function looks, its turning points, and so on. They may even in a flick of a second find the inverse of the function without understanding exactly how the two are related. While technology can help solve most math questions and concepts, it cannot provide a deeper insight into an individual mind into what is happening. This is a skill that in In many cases requires long study hours and years to develop …

of course, there could be exceptions for a few...
 
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  • #3
bhobba said:
I have been a long proponent of beginning calculus being introduced early in math education at about grade 7 or so, and in the US (with or just after Algebra and Geometry), Calculus BC is taken in grade 10 or even earlier. It's not well known, but believe it or not, a few hundred students in grade 8 or less take the Calculus BC exam across the US. I thought they were just keen outliers like me, who taught myself Calculus at 13. Not real analysis - that waited until university - by the intuitive ideas behind it and doing problems like finding areas, etc., even Eulers magical relation (I still remember encountering it with awe - it also made easier understanding phase shifts in inductors and capacitors I was interested in at the time).

But I recently read an article about; a math syllabus, Kumon, that turned it on its head:
https://au.kumonglobal.com/michael-goes-beyond-calculus-with-kumon-mathematics/
https://au.kumonglobal.com/reaching...ld-matthew-studies-university-level-calculus/

The expectation is that the students who stick with the program take calculus by grade eight and move into university math. A few do it by grade 6.

You start at age three and spend 30 minutes a day. From what I can gather, most do the early levels quickly, but parents (or maybe the students dislike it) often stop at year one but are already at year five or so; parents believe it provides a good foundation.

I am curious about what people think of the program. There are others, like Shoreman Math, where many students do calculus by year 8, but it is usually year 9-10 in that program - although some take it slowly and finish year 11. Shoreman likes year 11 because admissions people see you have completed it when applying to college. Basis schools (well-known charter schools in the US) do it that way - but it can be done by year 10). BASIS has designed it so you have enough credits to graduate in year 11 and go to college, but many stay for an extra year to complete a project, do more advanced work, etc.

Thanks
Bill
I am currently in eighth grade doing lemon and am in level k, precalc, and they skip a lot of stuff
 
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  • #4
bhobba said:
I have been a long proponent of beginning calculus being introduced early in math education at about grade 7 or so, and in the US (with or just after Algebra and Geometry), Calculus BC is taken in grade 10 or even earlier. It's not well known, but believe it or not, a few hundred students in grade 8 or less take the Calculus BC exam across the US. I thought they were just keen outliers like me, who taught myself Calculus at 13. Not real analysis - that waited until university - by the intuitive ideas behind it and doing problems like finding areas, etc., even Eulers magical relation (I still remember encountering it with awe - it also made easier understanding phase shifts in inductors and capacitors I was interested in at the time).

But I recently read an article about; a math syllabus, Kumon, that turned it on its head:
https://au.kumonglobal.com/michael-goes-beyond-calculus-with-kumon-mathematics/
https://au.kumonglobal.com/reaching...ld-matthew-studies-university-level-calculus/

The expectation is that the students who stick with the program take calculus by grade eight and move into university math. A few do it by grade 6.

You start at age three and spend 30 minutes a day. From what I can gather, most do the early levels quickly, but parents (or maybe the students dislike it) often stop at year one but are already at year five or so; parents believe it provides a good foundation.

I am curious about what people think of the program. There are others, like Shoreman Math, where many students do calculus by year 8, but it is usually year 9-10 in that program - although some take it slowly and finish year 11. Shoreman likes year 11 because admissions people see you have completed it when applying to college. Basis schools (well-known charter schools in the US) do it that way - but it can be done by year 10). BASIS has designed it so you have enough credits to graduate in year 11 and go to college, but many stay for an extra year to complete a project, do more advanced work, etc.

Thanks
Bill
I would disagree with calculus being taught earlier. I would rather calculus be moved to college. A stronger foundation in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry is more important. However, this will never be the case...
 
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  • #5
chwala said:
In my opinion, I have observed that some students are quite adept at solving math problems analytically, often with the assistance of technology. However, what seems to be lacking is a deep understanding of the underlying concepts. For example, they may quickly solve a quadratic equation, but they may not clearly understand how the function looks, its turning points, and so on. They may even in a flick of a second find the inverse of the function without understanding exactly how the two are related. While technology can help solve most math questions and concepts, it cannot provide a deeper insight into an individual mind into what is happening. This is a skill that in In many cases requires long study hours and years to develop …

of course, there could be exceptions for a few...
I think there's something to " fake it until you make it". The insight may come in later.

Kumon, you can do it!
 
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