Hand positioning, tuning, scaling! A novice violinist needs to practice these multiple times before they even pick up a bow. When they begin playing, he/she can simply string together the basic skills they have already mastered. Also, a young soccer player needs to complete endless drills of ‘dribble, pass, shoot’ for learning the core skills before using them in a game. When it’s time to apply them in actual competition, the moves come automatically.
But what do a novice violinist and a young soccer player have to do with Kumon? Just like musicians and athletes have to master their skills before applying in performances or games, students in Kumon learn Maths skills before applying them in real-time situations. This is a major difference between Kumon’s math learning center and the Maths taught in most school settings.
How important is the application of Maths?
While school curriculums can vary notably, most Maths programs in school teach the application of maths. This means students learn Maths as it is used in the real world. For instance, students might learn addition with the help of scenarios such as “Henry has one apple in the basket. He adds one more apple to the basket. Henry now has two apples.” This might look like an intuitive way of learning Maths, but that’s how most of us were introduced to addition. After all, what’s the point of learning Maths if you cannot use it in real-world situations.
As the concepts of Mathematics get more difficult, the real-world applications get more complex, worsening the problem. A naturally talented soccer player may be able to excel on a recreational team without honing his/her skills, but as the competition level gets more difficult, the skill gaps will become more noticeable.
In the same way, a Maths student may grasp the basic concepts easily with a little practice, but as the topics get more challenging, the gaps will become visible.
Kumon Maths program
Unlike the school program, Kumon teaches Maths in a different way. It is not technically necessary in Kumon to understand how to apply 1+1=2 in the real world. Students need to simply learn that 1+1=2 is a true statement. Kids then learn 2+1=3, 3+1=4, and so on. In Kumon, Maths is taught incrementally, where students progress step-by-step from simple counting all the way through calculus.
Some might consider it unreasonable to learn Mathematics without its application. Why learn what one plus one equals if you cannot make the connection that adding one penny to another equals two cents? However, once a student learned a Maths concept, they will find it much easier to learn how to apply it. Some applications of Maths are included in Kumon’s learning Math for kids program, but it is only introduced once a student has mastered the mathematical concepts.
Without having a strong base in the necessary Maths skills, students will reach a point where the application of Maths is too difficult. Just like a soccer player learns how to dribble the ball before applying the skill in a game, students need to learn Maths skills before applying them in real-life situations.
Wrapping It Up
Being in the operation for over 60 years, the Kumon program has been fine-tuned over time to be most effective in realising a student’s potential. The instructors of Kumon learn every day from the students to ensure the instructions are appropriate for every kid in Kumon centres. Across the globe, there are more than 4 million students achieving success through the Kumon method.
We do not teach conventional sense at Kumon. But through observation, guidance, and daily study of the worksheets, we enable students to self-learning. Due to this, the development of kids is not limited by the skills and knowledge of others.
For more information on Kumon’s learning Math for kids program, please visit our website.
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