Finding the right math program can seem overwhelming! Your child’s math education and growth in their math skills are dependent on the supplemental learning they’re provided, so it’s crucial to find the right one that fits all their learning needs. However, the approach that after school math programs take to teach math varies. The level of standardization and customization also varies significantly.
Kumon: Learn Math by Repeated Practice
Kumon is a math program for children 3 to 16 years old, which focuses on building math skills through repetitive math problems. Children are assigned worksheets in every class and are expected to solve them independently. The Kumon Method believes extensive practice could improve self-learning skills, meaning children solve hundreds of questions of the same type until they move onto the next math topic.
In Kumon, students do not start with the math topics they are doing in school. The students’ results on Kumon’s placement test determine which math topic they will start with, increasing the possibility of not matching the school syllabus. In fact, Kumon’s philosophy does not commit to covering all topics of the school curriculum. While Kumon focuses on short, small, incremental assignments to help students master the basic math concepts, the repetitive, drill-type practice may not be as effective in implementing determination in children to strive for excellence. Kumon’s curriculum is often criticized for lacking high-level word problems that facilitate the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
While a teacher is present in a group classroom where students work on individual worksheets, the teacher acts as a facilitator who only gives relevant inputs to the students so that worksheet questions are solved correctly. These teachers are often high school students, and do not have proper training prior to teaching younger students.
Mathnasium: Restrictive In-Session Math Learning
Mathnasium provides math programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. Similar to Kumon, students are to complete worksheets during the sessions. Although their class size is much smaller (1 to 5 students per instructor) than Kumon’s, Mathnasium’s students still do not get enough individual attention compared to they otherwise would in a session with a smaller student-to-teacher ratio or one-to-one math tutoring.
The Mathnasium Method incorporates five facets into math learning: Mental, Verbal, Visual, Tactile, and Written. These ways are meant to accommodate all types of learners, often utilizing paper-and-pencil practices to solidify thought processes and concepts. However, all teaching takes place during the session and students are not allowed to take their learning material home. Mathnasium does not assign any homework due to limitations on accessing their curriculum from outside of their centres or LMS, restricting the growth of students’ math skills as they are unable to work independently at home. Unfortunately, Math does not come without practice. In fact, solving math in our daily life keeps children’s brains active and hence increases their memory power. Solving math more frequently during the week makes children’s brains strong and quick by boosting cognitive skills, enhances logical thinking and increases decision-making skills. When children start to trust their brain capacity while doing more math practices in their daily lives, their level of confidence also increases. Without take-home practices, Mathnasium students are deprived of the opportunity to practice math frequently. Moreover, their parents are unable to engage children with math activities or homework despite paying an above average fee for the program.
Math Project: Customized Math Learning Plans
Math Project offers K-12 math programs, with heavy emphasis on bridging any learning gaps in math, boosting a child’s motivation and confidence in math. The Math Project Standard focuses on concepts, thought-process and reasoning instead of pure memorization or drills. At Math Project, the curriculum instills problem-solving skills rather than mindless repetition of a math technique that helps promote out-of-the-box thinking among students. The students are also trained at a young age to strive for nothing but excellence (by meeting the passing score of 85% on every assignment or test), motivating them to become successful in any endeavor. The Math Project Standard has successfully instilled key life skills in students, such as, work organization, meeting deadlines, taking ownership of their learning, and striving for excellence.
At Math Project, all teachers go through a rigorous selection process, and most have a proven record of excellence at university level math. The teachers at Math Project are equipped with mentorship and leadership skills, along with their ability to translate complex math concepts in a relatable way for the students.
Math Project’s K-8 curriculum is unique, proven and enriches the US and Canadian Common Core School Curriculum. Students may choose between one-to-one and group sessions. Math Project’s programs provide up to 2.5 hours of instruction time per week, which is almost twice that of what other math programs have to offer. In addition to weekly sessions, Math Project also provides free online drop-in sessions with teachers for homework help. With homework assigned for children to reinforce the material they learned in their study sessions, parents can choose how much homework is assigned to their children on a weekly basis. Tests and assessments are conducted throughout the program in order to solidify progress and skill retention.
Math Project also prepares students who are ahead of their peers in school, or are interested in math for test taking environments, and national and international math contests, such as: Mathematica, Kangaroo, Gauss, Pascal, Euclid, Canadian Open Math Challenge (COMC), International Mathematical Olympiad, and many more. Besides achieving milestones in these math contests, many of Math Project students are also able to pass AP, IB, IBT, SciTech and iSTEM entrance tests with flying colours.
Mathnasium vs Kumon vs Math Project
Practice is necessary for mastering math topics, but there are so many more essential factors to achieving math success and beyond. Practice without conceptual clarity and reasoning leads to students “memorizing” steps which can be detrimental to their math learning. While this may show positive effects in the short term, it will create problems in the later years due to weak foundation.
Math education is beyond in-session learning. After-class applications are equally important as in-class learning. An effective math program not only should help students with their academics, but also should change their attitude towards math. Boosting a child’s math performance in school is just a first step. A successful math program with passionate, professional instructors and a solid teaching methodology will help students build a love for math after developing math understanding.
|Age Group||4 to 18 years olds||6 to 18 years olds||3 to 16 years olds|
|Math Topics Covered||All topics covered by school, and beyond||All topics covered by school||Most topics that schools cover, but not all|
|Class Size||1 to 4 students (or less) per instructor and 1-to-1 sessions also available||1 to 5 students (or more) per instructor||Can get as large as a school class|
|Teachers||– Go through a rigorous selection process, and must have a proven record of excellence in math at university level
– Well-trained for mentorship and leadership skills
|Require to pass a rigorous math screening that tests mathematical thinking||Hire highschool students to teach younger students|
|Core Philosophy||Learn by reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving in class and beyond||Restrict math learning through repeated practice during sessions||Repeated practice on similar questions helps build mastery|
In comparison to the other math programs out there like Kumon and Mathnasium, Math Project pushes past the regime of mindless repetition, instead implementing teaching methods that instill an attitude of excellence and math confidence in children. The program provides individualized, customized teaching plans tailored to each student’s learning needs. After joining Math Project’s program, 87% of the students reported significantly ahead of their math class in school. Math Project’s mission is not to only teach math to children, but to also empower them with knowledge that will guide them into becoming leading problem-solvers of tomorrow. 95% of the program’s parents have been extremely satisfied with the program, reporting signs of improved work organization, study habits, better time management, and increased work responsibility in their children. The Google reviews provided by parents and students can be the most influential testimony to the program’s effectiveness. Check out our Google reviews!
Do you think your kids need help to improve math? Math Project offers math tutoring programs in Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, and even online. Contact us today at 1-844-628-4243 to book a free assessment!