Several years ago when our son was in 4th grade, we decided to enroll him in Kumon Math. This is a program that specializes in supplementing the child's learning by assigning a series of daily homework drills. In math, the student is asked to complete 2 to 4 pages of problems a day, and to calculate the answers in his head, without the aid of a calculator or finger counting. Then once a week, the child visits the Kumon center, and is asked to complete the daily assignment there. This session is timed and corrected. Feedback is given to the child and the parents, and the cycle begins again.
When we first took our son, he complained that he was proficient in math and didn't need tutoring. But after spending a few sessions at the center, he realized that this program went beyond tutoring and advanced training, similar to what aspiring young athletes experience. In our community, most of the other children were of Asian decent, whose parents expected them to excel in all academic areas.
While our son did not want to tell his friends that he was taking Kumon, he would pride himself in being the first to finish all the math tests and usually obtain a perfect 100% score.
The program is structured in levels. Depending on the age and aptitude, the child begins with simple single number addition. Gradually, this is expanded to 2 digit, 3 digit, and large number addition. Then, they move onto subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
This training really paid off when our son was accepted into the County Math & Science Magnet school.
He is now about to graduate from college with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and is one of the few lucky seniors to have been offered a well paying job upon graduation.
We are extremely proud of our son and what he has achieved. Not only do we attribute his success to his own hard work and dedication, but also to the training programs that helped shape his career.
As I visit and read many of the fellow blogs that are in our various communities, I noted that many members are mothers and parents. Therefore I wanted to share my son's little secret that helped him become a mathematical wiz.