What is Kumon?
Kumon is a global learning center centered around helping children with Math and English as early as age 1 (Baby Kumon). The company was originally formed in Osaka, Japan by Toru Kumon in 1958. It only came to the United States in 1983, and began to rapidly expand as it leveraged its franchise model. Today, there are 4M students registered in the Kumon program with over 26,000 centers around the world, and 2,200 in the United States.
Who is Kumon’s Learning Center For?
Unlike some of the other tutoring platforms, which are aimed at slightly older students ranging from age thirteen to early twenties, Kumon is specifically focused on early age children. They offer programs for children as young as one year old through their Baby Kumon program, two to five years old through their Junior Kumon program, and can go up to ages 13+.
Method of Learning
Kumon is known for their two main programs: Kumon Math and Kumon Native Language program. Their method of learning is an independent program, which means the curriculum is personalized for each student based on their goals and needs. According to Wikipedia, Kumon teachers will often start with basic starting points and increase the difficulty gradually over time.
Another important note is that students can only progress to the next level when they have ‘mastered their level’, which is defined as speed and accuracy of their assessment.
There are certainly pros and cons to Kumon’s method which have been outlined in several Kumon reviews online. We’ve curated them for you to save time, so you can effectively decide their advantages and disadvantages for your child.
Pros of using Kumon
- Personalized learning – Since your child is likely to be at a different learning level than others, personalized learning will be essential to make sure they’re receiving a customized plan that meets their proficiency level and needs.
- Meets most if not all levels – Kumon has an easy start to their curriculum to gradually ease their students in. This helps students who may be initially behind feel like they’re able to learn together with their classmates.
- Interactive help available – Instructors are around to help your child with issues and questions they may have to increase the feedback loop. They’ll also be there to provide you and/or your partner the feedback needed to see how your child is progressing.
Cons of using Kumon
- Commute time for parents – The main downside of Kumon could be the fact that their learning centers may not be around where you currently live. So if you have to drop your child off each morning, it can be difficult to coordinate especially if your work commute is not on the way.
- Repetition of learning – Another complaint that we’ve seen online is the overly repetitiveness of Kumon’s curriculum. In order to meet the learning progress of all the students in the class, they emphasize on repetition to ensure no one is left behind. This could be great if your child is always behind, but it’s a hinderance to your child’s learning speed if they’re ahead.
- Students can be held back for weeks (if not months) – Since Kumon requires ‘mastery’ as defined above to move up to the next level, students can often be held back for prolonged periods of time until they succeed. This can lead to increased costs for you without seeing much upside.
- Tuition fee – While the learning center allows for some flexible pricing plans, including monthly payments, there are some initial enrollment fees that are non-refundable.
Overall, Kumon prices are on the medium-range for what’s provided. In New York for example, their monthly costs are around $125/mo per each subject, with an $80 initial fee for material costs and enrollment. Here is a sample breakdown cost of what you can expect to incur per year:
- 1 subject (English):
- $80 initial fee
- $125/mo x 12 months = $1,500
- Total: $1,580 per year
- 2 subjects (Math and English):
- $80 initial fee x 2
- $250/mo x 12 months = $3,000
- Total: $3,160 per year
Keep in mind that these are group-based classes so while it is fairly affordable, your child may not be receiving one-on-one tutoring in the majority of their time spent in the classroom.
Price comparison of similar tutoring websites to Kumon learning centers:
Alternative to Kumon Program
In the advent of online learning, there are several great alternatives to Kumon that you can take advantage of as a parent. You can decide to explore different learning centers which will present similar pros and cons as Kumon, perhaps with difference in pricing. Or you can explore private tutoring options (online or offline) that will offer a different value proposition for you and your child.
How is Rype different from Kumon.com?
Unlike Kumon, Rype offers private online tutoring with handpicked professional tutors that can help your child succeed in Math and English. We can work with children from an early age at the comforts of your own home to get them the learning support needed. The major benefits of this approach is that your child receives consistent one-on-one help and learning versus a group-based setting, which can slow down learning speed. As a parent, you’ll also save significant time without the need to commute and you can feel safe in knowing that your child is getting the help they need at home.
The core 3 pillars of Rype’s offering is centered around giving you:
- Access to handpicked professional tutors
- Ability to book on-the-go and around your busy schedule
- All of this at a fair price with an all-access membership (one membership, dozens of subjects)
1. 1-on-1 private tutoring
Compared to group-based, one-on-one learning has proven to be much more effective for retention. While Kumon offers a certain level of personalization, the classes are taken place in a group-setting which means your child is only getting a fraction of the attention needed to excel.
2. Pay Per subject (Kumon) vs. one Flat Price (Rype)
As we discussed above, Kumon charges a separate fee per each subject that your child enrolls in. So if they want to learn both Math and English, your tuition price will double. On Rype, every subject is included in your membership fee, so you and your child can decide which topic they want to focus on.
Here are the subjects that’s included in Rype Academic:
- Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Foreign languages (10 and adding more soon)
3. Switch teachers anytime
The downside of most learning centers, including most institutions is that you’re assigned a teacher without much flexibility to switch. This can be risky because at an early age, your child will likely have his or her own preferences on who they will best learn from. On Rype, we have hundreds of handpicked teachers that have been pre-vetted via a rigorous selection process, including a live 1-on-1 video interview. If you don’t feel that your teacher is a good fit, you can switch with a few clicks to a new one.
4. Rype is Free to try
While Kumon charges you a non-refundable fee to enroll, you can try Rype for free – 100% risk-free. You can browse our teachers, try a few free lessons, and decide for yourself which teacher is a best fit for you and your child.
Kumon Reviews: Conclusion
At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide based on our overview whether you feel Kumon is worth it for your child. Some of the disadvantages we mentioned may not apply to your specific case (i.e. you may live very close to a center), whereas some of the advantages may not apply to your child.
Either way, we encourage you to test out our free, risk-free offer to see how our tutoring platform can help your child succeed. Keep in mind that Rype can act as a complementary service to Kumon’s curriculum (or any other learning center) that your child enrolls into. If they’re looking to additional help that’s affordable at a great quality, our tutors can also help your child with any problems they’re having at Kumon or help them excel even faster.
For visual comparison, you can take a look at our benefit comparison chart to get a full picture of our Kumon’s review, along with some other solutions.