Being a licensed elementary teacher has its benefits. For one, I got to appreciate the efforts that teachers put into preparing lessons and actually carrying out the teaching plan in each subject or class that they get into. One of my frustrations is to be able to teach math which happens to be my favorite subject. After I got my license, I taught in one of the International Schools in Pasig and have taken some masteral units in UP Diliman. I chose a Math subject for my elective. How I adored my professor, and the way she had made math very interesting. To me, math is a very interesting subject and can be viewed the same way by students who are properly trained.
Although she has been ranked first or second in her class, my daughter, perhaps as a result of my inability to teach math, has had difficulty in the subject for which I and her dad had excelled in during our elementary and high school years. She, had no problems with comprehending the lessons and had excellent problem solving schools but lacked speed and accuracy in performing her tasks. To compensate for this, I enrolled her in Kumon.
For some reason and under the influence of my math teacher-friends, I was not convinced that Kumon would do her good. I thought that home drills would be better and that I could actually teach her the discipline for which math requires - practice, practice and more practice. But I was proven wrong. Kumon, in fact, gave her what I could not. She was given daily tasks to accomplish and she had performed them diligently, always looked out for her mistakes and recorded the time that she was able to finish her assignments. Needless to say, she has become better at Math and had set her goals at reaching a level she wants to achieve before the year ends - that of level H which means she'll be able to perform linear equations. The nice thing about kumon is that they do not ask your child to perform difficult tasks right away. They let the child start at a level he or she is very comfortable with. But this does not mean that she is not able to do the higher math. In fact, she had a score of 85 to 90% in the assessment exam that they gave her. But kumon requires a near-100% score and she was not close to it.
Although at first I was scared that she would become impatient with the exercises that she had to do, my daughter has in fact done them every single day and has been promoted two levels up after 3 weeks of her enrollment. As we (my daughter and I) were discussing it one time, she said that she should have started her lessons as early as January of this year. This is what i think though - it is best to have her do kumon at the grade 5 level when she has fully grasped the concepts that Basic Math taught her. Kumon is great for having her perfect those concepts. At this age, she is able to appreciate what Kumon does for her and enjoy Math as one should. I wonder when she can do calculus?