Could Kumon help with the 11 plus?

Kumon is an internationally recognised organisation with a unique ‘Kumon method’ for children to improve their essential skills in maths and languages. For over 60 years, Kumon has grown and spread its methods to almost every country in the globe, and it seems as if most parents have attempted or deliberated starting tuition with Kumon. But the question parents often are curious about is: ‘Does the Kumon method work?’ and ‘Will it help with the 11+ exams?’.


What is Kumon?

The Kumon method is a structured program designed to build children’s skills in arithmetic, reading and writing. There are several levels for children to work through. Each level is named with a letter making it easy for children and parents to keep track of their progress. The program takes you from basic counting all the way to complex algebra for maths, and letter formations to difficult comprehension for languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese). Children are encouraged to work independently, practise daily and to gain confidence by building proficiency and speed.


Will Kumon help with the 11+ exams?

Kumon can ensure children build up a strong work ethic, possess solid foundation skills in maths and English and can help them develop the speed needed to pass the exams. However, Kumon does not cover the entire entrance exam syllabus. Kumon is a complementary tool rather than a one-stop solution to the 11+ exams: children need additional instruction and tuition to help them cover the additional topics Kumon does not cover.

Critics of Kumon say Kumon is too rigid and does not teach children to ‘think outside of the box’: this is its major flaw, and why it is necessary for children to receive additional support for the notoriously difficult entrance exams, whatever the age!


Should my child join Kumon?

Some children and parents prefer Kumon’s easy and clear method to build up strong foundation skills. Some parents prefer to encourage their children to develop these skills in other ways.

We offer an alternative solution to Kumon. Our preparation classes start from as young as five: the focus of these classes is to develop students’ ability to problem solve, tackle exams, build confidence as well as gain solid foundation skills. If you are interested in trialling one of our classes, please contact us here.