# The Kumon Method: Its Importance in the Improvement on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics from the First Levels of Early Childhood and Primary Education

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## Abstract

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## 1. Introduction

## 2. Fundamental Principles of Kumon Method

#### 2.1. The Origin of Kumon Method

#### 2.2. Aim and Skills Developed by the Kumon Method

- Self-learning, the child learns how to learn by himself, without the need of depending of another person.
- Habit of study, which allows the child to carry out learning tasks without difficulty.
- To foster concentration, if the student is not able to focus on a specific task, it will be difficult for him to learn effectively.
- Self-confidence that allows him to face any educational challenge.
- Motivation to learn, to perceive learning as something enjoyable that will help him to grow as a person [17].

- To discover the learning potential of children and to develop their full potential offering them an individualized guidance.
- To provide as many students as possible the opportunity to learn with the Kumon Method, taking into account that its dissemination can contribute widely to the society.
- To help students to become more competent people by developing better guidance materials and orientation practices through continuous research and thinking process on how they learn with the Kumon Method.
- To develop students’ skills and contribute to the future applying of these methodological principles in other fields apart from education.
- To achieve a positive cycle in which instructors and support programs members work together to offer the highest number of children as possible the opportunity to learn with the Kumon Method. This will result in developing the skills of both instructors and support programs members and, at the same time, it will allow the study with Kumon to be increasingly accessible [18].

- Self-study of the materials: the instructor does not explain lectures or expository sessions but encourages the student to find the answers by reading the instructions of the materials carefully, so he can develop the skills and mentality of self-learning.
- Correction of mistakes: after completing the task, the instructor has to qualify them immediately, so that the student can correct them quickly while he is still concentrated.
- Daily work: the method is designed for the students to work about 30 min per program per day, so that instructor will have to customize the task that each child does daily.
- Study in the order of the method: the method is sequenced by levels and each of these levels is distributed in blocks and booklets that follow a logical order and increase in difficulty, with a clear and specific objective, so it is not possible to mix the different content blocks arbitrarily.
- Record of daily work: the instructor makes a record and a detailed study of the daily activity of each child, which will be the empirical material on which he bases the personalized guidance to each student.

#### 2.3. Kumon Mathematics Contents

- Counting, writing, and number sequencing (levels 6A, 5A, 4A)
- Addition and subtraction (levels 3A, 2A, A, B)
- Multiplication and division (levels C, D)
- Fractions and decimals (levels D, E, F)
- Order of operations (level F)
- Positive and negative numbers (level G)
- Solving equations (levels G, H)
- Graphs (loves H, I, L, M)
- Algebra, from elementary to advanced (algebraic expressions, linear equations, inequalities, functions, quadratic equations) (levels J, K, L)
- Trigonometry and logarithms (levels M, N)
- Calculus (level O)
- Probability and statistics (level X)

#### 2.4. Self-Learning as a Great Goal

## 3. Methodology

#### 3.1. Hypothesis and Objective

#### 3.2. Sample

- The Kumon level of students at the beginning, before having taken part in the Method.
- The Kumon level at the end of each month. It is important to mention that in order to evaluate the potential of the method, we have just taken data corresponding to the last month.
- The level at 6 months, 2 years, or 3 years, in which they are above the level they should have according to the course in which they are.

#### 3.3. Research Design and Phases of the Study

#### 3.4. Information Collection Tools

#### 3.5. Data Analysis

- No asterisk or level 0 means same level as the one of the school grade in which they are.
- One asterisk or level 1 means 6 months above the school grade level.
- Two asterisks or level 2 means 2 years above the school grade level.
- Three asterisks or level 3 means 3 years above the school grade level.

- The correlation between the start level and the level above the one that corresponds to them due to their school grade, 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.
- The correlation between the final level and the level above the one that corresponds to them due to their school grade, 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.

- H
_{0}, null hypothesis: there are no significant correlations between the variables. - H
_{1}, alternative hypothesis: there are significant correlations between the variables.

## 4. Results

#### 4.1. Global Descriptive Statistics

#### 4.2. Descriptive Statistics per School Grade

#### 4.3. Global Correlations

_{1}, alternative hypothesis: there are significant correlations between the variables

#### 4.4. Correlation per School Grade

## 5. Conclusions

## 6. Future Work

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Conflicts of Interest

## References

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Global Descriptive Statistics. | START | ASTERISK | FINAL |
---|---|---|---|

N valid | 30,849 | 30,849 | 30,849 |

N lost | 0 | 0 | 0 |

Mean | 3.28 | 0.581 | 8.98 |

Standard error of the mean | 0.015 | 0.0045 | 0.023 |

Median | 3.00 | 0.000 | 9.00 |

Mode | 4 | 0 | 10 |

Variables | Correlation Coefficient (Rho Of Spearman) | Significance Level (2-Tailed) |
---|---|---|

START-ASTERISK | −0.258 | 0.000 |

START-FINAL | 0.133 | 0.000 |

ASTERISK-FINAL | 0.421 | 0.000 |

Grade | Start-Asterisk | Sign (2-Tailed) | Asterisk-Final | Sign (2-Tailed) | Start-Final | Sign (2-Tailed) |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

P1 | −0.4 | 0.374 | 0.083 | 0.860 | 0.746 | 0.054 |

P2 | 0.107 | 0.319 | 0.174 | 0.104 | 0.569 | 0.000 |

P3 | 0.004 | 0.942 | 0.089 | 0.086 | 0.577 | 0.000 |

P4 | 0.166 | 0.000 | 0.231 | 0.000 | 0.749 | 0.000 |

P5 | 0.091 | 0.000 | 0.139 | 0.000 | 0.791 | 0.000 |

EPO1 | −0.135 | 0.000 | −0.102 | 0.000 | 0.836 | 0.000 |

EPO2 | −0.269 | 0.000 | −0.235 | 0.000 | 0.847 | 0.000 |

EPO3 | −0.314 | 0.000 | −0.296 | 0.000 | 0.841 | 0.000 |

EPO4 | −0.398 | 0.000 | −0.377 | 0.000 | 0.865 | 0.000 |

EPO5 | −0.349 | 0.000 | −0.352 | 0.000 | 0.861 | 0.000 |

EPO6 | −0.32 | 0.000 | −0.309 | 0.000 | 0.88 | 0.000 |

ESO1 | −0.345 | 0.000 | −0.337 | 0.000 | 0.868 | 0.000 |

ESO2 | −0.249 | 0.000 | −0.284 | 0.000 | 0.857 | 0.000 |

ESO3 | −0.162 | 0.000 | −0.215 | 0.000 | 0.839 | 0.000 |

ESO4 | −0.088 | 0.012 | −0.211 | 0.000 | 0.637 | 0.000 |

BACH1 | −0.049 | 0.308 | −0.134 | 0.006 | 0.657 | 0.000 |

BACH2 | 0.172 | 0.019 | −0.106 | 0.151 | 0.277 | 0.000 |

BEYOND | - | - | - | - | −0.024 | 0.553 |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Orcos, L.; Hernández-Carrera, R.M.; Espigares, M.J.; Magreñán, Á.A. The Kumon Method: Its Importance in the Improvement on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics from the First Levels of Early Childhood and Primary Education. *Mathematics* **2019**, *7*, 109.
https://doi.org/10.3390/math7010109

**AMA Style**

Orcos L, Hernández-Carrera RM, Espigares MJ, Magreñán ÁA. The Kumon Method: Its Importance in the Improvement on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics from the First Levels of Early Childhood and Primary Education. *Mathematics*. 2019; 7(1):109.
https://doi.org/10.3390/math7010109

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Orcos, L., R. M. Hernández-Carrera, M. J. Espigares, and Á. Alberto Magreñán. 2019. "The Kumon Method: Its Importance in the Improvement on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics from the First Levels of Early Childhood and Primary Education" *Mathematics* 7, no. 1: 109.
https://doi.org/10.3390/math7010109