Math Help from My Daughter Going into 2Nd Grade

Updated on August 21, 2010
A.S. asks from Simi Valley, CA
9 answers

Hi Moms,

My youngest struggles with math. I was wondering if any moms have tried Kumon, Sylvan Learning Centers or Mathnasium and which you would recommend. We did have a tutor for awhile but that was very costly.

thanks for your help.

A.-mother of two, founder of Nature's Baby Organics

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So What Happened?

Thanks Ladies for all your input. I did call Mathnasium, wow are they expensive! They evaluate my daughter for $150.00 plus $50.00 registration fee then it is $220 a month and my daughter can attend up to 10 times a month. I think I will stick with a private tutor. Thank you all for waying in and sharing your experiences with me. I greatly appreciate it.



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answers from Chicago on

This was awhile back, but my brother, sister, and cousin all went to Sylvan and had great results. I don't have any experience with the other two.

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answers from Honolulu on

I know kids at my daughter's school that go to Sylvan... the Moms say it is good and they like it.
BUT... the thing is: Sylvan teaches the children their methods of doing and working out math. Which may NOT be the 'same' methods that are taught at their school/classroom. SO, it still may or may not help, with that in mind. In the case of one Mom I know, who's kids go to Sylvan... she is re-thinking sending them there, because in school, they are learning different math methods.... not the same as Sylvan and her kids still struggle with math. For example. Although her kids can, get the answer to the math problems per Sylvan... IN school, the methods they learn are different per the school's curriculum and requirements and what is taught by the Teacher. And, when working out math problems in school, children are expected to use the methods taught IN class... and if not, they will still not be on par... etc. even if they can figure out the answer. And comprehension may still be a struggle.

Schools, teach 'math' to the students using certain methods... which may or may not be the same as the Sylvan method.

For Kumon, it is utilizing "drills".... and repetition/memorization to learn math. And they have homework too. And meet at the Kumon site every week... for a certain number of days.

Bookstores sell the Kumon AND Sylvan brand math workbooks.
I bought some myself.

Both Sylvan and Kumon, is not one-on-one "tutoring." But with say 2-3 or even 5 kids in a group.

The cost of Sylvan and Kumon... may turn out to be even more than what you are paying for your Tutor. So check prices too. Sylvan is pricey.

My Daughter has a math Tutor. Which I found her, because we were at a Barnes and Noble bookstore and I happened to see her tutoring another child. So I approached her... after observing her. And she is good and does not charge a lot. And she is a credentialed Teacher.... as well, having taught school before and has a Masters Degree. I lucked out, on finding her. My daughter loves her and learns. And she does not cost a ton.

What you can do... is talk with your Daughter's Teacher... and some Teachers will provide you/your child with extra worksheets and assistance. My Daughter's Teachers did that. Although they probably cannot do just one-on-one help with your child, IN class during class time.
Or, see if your child's Teacher, will during off-hours for a fee... provide your daughter with extra Math help.

I don't know about Mathnasium. The more prominently known one's are Sylvan and Kumon. They are simply more "branded" names.

all the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I don't have any experience with the others--but I had a HORRIBLE experience with Sylvan! I was unsure of how my daughter was doing in math. (I had homeschooled her for K and then sent her to a private school for 1st grade.) The teacher treated all the kids like they were preschoolers and my daughter really suffered--esp. in math. So when she was in 3rd grade I was worried. I took her to Sylvan and had her tested. They acted as if she was going to end up in Special Ed or something. Had a "plan" for her --"only" this many hours a week---for this many weeks (months it was actually), and she would be doing great! I looked at the results, consulted with two very experienced math teachers who said"she's doing 5th grade work--why does she need Sylvan?" I went back to Sylvan and they equated it with "Well, she's just barely keeping her head above water. With Sylvan she'll be able to swim confidently!" What a rip off! I asked the director how she slept at night knowing she is using fear mongering tactics on parents to get them to throw away their money! I don't trust Sylvan. Just my experience! I think I would do a private tutor. Even a junior high kid--or higher elementary kid. Ask the teachers at the school who they would recommend.

Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First how good are you at math? Do you think that you can help your child? She probably needs some hands on math. Some kids learn better, especially with math when they actually have things to physically touch to use for their math problems. Go to a store and get some math aids, like play money, counters and even beans can work. I would not recommend spending the money until you try this first. It can be very expensive and it might make the child feel that they are not as bright as the other students. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

find teenager who is good in math - charges is usually much less than "real" tutor - mine was $10/hour and much more useful : )
Good Luck



answers from Eugene on

Susan is 100 % right. It was really confusing how they were going to teach math. It's nothing like when we were in school, plus it was new to the teachers, my daughters 2nd grade class. It turned out to be wonderful and clever. The kids enjoyed math much more memorizing addition.
You never know their way may really click with her. Teaching your daughter two ways to solve problems may cause her more problems in math. Wait until school starts before spending your money and talk to her teacher about how to help her.



answers from Las Vegas on

Find out which one works well with dyslexic kids. Even if your daughter doesn't have the disorder the teachers who specialize in teaching kids with that specific disorder have a lot of great teaching tricks that can help kids with math issues. You might try having her figure 'word problems' at home so she can better understand the concept. Many girls don't get the concept of math on paper but if they learn to use math for practical things they are able to get the concept on paper. My dad used to come home from work and dump a bunch of change on the table. He'd hand me 4 quarters and ask me to give him enough money to pay for something that costs forty cents. Seemed easy to me. One quarter wouldn't be enough so it must be two and I'd get change back. That's subtraction. If I have 12 dimes how much money is that? That's multiplication. If you put the coins on the table and turn a mental game into a physical game she just might get it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Kumon usually sends you home with home work. I believe Sylvan has you do it there. I think that is good because if they need help, it right there. Sometimes our kids work better with other people. Sylvan is more expensive. So I would almost find a tutor. My sister in law did that with her boys and it was a huge help.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
My kids did Kumon for a bit when they were younger, and they both hated it, but I will tell you both of them are doing well in math now (I have a Jr. in high school taking Calculus and my 8th grader is in algebra). At your daughter's age, the important thing is repetition of the addition and subtraction. I personally don't think they do this enough in school. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are the foundation of pretty much all math, and if a child does not get those, then they will flounder as they progress in school. Hiring a middle schooler or high schooler to come over for 1/2 hour 2-3 times per week and do some timed tests, math sheets, play games with m&m's, etc., could make it fun and still get the repetition in. Good luck!

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