Are you having trouble deciding on the right Maths enrichment classes for your child? Before you rush to enroll your child in the most popular and expensive course, read this post – because I will share some information on the pros and cons of some popular Maths enrichment programmes in Singapore.
Ages: 5 – 16 (Kindergarten 1 – Secondary 4) Cost: $120 – $150 per month
Teaching Methods/Techniques: Kumon is well known for improving children’s calculation skills. It is good for laying out the foundations for kids in routine arithmetic. Their syllabus is split into multiple levels. And like certain games, you must clear each lower level before proceeding to the higher ones. Kids are exposed to quite a large number of worksheets for drilling. However, it might be dull and require a lot of self-motivation for kids to continue.
Pros: Good place to lay the foundations for kids
Cons: May be boring and require self-motivation for children to practise persistently
Ages: 9 – 12 (Primary 4 – Primary 6) Cost: around $25 per session
Teaching Methods/Techniques: The Sakamoto Method is invented by Dr Hideo Sakamoto of Japan. It is especially effective in dealing with problem sums questions – which is why I recommend this course only to P4 to P6 students, although they do offer lessons for other levels. The Sakamoto method is very unqiue and very effective for some challenging problem sums questions which normal model methods may not able to solve. However, one big potential drawback of the Sakamoto Method is that it is very different from what the school is teaching, and students might lose marks because the teachers marking the papers may not understand the way the questions are answered.
Pros: Effective on problem sums questions
Cons: Not able to cover the entire MOE syllabus
The Learning Lab
Ages: 5 – 16 (Kindergarten 1 – Secondary 4) Cost: about $60 per session
Teaching Methods/Techniques: Their teachers and curriculum are recognized as excellent. However, your kids must be at least proficient enough in foundational Mathematics to fully enjoy the benefits of their classes – hence there is entry test. For parents who do not mind spending and whose kids have a firm grasp on basic mathematical concepts, this will be a good choice. Many parents see their children’s results improving after being enrolled into The Learning Lab.
Pros: Excellent environment for more advanced students
Cons: Very expensive, long waiting list, entry test required for enrollment, no trial lessons
Ages: 5-12 (Kindergarten 1 – Primary 6) Cost: around $120 – $150 per month (usually 2 sessions x 45min per week)
Teaching Methods/Techniques: Unlike many other tuition centres, the MPM Math curriculum and teaching methods are in no way dull. The way they teach is quite engaging and a lot of real-life examples are used in the lessons. The amount of work they give out to students might not be much but they focus on the concept and problem solving skills. They have courses from Primary 1 to Primary 6 only, but they do have a large number of centres all over the island.
Pros: Engaging lessons and questions; many centres around the island
Cons: Problem solving methods taught may be different from what schools are teaching; the quality of lessons vary from centres to centres
Ages: 5-12 (Kindergarten 1 – Primary 6) Cost: around $120 – $150 per month
Teaching Methods/Techniques: It is claimed that their curriculum is adopted from South Korea. Right from the beginning, students will be given a diagnostic test to see what levels they belong to. Then, they will be given assignments of a corresponding standard. Their assignments booklets are colourful, and both basic math and critical thinking are covered in their lessons.
Pros: Assignments are given out according to kids’ standard, colourful assignments to engage kids
Cons: Might not inconvenient since they do not have a lot of centres
Parents, I hope this article will give you a better idea on choosing the most suitable math enrichment classes for your children. However, it’s also important to let your children share their opinions as well. If they feel that the classes are not suitable for them, do not force them to attend or you will end up wasting your money and their precious childhood days. Instead you can try other methods, such as one-to-one tuition or e-learning.