This blog post was written by Caroline Mukisa. She runs the Maths Insider blog and is also a Thinkster Math coach.
As a former Kumon instructor who now works as an instructor with Thinkster Math, I’m writing this post to give a unique perspective as someone who has worked for both Thinkster and Kumon.
At Thinkster Math I look after many, many ex-Kumon students including a family with 4 kids who switched from Kumon so that their children could explore the wider curriculum that Thinkster offers. So whether your kids are currently doing Kumon, another math program or you’re just starting to look into math programs to support your child’s math, let me share with you the 8 things to love about Thinkster.
1. Thinkster Math is great value
Thinkster pricing compares brilliantly to Kumon, Mathnasium and personal tutors.
And don’t forget there’s also the cost of your time as the parent who has to take your child to the tutor/learning center each week!
To view the different programs available for your child, click here.
2. Thinkster Coaches are qualified teachers
Thinkster actually uses qualified educators. I’m a Cambridge University educated qualified high school math teacher and many Thinkster coaches have spent many years as teachers. Kumon prioritises business experience over teaching experience when it comes to choosing franchisees to run their centers. Thinkster focuses on math teaching experience and ability.
3. Thinkster Math actually teaches your child
The Thinkster Math program contains built-in instruction videos for each topic – not just a few written examples. Step by step solutions are also shared when students get questions wrong. Students have regular 1-on-1 tutoring sessions so that their coach can review questions they got wrong with them and introduce any tricky concepts in the upcoming worksheets.
4. Thinkster Math offers a broad and varied curriculum
Thinkster’s world-class curriculum is based on Singapore Math and other world-class curricula. It is then customized for each country according to the state/provincial standards. As a result it contains a confidence building mix of arithmetic, word problems and logic problems to build important skills for future mathematicians
5. Thinkster takes personalization seriously
Thinkster is a US based company with instructors around the world but our work is overseen by senior staff who we meet with regularly online and are available to help instructors, parents and students alike. Also, Academic Coordinators take care to match new Thinkster families with instructors based on their specific needs. In the rare cases where parents want to change instructors, they can do so quickly and easily.
6. Problem solving is at the core of the Thinkster Math program
Most students join Thinkster with weak problem solving skills, even if they are strong at math in general. Problem solving is so important when it comes to math. Computers are able to process numbers far more quickly and more accurately than humans can, and those who have strong problem solving skills will be the ones in demand in the workplace. Thinkster puts problem solving at the core of it’s curriculum, including basic problem solving even in it’s Kindergarten worksheets.
7. Thinkster supports and extends kids school math
Thinkster worksheets use the math methods and techniques which have been proven to lead to a deeper understanding of math. With 1000’s of worksheets available, coaches able to build a personalized study plan to support and extend the student’s school math learning.
8. Thinkster builds mathematicians not just arithmeticians
If you put a Kumon student head to head with a Thinkster student and give them 100 arithmetic questions – the Kumon student will win (the Thinkster student will still be ahead of the rest of the class, though).
However – if you give a Kumon student a series of logic or problem-solving questions – the Thinkster student will come out on top.
One of my Thinkster students was lamenting that in the weekly timed times tables tests at school he always finishes in 3rd place, slightly behind the Kumon kids. I offered to add in some concentrated times tables worksheets into his worksheet queue, even though we had moved beyond that stage in the curriculum, but he said, “No thank you, Caroline. My teacher actually said that everyone in the class needs a lot of practice with word problems except me – so I don’t mind continuing with the work you’ve given me!”
Read more about Kumon and Thinkster over on the Maths Insider blog: