A quick guide to math enrichment classes for kids

Did you like math when you were in school? Some people find math to be easy while others struggle with it. For parents who want to ensure that their child does not find math difficult, there are a number of math enrichment classes available these days that help build math skills. However, the variety of math classes can make it difficult to choose the right one. This guide should help you decide which class is best for your child.

Math classes can be divided into categories by the age groups they cater to.

Preschool Age

For the preschooler, there are imath or Kumon classes. imath classes are suitable for 4 to 8 year olds. These classes endeavor to foster a love of math in children by making maths more fun. They focus on introducing math concepts through games and puzzles. Here math is not limited to arithmetic but explores logic and reasoning. They use tangible activities to help children relate the abstract to the concrete.

Kumon classes are a U.S. based chain that teaches math and reading skills. In these classes, children are given ample amount of practice through solving worksheets. These worksheets are designed to promote self-learning. The class advocates practice as a method of gaining proficiency in the subject. Kumon classes cater to a range of age groups right from preschoolers to teenagers.

Primary School Age

For children who are 7 to 12 years, there is the option of the Abacus classes. These classes teach children to use the abacus as tool for solving arithmetic problems. Speed and accuracy is the primary focus in this method of teaching. There are various levels of Abacus and a child typically needs to continue the classes for 2.5 to 3 years to get a good foundation in the method.

Middle School

For children who are above 10, the Vedic math classes are a good option. Similar to Abacus, these use formulas to solve math problems. Since the formulas are in the form of sutras, they are easy for children to memorize. However, Vedic math assumes that children already have a good understanding of arithmetic, hence it is not recommended for children younger than 8 years.

Other factors, such as proximity, duration, timing, and fees of the classes will naturally factor in your decision to select a class. Most Abacus and imath classes are held on the weekend and each class is two hours long. These classes cost between 500 to 800 rupees per month and require a commitment from the child for the entire year. Furthermore, it is important to keep the age-appropriateness in mind while selecting a class. If a 5 year old is sent to an Abacus class, they are most likely to get bored or frustrated as the concepts taught are beyond their understanding.

The ultimate deciding factor, however, may come down to your child’s willingness to give up their weekend play time and devote it to math.

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