E.nopi Math or Kumon Math or UCMAS Mental Arithmetic?.... During last year’s year end school holidays, I had a little time during my confinement to hunt for some enrichment classes for my son. Ya, ya, I know I was not supposed to run about during confinement. But I’m just about one of those people who finds it difficult to follow rules :). My eldest boy just only started to speak properly at the beginning of last year. As such, he was very much behind in many areas – numbers being one of them. I was frantically looking for some classes to help him boost his skills and confidence. I just knew that once I resume work, I would not have the time to do more for him. Sigh!
I have checked out E.nopi, Kumon Math and UCMAS Mental Arithmetic. This is what I’d like to share with you. Please note that this is just my opinion. I would love to hear yours too.
- E.nopi and Kumon are direct competitors. Kumon is more established. In both cases, they offer Math and English, and the availability is dependent on the respective centre. Each centre has its own operating days and timing for classes – you just have to see which one fits you. Your kid would need to attend twice weekly. The key syllabus is on basic math skills (E.nopi calls it Basic Thinking Math). Young children can start from basic numbers 1,2,3,... and slowly evolving into the principles and foundation of math. The correct writing strokes will also be part of the lesson. In both cases, the level of Math in which a child participates is dependent on current competency level. Students will move from level to level and at the higher levels, they will go into algebra, probability, etc etc. The later part and the more advance levels – this is where I'm not sure how the syllabus differ between Kumon and E.nopi. After all, I was only assessing for my 4+ year old son.
- The franchisees in both E.nopi and Kumon respectively explained that it’s all about practice makes perfect. The child will go to the class to do the worksheets (with some assessment) and they will go back with homework which they have to complete before the next class. They are taught NOT to use fingers to count. Besides obtaining the skill set, the programs would cultivate discipline, self learning and independence in children.
- E.nopi has an additional area which is called Critical Thinking Math which concentrates on problem solving, pattern/relationship recognition, geometry, reasoning, etc -- another area leading to math. This is where Kumon does not have. But since Kumon is concentrating on basic math, a child under Kumon will progress 'faster' in basic math than a child under E.nopi. At the end of the day, it really depends on what you want for your child.
- For my son, I have chosen E.nopi because:
a) The worksheets are more colourful and interesting - for kids - which I think is good because it is not chicken feet to engage the attention of a young active child. Fun and colourful worksheets help.
b) Critical Thinking Math – I thought my son was not able to do, but surprising ok – and in fact, he loves it
c) Use of apparatus to teach concepts – visual aid
- The fees are more expensive for E.nopi RM160 whereas Kumon is RM120-130. No regrets! My son was initially very weak in numbers - last Dec he couldn't count 1-10. Now he is able to count, and just by looking, able to know how many the qty is and progressing into math - different combination making up to 10. As for UCMAS, I didn't do much check simply because the teacher told me that the child, at the very minimum, must be familiar with 1-100. My son then was still struggling with 1-10. What I do told is that UCMAS Mental Arithmetic uses abacus and the one quality that they are building in a child is photographic memory – I don’t know how so but I have heard amazing things about what a child can do.
- A final note. Go and see for yourself. Go through free trial sessions. See which one your child finds it more interesting. Figure out what you want for your child. Assess your confidence in the owner/franchisee. And good luck to you!