# Building a Solid Math Foundation

*“You might be surprised to hear that some people at MIT are struggling with math, but it happens. I see some kids in my dorm staying up all night trying to get their homework done. Not me. Kumon gave me a strong math background so that I didn’t struggle with my homework like some of my peers.” *

*-Frederick Wang, former Kumon student of Kumon of N. Garland/E. Richardson Center,*

while* *an Undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Whether you’re an elementary school teacher, returning student, or a soccer mom, math is a part of your daily life. Creating a solid math foundation from a young age is crucial to success in the future. The Kumon Math Program instills basic math skills that are the building blocks to more challenging high school math. A solid foundation in counting to calculus is one of the key elements of the Kumon Method.

When looking at Kumon worksheets for the first time, they appear to be rather basic and repetitive. In order to understand the purpose of the program, it is important to understand the *goal* of the Kumon Method, which is to reach calculus as soon as possible through self-learning.

The founder of the program, the late Mr. Toru Kumon, designed the program in a unique fashion – from the top down. Being a high school teacher at the time, he wanted to focus only on the material his son would need to excel in high school math.

Mr. Kumon looked at the final goal, advanced high school math, and asked, “What must be understood as a pre-requisite for mastering these concepts?” Each step moves backwards through pre-calculus, algebra, pre-algebra, arithmetic, and number skills, all the way back to basic counting in the Kumon Curriculum. As a result of this structure, no matter where a Kumon student begins in the program, he or she will continually build the skills necessary to reach the final goal.

Learning math is like climbing a staircase: each step is essential to move up to the next. If just one step is weak or broken, it can result in the student sliding backwards, and losing confidence in his or her abilities. Slipping leads to the “math anxiety” many parents and children talk about. Children who are not rock-solid in basic arithmetic cannot proceed successfully to pre-algebra, and without a solid grasp of pre-algebra they cannot move on to algebra, and so on.

Mathematics utilizes a universal language that is shared all over the world. Math is what has enabled mankind to make cars, explore space and create the electronic toys children play with today. With a strong math foundation, children solve problems faster and more efficiently. Encourage your children to excel in math and they may come across even more opportunities and choices for their future.