Review Detail

4.2 9 0.5
Kumon math workbooks
Curriculas 7403
These are practice workbooks with explanations. The explanations are sometimes terse, and sometimes only easy to understand if you're an adult familiar with the terms and with the math (so that you can then explain to the child, what the written explanation actually means). For instance, in the 4th Grade Geometry and Measurement workbook I have, on one fractions worksheet, the "Don't Forget!" box has the following:

"When comparing two fractions with the same denominator, the fraction with a larger numerator is the larger number. When comparing two fractions with the same numerator, the fraction with the smaller denominator is the larger number."

A person who has already mastered fractions, may still have trouble following that, or keeping it straight, from that verbiage. It is correct, but it does not easily convey meaning. There are no pictures to illustrate how that works. I seriously doubt those two sentences would help most 4th-graders understand much about fractions, unless their method of learning is just to produce a correct answer through accurate execution of memorized rules. Any conceptual grasp will have to be provided through real teaching by someone. For that reason, this is not in my estimation, a good stand-alone curriculum, but rather, a practice workbook with explanations that function more as reminders or else teaching notes to elaborate on.
Grade levels used
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Pros
Inexpensive, readily available in many bookstores, have explanations in the workbook
Cons
Explanations are generally procedural rather than deeply conceptual; explanations are worded in a way that may make no sense except to adults who already understand the material. You will have to paraphrase and explain, to a younger kid.
Do you recommend?
For use as a practice workbook or refresher course, yes. Not for a full teaching curriculum.
M
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