Are you looking for easy and affordable ways to homeschool your child or supplement their school education?
I want to share with you how I use Kumon Workbooks to teach my preschooler math, handwriting, thinking skills, and more using these books that require no preparation, printing and cost less than U$10 a book.
About the Kumon Method
Kumon is an educational system for math and reading created based on incremental learning, memorization and building confidence through achievement.
In the United States, Kumon is known as an after-school program for kids that need extra help catching up in school or for children who are performing at a higher level and need extra stimulation after school.
Kumon centers are available throughout the world and if you choose to have tutored sessions, your children can attend classes 2 times a week at a center near you.
There is however, another way to use the Kumon system and that is through home learning or homeschooling.
Kumon workbooks are available for purchase with no strings attached to classes and that is how I have been using Kumon to homeschool.
So far, the workbooks have been highly engaging and my son has found success in a variety of subjects using Kumon: math, handwriting, logic, cutting, pasting, and spatial awareness just to name a few.
Since Kumon focuses on incremental learning and small assignments, these workbooks have also helped build our son’s confidence and focus – so crucial in these early years. Most importantly, the Kumon method allows children to work at their own pace.
Kumon workbooks are also very reasonably priced (less than U$10 each) and you don’t have to buy them all at once. You can buy them as your child progresses through the levels, which is great if you are on a tight budget or just starting your homeschooling journey.
How to Homeschool With Kumon Workbooks
Homeschooling with Kumon workbooks is fairly easy due to their educational level chart that visually explains at what level your child should start and how to progress once the child has completed a workbook.
You can start homeschooling children as young as 2 years old with the Kumon workbooks and I wish I had started our son at that age, because the workbooks are so colorful and engaging that they really get children excited to learn!
We started using Kumon workbooks last year, when my son turned 3 years old and in a span of one year he has completed almost 6 workbooks in addition to our Timberdoodle curriculum.
He often wants to advance further than his Kumon assignments and completes several pages in one sitting. Since we homeschool based on his interests, that might mean that one day we do 10 pages of spatial awareness and nothing else, and there are days in which we do a couple pages of each subject.
Our Kumon assignments range from 5 minutes to 1 hr a day, depending on my son’s pace. And I try to mix the activities with other tools in our curriculum for variety.
The levels range from preschool to high school, so even if your child has not previously started from the beginning with the Kumon method, you can use the workbooks to teach your child at home.
One recommendation I have is to start a level below what you currently think your child can do. That way you can familiarize you child with the flow of activities and build their confidence in the process. I learned to not skip levels with Kumon, especially in Math Skills, because the content really builds on previous levels and repetition is the key for the Kumon method to work.
However the exception for that rule is for the basic skills section. If your child has already mastered a skill and doesn’t need any more practice, then it’s fine to not complete the entire curriculum.
Another recommendation is to always praise your child for their achievement and progress, big or small. This goes a long way to getting kids to want to do better or do more of the workbooks.
Why You Should Not Use The Kumon Books Alone
In the section above, I mentioned I used these Kumon books in addition to the Timberdoodle Homeschool Curriculum. That is because the Kumon method was developed to supplement public or private school, so it is not an all encompassing curriculum, but it’s a great supplement to a good curriculum.
And don’t get me wrong, I love the Timberdoodle curriculum, but there were gaps in my son’s knowledge or subjects in which I needed more material to reinforce what he was learning through the curriculum. I mentioned this on my review of Timberdoodle.
For example, the Timberdoodle curriculum that I purchased only had one handwriting workbook, and handwriting is all about practice, so one book is not enough to teach a child to write all the letters of the alphabet.
That is why I actually recommend that you start with the Kumon workbooks for Uppercase Letters and Lowercase Letters and then either continue with Kumon books or switch to a more traditional handwriting book. And in addition to paper books for practice, also purchase some write and erase cards that can be used over and over again.
Kumon Books for Preschool and Kindergarten
I recommend the following books for a preschool and kindergarten child to start.
And of course, these Kumon workbooks do not replace play-based learning and other hands-on activities you will need to do with your kids to ensure they learn phonics and counting. They are merely books to help the learning process and work on foundational skills necessary for kindergarten and beyond.
For play-based materials, check out my Timberdoodle Curriculum Review.
Most of these Kumon books are also available in Spanish.
*Affiliate links are provided for your convenience. This is only an example list, start small and let your child dictate his or her needs.
Fine Motor Skills:
- Let’s Color! (2 year olds)
- If you prefer to print your own coloring sheets, I have a free printable for you on ocean animals.
- Let’s Cut Paper (2 year olds) or My First Book of Cutting (3 year olds)
- Let’s Sticker and Paste (2 year olds) or My First Book of Pasting (3 year olds)
- My First Book of Tracing
- My Book of Easy Mazes
Handwriting and Letter Recognition:
Before starting these books, work on fine motor skills on tracing, mazes, cutting and pasting.
Introduce letter sounds and letter names before starting these books, because these books are focused more on handwriting than phonics.
Kumon Math Books:
Before starting these Kumon math books, work on fine motor skills on tracing, mazes, cutting and pasting. Your child needs to have a good pencil grip before starting these books.
Also, I recommend that you pair these math books with other counting activities. These Kumon workbooks alone will not teach your child how to count.
These books are excellent for kids 3+ years old that can work out some simple puzzles and patterns.
If your kids can’t solve the first 2 pages without much help, then they are not ready for the content. Concentrate on areas they enjoy in basic fine motor skills and introduce them to simple puzzle and pattern games. Come back to these books once they show more interest and ability.
*This last book is a combination of a lot of the books listed here, however, I would not recommend you buying it before your child has gone through one or two of these books. It’s a much more condensed and advanced version that helps you evaluate areas your child still needs to work on for Kindergarten versus a book that helps build the foundation blocks he/she will need to master the skills necessary for the next grade.
For more posts on homeschooling, check out these articles:
- 50 Ocean Books for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners (with free printable)
- Timberdoodle Homeschool Review
- Osmo Learning Games for Kids
- 50 Indoor Activities for Kids
- Halloween Books for Preschool Kids
- Favorite Books for Babies and Toddlers