Kumon Method Is it worth it? Japanese course and others


Do you know the Kumon method? What differentiates the Kumon method from other classroom courses? In this article we will talk about the Kumon Japanese course and its learning method! Is it worth it?

As the name makes clear, Kumon was created by Japanese in the year 1958 by the teacher Toru Kumon, who started teaching math to people who had difficulties in school, soon he spread this method around the world, which first appeared in London in 1977.

The main objective of the Kumon method is to create independence in studies, generating self-education and a taste for learning. That is, the focus of the Kumon method is to make the person study alone, despite the presence of face-to-face classes.

Kumon's courses are spread over several cities in Brazil and the World and teaches mainly mathematics, English, Portuguese and Japanese. Is the Kumon method worth it?

Kumon Method - Classroom course or not?

Those who know Suki Desu, know that I do not recommend classroom courses, mainly due to the slowness that the classes are taught with the objective of making you pay endless tuition and end up spending fortunes.

The Kumon method is different and encourages learning at home, making the person really learn at a much faster and higher level. Still, Kumon's Japanese course shares characteristics of face-to-face courses that are negative.

Is Japanese and other kumon courses worth it?

Those who usually opt for face-to-face courses, need the help of a teacher, discipline and motivation. Unfortunately, if the focus of the course is to make people study at home, they may not be able to do so due to lack of discipline.

Another negative reason for a face-to-face course is the need to move around the classes weekly. The Kumon method is exactly stuck in the back and forth of studying at home and in the course. So why not just take an online course?

As already mentioned, if the person has no discipline, the Kumon method is useless.

How does Kumon Method classes work?

In the Kumon method you receive the material to study at home and go weekly to the Teaching Unit to solve tasks and receive individual support. No class is presented to the class, each student has individual support in the unit.

Another school that uses a similar method is the Prepare. I already had the opportunity to take about 5 courses in preparation, and unfortunately I do not remember anything that I studied there, even working in the same area as the courses taken.

Is Japanese and other kumon courses worth it?

Kumon is better because it encourages you to study at home with quality material. Kumon students usually stay at the Unit twice a week for about an hour. It is a very short time, which only makes you waste time moving from home to the Unit.

My friend said that the Japanese course goes from Module A to L, she spent 9 months and arrived only at Module C. In addition to this basic Japanese course, there is another more advanced course called Kokugo.

Upon completing the last level (stage L) of the Japanese course, the student will have studied approximately 1,000 kanji, 6,380 words, and literary works with a maximum of 6,000 characters, offering conditions to take the N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam .

The Japanese course at kumon

As this site is focused on Japan and the Japanese language, I think it is good to give a little emphasis to the kumon Japanese course. As I mentioned earlier, it goes from stage A to L, dividing the course as follows:

The table below represents the number of characters studied per text, the number of total words learned and the number of ideograms learned.

Module TextVolcKanji
Beginner 4A??1090
Beginner 3A??2040
Beginner 2A??4030
Basic A 24056858
Basic B280856121
Basic C2801088185
Basic D3001323265
Basic E9001640347
Basic F9002055428
Intermediate G10002395508
Intermediate H11002885588
Intermediate I13003375668
Advanced JKL???63801000

The number presented does not mean the number of words that the person will already know how to speak and write, only the number of words and ideograms that appeared in the material studied. To learn a person needs time and dedication.

At the beginner level the student will learn to read and write hiragana and katakana, simpler words, and to understand elementary sentences. 

At the basic level the student will learn about 1,500 words, and exercise text comprehension. Upon completion, the student will be able to take the N4 level.

At the intermediate level the student will be able to take the N3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam. And as already mentioned, at the end of the course the student will be able to take the N2 test. It will be?

How much does the Kumon method cost?

Kumon Units are franchises where investors open Units in their cities, prices may vary depending on the region and Unit administrator. In addition to tuition fees, the course also requires an enrollment fee.

My friend paid about 230 reais a month to learn Japanese at Kumon in São Paulo. This is also the average for Japan. Suppose you spend 3 years to reach the N2 (fluency) of Japanese. You will have invested a total of 8,000 reais to reach fluency.

Is Japanese and other kumon courses worth it?

If you have the same dedication that you have to study alone with Kumon, you will have a much lower expense studying on your own or investing in a cheaper online course like Japanese Online Program.

The online courses of the Internet like the Japanese Online Program uses a more effective method based on immersion and memorization spaced with Anki. So you spend less money and learn faster. Have basic Japanese courses with a single price of 100 reais.

In the articles Mathematics and Portuguese the Kumon method can be put to good use, as we are not trying to learn an unknown language, only improving our performance in the subjects we have already studied in schools.

Remembering that learning will depend on your dedication, no matter what course you are taking!


Although the method encourages studying alone at home, along with self-study, your study material hits the same key to fill in gaps and answer questions, a traditional method that is not so advantageous in language learning.

I am not saying that the Kumon method is ineffective. I just think it is useless to pay tuition to have study material at home and spend more than two hours of your week to stay in a Unit doing exercises and asking questions with a teacher.

2 hours of class per week at a Kumon Unit is not enough to learn Japanese, English or another language. I also doubt that the children do correctly the exercises proposed in the handouts.

Is kumon method worth it? Japanese course and others

That way, you end up paying expensive tuition for a method that appears to be innovative, but it is no different from online courses or face-to-face classes.

I always wanted to do the Kumon method, but I believe that all material taught by this method can be easily mined on the internet without spending a single penny. With discipline and dedication, you will be able to learn Japanese or any other subject yourself without paying anything.

Now, if you have a child, the Kumon method can be very effective in encouraging children to learn on their own. You need to be accompanied by your parents to reach a conclusion that the high investment in this method is paying off.

There are complaints from Kumon in the Complain here, most about undue charges, difficulty in canceling, neglect and other problems. Unfortunately, we do not blame Kumon, but the owners of the Units that hire the franchise.

I cannot question or influence your decision to do Kumon. Even because I am a person who criticizes even higher education, which in my opinion only serves to obtain degrees.

This is a feature of Julius Everyone hates Chris. Why am I going to spend money on something if I can do it for free or cheaper? Well that's my opinion, many prefer to invest, so go for it!

I believe that the Kumon Method helped many to learn Japanese, English, mathematics and other subjects. If you have already taken this course, I would like to hear your opinion about it in the comments. If you liked the article, share it with friends on social media.

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