Top of the Class, but... For seven years I've watched my beautiful son hunched over Kumon math worksheets. He finds little enjoyment from them and I'd rather see him chasing butterflies. They've certainly helped his Math performance at school __ he's top of his class, but I wonder if the effort has been worth it in the big scheme of things. He's currently solving about 100 polynomials per day. Man, he can really solve polynomials, and fast. But for what? His arithmetic skills are awesome but when presented with a math story problem, he falls apart, helpless. No matter how many times I suggest that he _ read the problem carefully, note down the givens, assign names to intermediate and final values, form equations,activate his Kumon engine (brain), he just can't get past the read_the_problem_carefully step.

But another person used the stairs to reach the same floor. This person found it very easy and reach there with little effort. Compare this person to a student who knows all the basic concepts learned in elementary grades. To learn grade six or grade seven math for this student will be easy. But there is another student in grade six and doesn't know the lower grade math concepts such as, times tables, factors or number system. This student is in the same situation as the person, who is jumping to reach third floor from the ground level. From the example it is very clear that mathematics in each grade have the same importance. So, you need to be focused on math in all the grades on all the basic concepts. Ask your teachers lots of questions. Keep asking until you are not clear about the concepts or topics you are working on.

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