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Kumon Math and Reading Center
Industry Education
Founded 1958
Headquarters Osaka, Japan (Global HQ); Teaneck, NJ (North America HQ)
Products Kumon Math and Kumon Reading; Kumon Chinese (in Hong Kong and China)
Website www.kumon.org ; www.kumongroup.com
A Scio Township, Michigan Kumon Math and Reading Center in May 2012.

Kumon Education and Research Association of Japan is a corporation and an education brand created by Toru Kumon. The Kumon method is the math and reading educational method which is practiced in the Kumon centers.[1]


In 1954, Toru Kumon began to teach his eldest son, who was having problems in mathematics at school. Through the support he provided to his son and to other children in the neighbourhood, Toru Kumon developed the Kumon Method. In 1958, Kumon opened the first Kumon Center in Osaka, Japan with the help of parents who were interested in the Method. In 1960, he founded the Kumon Institute of Education, after which Kumon Centers began to open around the world. As of March 2013, over 4 340 000 students have been enrolled under the Kumon Method in more than 7,500 Kumon Centers in 48 countries around the world.[2]


Kumon is a math and reading program intended to supplement rather than replace school lessons. Students do not work together as a class, but progress through the program at their own pace, moving on to the next level when they have achieved mastery of the previous level. Students are guided by trained Kumon Instructors and Assistants. Mastery is defined as speed (using a standard completion time) and accuracy.[3] They take an achievement test at the end of each level.

Company value[edit]

The Kumon family, led by Toru's wife Teiko, owns 35 percent of the company. Forbes magazine estimated in March 2009 that the entire company was currently worth over $499 million.[4]

Math program[edit]

7A-2A are preschool levels.[5]

  • Level 7A: Counting to 10
  • Level 6A: Counting to 30
  • Level 5A: Line drawing, number puzzles to 50
  • Level 4A: Reciting and writing numbers up to 50
  • Level 3A: Numbers up to 120, Adding up to 3
  • Level 2A: Adding up to 10

Levels A-F are elementary school levels.

  • Level A: Horizontal addition, Subtraction from numbers up to 20
  • Level B: Vertical addition and subtraction
  • Level C: Basic multiplication, division
  • Level D: Long multiplication, long division, introduction to fractions
  • Level E: Fractions
  • Level F: Four operations of fractions, decimals

Levels G-J are middle school levels.

  • Level G: Positive/negative numbers, exponents, Algebraic expressions, Pre-algebra
  • Level H: Linear/simultaneous equations, inequalities, algebraic functions and graphs
  • Level I: Factorization, square roots, quadratic equations, Pythagorean theorem
  • Level J: Advanced algebra

Levels K-O are high school levels.

  • Level K: Functions: Quadratic, fractional, irrational, exponential
  • Level L: Logarithms, basic limits, derivatives, integrals, and its applications
  • Level M: Trigonometry, straight lines, equation of circles.
  • Level N: Loci, limits of functions, sequences, differentiation
  • Level O: Advanced differentiation, integration, applications of calculus, differential equations.

Answer books are available for all levels 7A through O.

Reading program[edit]

  • Level 7A: Look, Listen, Repeat
  • Level 6A: Reciting With Pictures, Rhymes
  • Level 5A: Phonics, Step-By-Step Stories
  • Level 4A: Consonant Combinations and Vowel Sounds
  • Level 3A: Advanced Vowel Combinations, Compound Words
  • Level 2A: Functions of Words (nouns, verbs, adjectives), Reading Aloud
  • Level AI: Simple Sentences, Basic Expressions, Vocabulary
  • Level AII: Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills, Thought Sequence, Vocabulary
  • Level BI: Subject and Predicate, Modifiers (adverbs and adjectives), Irregular Verbs and Plural Nouns, Vocabulary
  • Level BII: Defining Words, Identifying Ideas, Comparing and Contrasting, Vocabulary
  • Level CI: Parts of a Sentence, Expressions of Language, Constructing Sentences, Vocabulary
  • Level CII: Elements of Statements, Organizing Information, Synthesizing Ideas, Vocabulary
  • Level DI: Compound and Complex Sentences, Statements from Paragraphs, Vocabulary
  • Level DII: Topic, Main Idea, Understanding Paragraphs, Vocabulary
  • Level EI: Clauses, Direct and Indirect Speech, Graphing and Charting, Vocabulary
  • Level EII: Sequence and Imagery, Underlining, Reason and Result, Vocabulary
  • Level FI: Referring Words, Interpreting Text, Responding to Questions, Vocabulary
  • Level FII: Unraveling Text, Recounting Story Events, Concision, Vocabulary
  • Level G: Point Making, Theme, Story Elements, Summary
  • Level H: Facts and Opinions, Passage Organization, Interpretation of Language, Summation
  • Level I: Persuasion, Argument, Description, Precis
  • Level J: Critical Reading, Passage Structure, Character Analysis
  • Level K: Plot, Setting and Atmosphere, Irony, Comedy, Content Evaluation
  • Level L: Figurative Language, Interpretation, Tragedy, Critical Writing


Pencils and an eraser with the Kumon logo

The Kumon language program varies regionally.[6] For example, the Chinese reading program in China is different from the Chinese reading programs in Hong Kong and Singapore,[7][8][9] and the English program in the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines varies from the English program in the United Kingdom.[10] Additionally, Kumon Korea has other subjects, such as science, calligraphy, Korean, and Chinese characters, which are not available elsewhere.[11]

The Math program also varies. The math program for most countries goes up to Level O. Level descriptions - the maths programme in Ireland.[12][13][14] However, in Japan, the math program is available up to Level V.[15] The Kumon method is controversial in Japan, with its critics, including the Japanese Ministry for Education, alleging that Kumon promotes rote learning as opposed to critical thinking.[16]


External links[edit]