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  • Fun Workbooks? Is there any such thing? - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Fun Workbooks? Is there any such thing?

Kumon Maze BookIn the brave new world of Baby Einstein, many parents are always on the lookout for ways to make their kids smarter. The Kumon method, founded in Japan 50 years ago, has slowly gained solid footing as the world’s largest supplemental education provider. With over 1500 centers in the US and Canada, Kumon is a popular choice for parents looking to give their grade-school children some extra momentum with math or reading skills.

Recently, Kumon has begun expanding their program to a younger audience. Some centers are offering a new, Junior Kumon curriculum aimed at preschool and kindergarten age children. As well, Kumon has released a series of workbooks that target children ages 2-7.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t get too excited about a workbook. Would you? But after a friend who owns a store in Chicago tipped me off to these, I investigated. I found the Kumon books to be beautifully done and highly engaging. While we waited for our first shipment, I must confess that I bought a few titles at Barnes and Noble and gave them to my 4-year old, along with a set of erasable colored pencils. She was enchanted.

My daughter soaked up the educational content like a sponge, and I learned a few things, too. I learned that my daughter is a whiz at mazes. That she could learn to draw a pristine number 4. That she could manipulate a pair of scissors well enough to cut along a dotted line. That she could count to twenty and complete a dot-to-dot. Basically, I discovered that I was underestimating my kid. Not anymore. I don’t know that I’ll be signing her up at Kumon just yet, but I really love these books – and so does she.

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