Many teachers and experts think that math is the hardest subject for students to learn at all levels of school. Whether your child is in elementary school, high school, or college, it’s normal for students to struggle with math at some point in their academic careers. Many factors contribute to difficulties in math, including a lack of confidence, an inadequate foundation in core skills, and learning differences. However, with the right support and mindset, anyone can improve their math skills and achieve their academic goals.
Of the available types of support, math tutoring services are among the best resources for parents whose children struggle with math. In this article, we will review the pros and cons of two of the most popular math tutoring services in the United States: Kumon and Eye Level. Learning more about these tutoring centers’ structures, tutors, and costs will help you decide whether either is a good fit for your family or whether a different program altogether may be superior for your needs.
What is Eye Level?
Eye Level was established in South Korea in 1976. After nearly 50 years in business, this renowned company has continued to grow and now has 2.5 million children enrolled worldwide. Eye Level learning centers offer math and language arts classes for students ages 3 to 12. The company’s primary mission is to help students build a strong foundation in each subject, develop basic problem-solving skills, and boost student self-confidence. Some of the things that make this service stand out are the one-on-one lessons and the fun, interactive environment where learning happens.
- Private lessons offered
- Offers subjects in multiple subjects
- Each child receives a diagnostic test upon joining
- Offers in-person and online tutoring
- Parents have no direct line of communication with tutors
- Tutors change from lesson to lesson
- Does not offer lessons to students 12+
Bottom Line: Eye Level learning centers offer math and English classes for students ages 3-12. The company’s primary mission is to help students build a strong foundation in each subject, develop basic problem-solving skills, and boost student self-confidence.
What is Kumon?
Toru Kumon founded Kumon in Japan in 1954 to help his son improve in math. By 1974, Kumon began opening his first centers in the United States. 65 years later, Kumon now has approximately 25,000 learning centers worldwide. This popular platform offers math and reading tutoring services for kindergarten through high school students.
Kumon operates as a self-learning program where students are “drilled” on the basics of math and reading. Kumon also offers virtual classes for the same subject matter. Some impressive qualities that make this service stand out are the teaching philosophy’s focus on timed repetition, improved concentration, and confidence-building for students.
- Math and reading programs are both offered
- Offers in-person and online learning
- Encourages self-learning and boosts student confidence
- No private tutoring or small group classes offered
- “Drill” format doesn’t help students develop problem-solving skills
- Tutors are high school and college students
Bottom Line: Kumon operates as a self-learning program where kindergarten through high school students are “drilled” on the basics of math and reading. Some features that differentiate this service from competitors are its focus on timed repetition, improved concentration, and confidence building for its students.
Eye Level vs. Kumon Benefits
Eye Level Benefits
The main benefit that Eye Level tutoring has to offer is its one-on-one lesson structure. A private tutor can tailor every lesson plan to the child’s needs and goals, bypassing the content they are already familiar with and focusing on the areas where they need the most assistance. A private tutor can teach lessons that align with the student’s preferred learning methods, match the student’s pace, and answer as many questions as needed for the child to feel confident in every math topic.
Not only does one-on-one tutoring lead to improved test scores and grades, but it also boosts a child’s confidence. In traditional classroom settings and small group tutoring courses, students do not always receive the positive reinforcement and feedback they need to feel confident in their abilities. Conversely, private tutors can encourage students when they succeed, which translates to greater confidence in the classroom. Research shows that the more confident students are in their math abilities, the more likely they are to persevere through challenging test questions and approach problems innovatively.
As a “self-learning” tutoring center, Kumon offers significantly different benefits than Eye Level. The benefit of independent learning is that it allows students to gain confidence in their own abilities. When students solve a problem with little to no assistance, they are more likely to believe that they can solve similar problems in the future.
In some ways, Kumon learning centers also mimic the set-up of a classroom environment. With one instructor present, students work in a sizable room with their peers. If they struggle with a difficult math problem or have a question about something, they must approach the teacher in front of a group of people. Some students fall behind in math class because they are too afraid, shy, embarrassed, or proud to raise their hands and ask questions. Kumon conditions students to be comfortable doing this, reinforcing this positive behavior. Knowing how to ask for help when needed is a skill that will benefit students for the rest of their academic careers and beyond.
Eye Level vs. Kumon Tutoring Service
With Eye Level, every student begins by taking a diagnostic test. The results from this test provide the Eye Level team with insight into the student’s ability and learning needs, which allows them to determine an appropriate starting grade level for the student in Eye Level’s curriculum.
After checking in at the center, students begin by preparing for class. They take their folder from its shelf and head to their one-on-one session. There, the private tutor checks the student’s homework and quickly reviews the previous lesson to ease the child into the day’s session. Then, the student is introduced to the “target pages” for the lesson.
As a hybrid tutoring model, Eye Level lessons switch back and forth between hands-on tutoring and independent learning. In some lessons, there will be more back and forth between a tutor and student. In others, however, students will work on assignments, listen to audio, and solve booklets independently. Before checking out, students will receive feedback and homework assignments.
It’s important to note that even though Eye Level is a one-on-one tutoring service, students will not work with the same tutors every week. Virtual lessons are also available.
At a Kumon learning center, kids are typically seated in a large room with an administrator and a handful of “helpers.” Students will work on worksheets for 30 minutes and have five additional worksheets to take home and complete during the week.
Kumon encourages students to work at their own pace and make gradual improvements every time they complete a worksheet. Because drilling and repetition are at the forefront of the Kumon model, students will not move on to learning a new concept until they have “mastered” the one they are currently working on. To give you an idea, one of Kumon’s math levels has 200 worksheets composed entirely of beginner addition problems.
When starting their journey with Kumon, each student takes a short assessment. This assessment allows the Kumon program to place them into an appropriate class of worksheets. Students are typically placed in a lower level to begin building confidence and acquaint themselves with the worksheet format.
Eye Level vs. Kumon Tutors
Eye Level Tutors
According to Eye Level’s website, all tutors have at least begun their college education. Some tutors might be in their first year of college, while others already have bachelor's degrees. All tutors are required to complete Eye Level-specific training and attend ongoing online training conducted by the National Training Center.
One of the reasons Eye Level doesn’t require instructors to be certified teachers is that Eye Level does depend heavily on self-learning. That said, all instructors are formally trained in the Eye Level method and study the Eye Level curriculum carefully to guide students effectively through it.
Most Kumon classes have one administrator and a handful of “helpers,” who are high school and college students. Because Kumon operates primarily under a “self-learning” structure, instructors don’t need to be certified tutors to do their job effectively. In addition, even though Kumon provides services for middle and high school students, most of the students that partake in this program are in elementary school or kindergarten. Most hard-working high school and college students are able to assist younger children with basic number and word problems involving addition, subtraction, etc.
Eye Level vs. Kumon Cost
Eye Level Cost
The cost of Eye Level tutoring highly depends on the subject you take. If your child takes a math class once a week, you will pay a monthly rate of $175 for basic-level math (up to fourth-grade math) and $195 for higher-level math (fifth- to eighth-grade math). If your child takes a math class twice a week, you will pay a monthly rate of $245 for basic-level math and $265 for higher-level math. On top of this payment, there is also a $50 registration fee and a one-month deposit according to the subject and frequency of class. Keep in mind that this payment may differ depending on the Eye Level tutoring center the student attends.
Kumon costs depend on the location of the center you are attending. On average, Kumon classes will cost $100-200 a month. Your monthly rate may be higher if your child is in high school or taking higher-level math. Kumon also charges more for students who are taking math and reading. This cost covers the two sessions your child spends at the Kumon learning center every week and the worksheets provided to complete at home.
Why Choose Learner
Even though Kumon and Eye Level are established tutoring services with satisfactory success rates, they fail to match the level of service offered by Learner. Learner is an online tutoring service that offers private lessons, customized lesson plans, affordable prices, and a customer satisfaction guarantee.
Every student begins by taking an initial assessment on Learner’s website. The results from this assessment allow Learner’s matching specialist to assign students to the most compatible tutors in the Learner network based on factors such as schedule, strengths, weaknesses, learning style, and personality. One of the most significant benefits of working with Learner is that students work with the same instructor every session. This consistency of structure allows tutors to establish a safe learning environment where students feel comfortable being themselves, making mistakes, and asking questions. It also allows tutors to carefully track students' progress throughout the school year and make adjustments over time.
In addition, Learner only hires the most qualified tutors. The platform rigorously vets every tutor, and accepts only 5% of instructors into the Learner network. Every tutor who wants to apply must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year university and several years of teaching experience.
With so many math tutoring services available, knowing which one will best benefit your child can be challenging. But with high-quality tutors, personalized lesson plans, and a careful matching system, among other things, Learner meets all the key criteria of an outstanding tutoring company.
As a bonus, Learner offers virtual math lessons. Not only is online tutoring more convenient and affordable than in-person tutoring, but it also allows students to connect with expert instructors from all over the world from the comfort of their own homes.