At a Glance:
- Learner - Best Overall Math Tutoring
- Eye Level - Good for Flexibility
- Kumon - Good for Self-Learning
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. Research shows that 82% of American students between the 7th and 10th grades also have a sense of anxiety and unease toward learning math.
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 you could use. Between established in-person tutoring programs and innovative online tutoring platforms, there are many options available for parents to choose between.
In this article, we will review the pros and cons of three popular math tutoring services in the United States: Kumon, Eye Level, and Learner. Learning more about the structure, tutors, costs, and benefits associated with each center will help you make an informed decision regarding the most suitable platform for your family. Stay with us as we explore why Learner deserves serious consideration in your search.
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 factors that make this service stand out are the one-on-one lessons and the fun, interactive environment.
- Private lessons offered
- Offers lessons 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+
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 their self-confidence.
What is Kumon?
Toru Kumon founded Kumon in Japan in 1954 to help his son improve in math. By 1974, Kumon had opened his first centers in the United States. Now 65 years later, Kumon 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.
- Features math and reading programs
- 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
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.
What Is Learner?
Learner may be a relatively new company, but this service has already captured families’ hearts and has become a prominent player in the online tutoring world. While Learner specializes in math tutoring, it also offers online tutoring services to students and adults of all ages in a wide variety of subjects, including SAT and ACT prep.
Learner’s teaching model primarily revolves around customized student-tutor matching, a one-on-one format, and a personalized curriculum. We believe that the more personalized the learning experience is for students, the more they will benefit, progress, and thrive academically.
- Customized lesson plans
- Private lessons with math experts
- Innovative virtual platform
- Matching specialist pairs students with compatible tutors
- The opportunity for a long-term student-tutor relationship
- Customer satisfaction guarantee
- Only online services offered
- No exact pricing information is provided upfront
Learner has quickly made a name for itself in the online tutoring world due to its industry-leading satisfaction rates. Much of its success can be credited to its expert instructors and tutoring format, which combines private instruction, customized student-tutor matching, and personalized lesson plans tailored to the student’s math needs and goals.
Eye Level vs. Kumon vs. Learner Benefits
Discover the key benefits you can expect with each of these three tutoring services, and consider which priorities best meet the needs of your child.
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 shy or embarrassed 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.
Learner’s exceptional track record for success can largely be attributed to its tutoring methodology. The first step involves carefully matching each student with the most suitable tutor from its extensive network. A compatible student-tutor pairing fosters an environment filled with respect, support, and trust. As tutors become more acquainted with their students, they gain valuable insight into the best motivational strategies and teaching approaches that work best for their needs.
Learner only offers private, one-on-one tutoring because of the unparalleled benefits that this format offers. One-on-one tutoring allows tutors to tailor the pace of instruction to match a student’s needs, whether that involves slowing down when the student needs help or skipping over topics the student has already mastered.
Private tutoring has minimal distractions and an immediate feedback loop where teachers can correct student errors in the moment; both of these advantages lead to faster progress and academic improvement. Tutors also have the opportunity to create customized lesson plans that are perfectly tailored to the student’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses, a privilege that group tutoring sessions cannot offer.
Lastly, Learner’s entirely virtual platform means families will never have to struggle scheduling lessons around their busy lifestyles or spend time traveling to and from learning centers. Students can enjoy their private online sessions from the comfort of their own homes.
Eye Level vs. Kumon vs. Learner Tutoring Service
In addition to the different tutoring advantages of each platform, it’s important to understand the overall approach and services provided as well so you know what to expect.
Eye Level 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 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 between hands-on tutoring and independent learning. In some lessons, there will be more back and forth between a tutor and a 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.
Kumon Tutoring Service
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 worksheets class. Students are typically placed in a lower level to begin building confidence and acquaint themselves with the worksheet format.
Learner Tutoring Service
At Learner, each student embarks on their tutoring journey by completing a brief online survey. This survey asks fundamental questions about a student’s background and their tutoring goals and objectives. The information provided in this survey gives the Learner team valuable insight, helping them determine which tutor would most align with the student’s needs.
Students are then matched with a complementary tutor from Learner’s network. The matching specialist factors a student’s schedule, personality, interests, learning style, strengths, weaknesses, and budget into the decision, among other criteria.
Once a student is matched with a tutor (this process typically takes 72 hours or less), they can schedule their first lesson. The first lesson serves as an assessment, which allows tutors to gauge a student’s subject-matter familiarity and learning style and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. From there, tutors can build out customized lessons perfectly tailored to the student. Regular progress reports are also incorporated into every student’s curriculum.
Each lesson takes place in an online classroom equipped with basic virtual tools such as audio, video, screen-sharing, and file-sharing, as well as more innovative features like an interactive whiteboard, which allows students and tutors to collaborate on math problems simultaneously. Lessons are recorded for safety reasons, but older students can also rewatch lessons as a way to prepare for upcoming exams.
Tutor Credentials Review
The best possible platforms, however, are only as good as the quality of their tutors. Because of this, we’ve included a breakdown of the required tutor experience and certification for these three companies.
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 the company heavily depends on self-learning. That said, all instructors are formally trained in the Eye Level method and study their curriculum carefully to guide students through it effectively.
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.
Every Learner tutor undergoes a strict vetting process that filters out 95% of applicants. All math tutoring applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year, accredited college or university, as well as several years of math teaching experience in order to apply.
If applicants make it past the initial screening, the next phase of the selection process includes a thorough background check, multiple rounds of interviews, and a mock tutoring session for a Learner panel.
We want every student in the Learner community to have the opportunity to learn from a world-class instructor. To achieve this, we also meticulously hand-pick our instructors, making sure we have a diverse range of teaching styles, philosophies, specialties, and personalities. This approach guarantees that there is a perfect match between teacher and math student, catering to the unique needs and preferences of each student.
The price of tutoring can vary from one program to another and depending on the services you sign up for, which is why we’ve included as much information as possible about the 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.
In addition to 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 weekly and the worksheets provided to complete at home.
Learner strives to accommodate families with varying tutoring budgets. Our tutoring rates start at $60 an hour but vary depending on an instructor’s education and degree, certifications, and years of math teaching experience. Payment packages can also differ depending on how many lessons a student signs up for, as well as the duration and intensity of each session.
Every student receives a $25 introductory trial and is protected by the customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with your first lesson or teacher pairing, you will receive a full refund and be matched with a new tutor for free.
Why Choose Learner
Although Kumon and Eye Level are reputable tutoring programs with acceptable success rates, they fall short when compared to Learner’s quality of service.
One notable advantage Learner has over Eye Level and Kumon is the consistent instruction of the same tutor week after week. This continuity fosters a safe and nurturing learning environment where students feel comfortable being themselves, making mistakes, and asking questions. It also enables tutors to closely monitor students' progress throughout the school year and make necessary adjustments over time.
As tutors develop a deeper understanding of their students, they can effectively connect with them both academically and personally. Simultaneously, the more students get to know their teachers, the more engaged they will be in their math studies and the more invested they will be in their academic success.
Furthermore, unlike Kumon and Eye Level, Learner exclusively hires highly qualified tutors. The platform rigorously vets every tutor in its network. This highly selective process ensures that students, regardless of their assigned tutor, will receive instruction from a world-class educator.
We understand you’re looking to help your child with more than just math aptitude but excellence and confidence as well. With so many math tutoring services available, knowing which one will best benefit your child can be challenging. But with high-quality tutors, private and personalized lessons, and a customized matching system, Learner meets all the key criteria of an outstanding tutoring company.
As an added benefit, 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. Just take the short quiz, match with an online tutor, and start making a difference in your child’s math journey today.