Math is a broad subject that affects many parts of our lives, from science to technology. Despite its importance, learning math can be challenging for many students and common for some to feel intimidated or perplexed by its concepts. Whether your child lacks the necessary foundational knowledge or feels overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject, no hurdle should discourage anyone from pursuing their math education.
One of the best resources for students who want to improve their grades in math is online tutoring. Three of the most popular math tutoring services today are Mathnasium, Kumon, and Learner. Students of all ages and skill levels can receive high-quality math lessons from these well-known services.
What is Mathnasium?
Founded in 2002 by education and math experts, Mathnasium is a math-only tutoring center. This Los Angeles-based tutoring center offers programs for students in second through twelfth grades, both online and in person. While each student receives a personalized learning plan, Mathnasium does not offer one-on-one lessons. Mathnasium classes are usually arranged so that students work on worksheets independently in small groups of four to six people. One session typically lasts for 60 minutes.
To determine a student's personalized learning plan, Mathnasium conducts an initial assessment. During this assessment, students must complete certain objectives before moving on to the next level. The goal is to allow children to enjoy math and help them focus on the areas they need the most assistance with.
- Customized learning plan
- Online and in-person lessons
- Only offers math tutoring
- Relatively expensive
- No private tutoring offered
Bottom Line: Mathnasium is an excellent option for students from grades 2-12 who only need help with math. While each student receives a personalized lesson plan, one-on-one tutoring is not offered at Mathnasium.
What is Kumon?
Founded in Japan in the 1950s, Kumon doubles as a math and reading program. With tutoring centers scattered across the country, Kumon has relied on the same teaching methods for the last six decades. Instead of offering personalized lesson plans, Kumon gives students short, step-by-step assignments to help them learn the basics of math and reading. Once students master a specific skill set, they can move on to the next level in math and reading.
At a Kumon center, students typically work in a sizable room with many assistants under the supervision of an administrator. Students will work for 30 minutes and receive worksheets to take home and complete during the week. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace and make small improvements with each subsequent worksheet.
- Offers both math and reading
- More affordable
- Online and in-person
- Not personalized
- Can become repetitive
- Students are required to do additional work outside of Kumon sessions
Bottom Line: Instead of offering personalized lesson plans, Kumon gives students short, step-by-step homework to help them learn the basics of math and reading. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace and make small improvements over time.
What is Learner?
Learner is an online tutoring company specializing in personalized, one-on-one sessions. Although they primarily offer their services to high school and college-aged students, they also provide tutoring options for younger children and teenagers. Because all of Learner’s tutoring sessions are digital and online, students can access lessons and receive help from a much wider range of locations. Additionally, the digital nature of Learner’s tutoring means that students and parents can rewatch sessions after the fact to review individual concepts or ensure quality.
Unlike other math tutoring services which put less emphasis on finding the right tutor for each student, Learner recognizes that a tutor’s approach and personality are often as important as their lessons. Because of this, Learn maintains a customer service team trained to match students with their ideal tutors.
- Students are carefully matched to ideal tutors
- Tutors must meet strict education and experience standards
- Lessons focus on long-term success
- Best tutors may have limited availability
- Focuses on high-level math
Bottom Line: With personalized tutor matching, custom-designed lesson plans, and goals that go beyond individual grades, Learn is an excellent choice of tutoring company. Although they specialize in high school and college level math, they also provide options for younger students.
Mathnasium vs. Kumon vs. Learner Benefits
Mathnasium, Kumon, and Learner are all online tutoring services, but their platforms are set up very differently. Here are some primary ways you can benefit from working with each.
As the name suggests, Mathnasium is an excellent service to help your child improve their math knowledge and grades. Mathnasium is a service that only helps with math, so its tutors will likely know more about math and have extensive experience teaching it. Because the tutoring service specializes in only one subject, they are better equipped to tailor their approach to the specific needs of each student.
One of Mathnasium's most significant benefits is its personalized lesson plans. All students begin by taking an assessment to determine which areas they need the most assistance in. Mathnasium's team uses the student's performance to curate a customized curriculum. Students maximize the value of their time and money by focusing on their weakest areas and bypassing the areas they are most familiar with.
Another one of Mathnasium's benefits is its success rate. According to Mathnasium, 88% of students who regularly attended the math program for at least 6 months saw improvement in their grades. When students went to Mathnasium for over six months, 85% of parents said their children liked math more and had a better attitude about it.
Unlike Mathnasium, Kumon isn't limited to math alone. Students from kindergarten through twelfth grade have the opportunity to work on both their reading and math skills.
In addition, Kumon's repetition-based program offers many benefits. Having students practice hundreds of math problems of the same type teaches them how to solve specific kinds of math problems. Kumon also helps with structured learning and focused concentration.
While a facilitator in the room offers occasional assistance, Kumon operates as a self-learning program, encouraging students to be independent learners. Students are also assigned homework worksheets that they must complete independently. Over time, the more students are able to accomplish on their own, the more they will gain confidence in their own math skills and knowledge. This process is essential, as confidence has been strongly linked to improved grades. The more confident students are in their abilities, the more likely they will persevere through tough test questions and approach problems differently.
While Learner has begun offering non-math courses such as English tutoring for younger students, their services provide the greatest value for students struggling with math. And, although they specialize in tutoring for higher levels of math such as calculus, reviews for their elementary and middle school-aged tutoring are similarly glowing.
As an online-only company, one of Learner’s primary benefits is accessibility. During the intake process, new students provide ideal days and time slots based on their schedules. Then, Learner’s matching specialists compile a list of potential tutors to fit that schedule. The benefits of this matching process extend beyond scheduling, however. Unlike other tutoring services which assign tutors with little thought for compatibility, Learner puts heavy emphasis on finding the ideal tutor for each student. By doing this, they maximize each student’s chances for long-term success.
Finally, Learner prioritizes tutor quality and experience much more highly than other tutoring services on the market. While companies like Kumon may use high school or college students to monitor classes, Learner requires each of its tutoring professionals to meet a high standard of expertise. Although customers may pay slightly more with Learner than some competitors, this emphasis on quality ensures exceptional service.
Mathnasium vs. Kumon vs. Learner Tutoring Services
Mathnasium, Kumon, and Learner have significantly different tutoring structures. Each structure will cater to a different type of student.
Mathnasium Tutoring Services
When students sign up for Mathnasium, they must complete an initial evaluation. Mathnasium's team will analyze the results and discuss your results and goals with your child. Mathnasium's team will combine all of this information and use it to create a personalized learning plan for your child.
Mathnasium students typically attend 2-3 sessions weekly to stay on track with their goals. Sessions last 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the student's payment plan. During these sessions, students will work through worksheets and master checks. After receiving a certain number of mastery checks, students will get to pick out a prize from Mathnasium's prize cabinet. This positive reinforcement keeps students motivated and is a concrete way for them to see when they meet their goals.
Kumon Tutoring Services
Even though Kumon is also known for being an in-person math tutoring service, its structure and setup couldn't be more different from Mathnasium, primarily because Kumon doesn't make a personalized learning plan for each student. Instead, it repeats math concepts hundreds or thousands of times until the students understand them.
Students will take an initial assessment, which allows Kumon to place them in a "starting class." Once a concept has been thoroughly drilled in, students will move up to a more complex class of worksheets. After every Kumon class, students will receive a 30-minute assignment to complete before their next lesson. Many customers have praised this structure, saying that the intensity of Kumon is what leads to results. The saying "practice makes perfect" is tested through Kumon's setup. If students repeat a formula hundreds of times, they are far less likely to forget how to do it in the future.
Learner Tutoring Services
Upon sign-up with Learner, students are asked to complete a brief intake assessment to help determine their needs, strengths, areas needing improvement, and personality type. Using this, Learner’s team of matching specialists pairs each student with the most compatible tutor available. A unique and highly valuable feature of Learner’s services, this focus on student-tutor compatibility increases the efficacy of lessons and helps put students at ease.
While most of Learner’s students opt for one-on-one tutoring, the platform also provides options for small group classes at a reduced price. Though this may result in a slightly less personalized experience, students in these classes are still matched with an ideal tutor in much the same as if they received individual sessions.
Because of the personalized nature of Learner’s services, the structure of each student’s tutoring may vary depending on individual needs. If, for example, a younger student struggles with long periods of math tutoring, Learner may schedule shorter, more frequent sessions.
Mathnasium vs. Kumon vs. Learner Tutors
With any tutoring service, the quality of the tutors is key. We looked at what Kumon, Mathnasium, and Learner customers had to say about the quality of the tutoring services:
All Mathnasium tutors are required to pass a rigorous math screening that tests mathematical thinking.
Most parents and students have given this math service glowing reviews. Customers have said that Mathnasium tutors are both knowledgeable and friendly and work hard to keep students interested and motivated throughout their sessions. Due to the personalization element of Mathnasium, students often feel seen and cared for by their tutors, which slowly helps them grasp complex concepts they are struggling with.
Because Kumon's structure revolves around "self-learning," instructors are more responsible for supervision than tutoring. Kumon's tutors are often high school and college students who are in charge of a classroom full of students working on the same subject matter. Rather than "teach math," they mostly have to answer student questions and ensure everyone is paying attention to their worksheets. Before they begin working at their tutoring center, Kumon tutors can often undergo very little training.
Learner’s tutors are one of the platform’s strongest selling points–and for good reason. Unlike Kumon, which often uses high school and college students to administer assignments and oversee classes, Learner only accepts tutors with an exceptional degree of experience. Even Mathnasium, which prioritizes tutor quality more highly than Kumon, fails to compete with Learner’s standards. As a rule, Learner’s students can expect their tutors to have several years of teaching experience with one or more degrees in their area of expertise. Many PhD students and former professors choose to tutor with Learner.
Mathnasium vs. Kumon vs. Learner Cost
Cost is certainly a factor you should consider when signing up for a tutoring service. Here is what you need to know about the price breakdown of Mathnasium and Kumon:
Mathnasium tutoring rates vary based on location but average $200 to $300 per month. Personalized tutoring plans typically include biweekly sessions. Students in kindergarten or elementary school will attend hour-long sessions, while sessions for middle and high school students will usually be 75 minutes. If your monthly total were $300, this would break down to $37.5 per session.
Kumon typically costs around $100 to $200 per month. The total cost will depend on the location, age range, and whether the student is enrolled in math, reading, or both. This price covers the tutoring sessions every two weeks, and the 30 minutes of homework each lesson gives. High school Kumon students are typically charged more than younger students.
Unlike Mathnasium or Kumon, Learner prices its services at an hourly rate. Depending on the student’s age, needs, and the length of tutoring services provided, this rate varies between $65 and $95 per hour. While Learner charges slightly more than some competitors, it also provides a higher standard of service. Because of this, the relative value of Learner’s service is equal to or greater than other tutoring companies.
Why Choose Learner
While Mathnasium and Kumon are both popular math tutoring services for a reason, neither offers private, one-on-one tutoring. Even though Mathnasium gives students individualized lesson plans, students do not receive the undivided attention of a tutor. With private tutoring services like Learner, tutors can solely focus on the student's specific needs and learning style, which isn't possible in a group tutoring setting.
Along with providing students with customized learning plans, Learner math tutors can match the pace of each student, teach in a way that caters to their students' learning styles, and help them prepare for important tests and work through challenging homework assignments. Learner also caters to students of all ages and skill levels, including college students and adults.
Mathnasium and Kumon are both well-known and established math tutoring services. Still, they may not be the best fit for every student due to a lack of personalization, an emphasis on repetition, and a limited pool of qualified tutors. With Learner, each student is custom-matched with a compatible instructor based on their strengths, weaknesses, learning style, goals, and availability. Instead of sticking with a fixed schedule, students can schedule lessons whenever they need assistance without dealing with the obstacles of a distracting environment and a different tutor every session.
With a first free session, guaranteed results, and state-of-the-art virtual classrooms, Learner is our number one choice for a math tutoring service.