Mathnasium vs Kumon

Mathnasium vs. Kumon: Comparing Math Tutoring Programs

Finding online math tutors for yourself or your child can be a difficult task. You want to find someone easy to learn from, teaches well, and doesn’t cost too much money per session. Two of the most popular tutoring centers are Mathnasium and Kumon, with centers across the country. However, which is better? Or is there a better option altogether? 

online math student

This guide will compare Mathnasium and Kumon on price, delivery, outcomes, and ease of learning. You’ll learn whether the math-only Mathnasium is worth it and how Kumon transitions between multiple subjects in one learning center. We also discuss the benefits of online tutoring with some of the best online math tutors

Quick Facts

Product Quality• Focused on encouraging students and making math fun.
• In general, most parents felt their children benefitted from this tutoring program.
• Repetition-focused.Very structured and rigorous.
• In general, parents had mixed feelings about this program. Some students benefited greatly. Others struggled with the extra workload and little flexibility.
Academic Results94% of parents reported improvement in their child’s academics.
• 90% of students saw improvement in school grades.
• Students’ skills were over a year ahead of the national average
• Math students score an average of 5.27 points higher on Math SATs.
DeliveryIn-person and onlineIn-person and online
Pricing$200-$300 per month$100-$200
Support• Personalized tutoring plan. Focused on helping with math homework and tests.• Less one-on-one support.
• Focused on worksheets and mastery of concepts.

Why You Should Consider Online Tutoring

Both Mathnasium and Kumon are largely in-person tutoring centers. While they offer some online sessions, the companies focus on their in-person sessions. Online tutoring might be a good option for those who are still uncomfortable in group settings or want a more private, one-on-one tutoring session. 

Online tutoring from the comfort of your home makes things convenient so you don’t have to worry about quarantine or public health standards. You can work with your schedule and on your timeline, making changes as you need to. 

Mathnasium Overview 

Math is one of the most difficult subjects for kids to learn and the most common need for tutoring. While other tutoring centers spread their resources and offer multiple subjects, Mathnasium focuses on teaching math well and making it fun. 


What is Mathnasium? 

Mathnasium is a math-only tutoring center. Founded in 2002 by education and math experts, the goal was to give children the opportunity to enjoy math, not be intimidated, and work on their weak areas. 

With constant assessments and a personalized learning plan, Mathnasium offers a new way to learn math. Since the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, they have moved to both online and in-person tutoring sessions. 


  • A hands-on learning environment
  • Personalized learning plans
  • Self-scheduled tutoring sessions
  • Offers both in-person and online sessions


  • Only math 
  • Can be expensive
  • Not the same tutor every time
  • Not one-on-one tutoring 

Bottom Line: Mathnasium is an excellent option if your child struggles with math but is fine with all other subjects. 

How Does Mathnasium Work? 

When you sign up for Mathnasium, your student will take an initial assessment. You’ll discuss the results and your goals with the center director. Your child will design their binder and be given a personalized learning plan. 

Most centers suggest 2-3 tutoring sessions a week to keep your child learning at the same pace and catching up with homework and test prep. Each session lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your payment plan, and will lead your student through worksheets and mastery checks. 

After a certain number of master checks, the student receives enough punches on their mastery card to pick out a prize from the Mathnasium prize cabinet. This method keeps every student engaged and offers them ways to track their own progress and see results. 

How Much Does Mathnasium Cost? 

The prices for each center are slightly different, but Mathnasium costs around $200-$300 a month on average. Cost depends on your location and how long your child’s sessions are. If you have a high school student with 90-minute sessions, it will likely be more expensive. 

The base package covers three Mathnasium visits a week with no rollover plan. However, you can add an extra visit at no extra cost in some locations. For specific payment plans and options, contact your local Mathnasium. 

What are Customers Saying About Mathnasium? 

Parents and students have positive reviews about Mathnasium. Most kids who have been afraid of math or hated it end up loving their trips to Mathnasium and parents are encouraged. Overall, tutors are well-trained and friendly, working to keep students engaged and learning the whole time they’re in the center. 


Mathnasium allows students to bring in their math homework from school and prep for tests while at Mathnasium. Homework and test prep sheets count towards mastery stamps and are included in the student’s binder. This practice has been praised by customers and can boost the grades of struggling students in as little as a few months. 

The biggest positive to Mathnasium, according to tutors, students, and parents, is the level of personalization within each center. Students who hate math often feel seen and understood and able to grasp difficult concepts with the help of their tutors. It’s a system that works well and produces results. 

Kumon Overview

Kumon is a dual math and reading program with tutoring centers all over the country. Founded in Japan in the 1950s, Kumon has used the same teaching methods for over 60 years. 

What is Kumon? 

Kumon is a learning system developed in Japan in the 1950s. It has been in business since then and has been popular for drilling the basics of math and reading into children for over sixty years. 


Instead of using personalized learning plans, Kumon focuses on the basics and tests a student to the appropriate level. Once they master a specific skill set, they can move on to the next level in mathematics or reading. 


  • Structured curriculum
  • Offers reading and math curriculums 
  • Less expensive 


  • Less individualized 
  • Extra homework
  • Repetitive learning 

Bottom line: Kumon is great for students who need repetitive learning but not for anyone who needs one-on-one help.

How Does Kumon Work? 

On the surface, Kumon might seem like Mathnasium – both are in-person tutoring centers that offer services from kindergarten through high school. However, the teaching methods are entirely different between the two centers. 

Kumon focuses on repeating the basics of math thousands of times until it is drilled into a student’s head. Once your child takes an assessment test, they will be assigned to a slightly lower class than they tested into. This ensures they have mastered all the basics of Kumon’s curriculum. 


At Kumon, students work through worksheets dedicated to the current issue they are trying to master. They don’t bring in their homework or move on until they have mastered that concept. Kumon also sends homework back to the child’s house for about 30 more minutes of work that evening. 

Kumon’s tutors are often high school and college students. Instead of giving one-on-one advice and mentoring a small group of students, these tutors are in charge of up to a classroom full of children working on the same subject matter. They are available to answer questions if necessary but do much less actual tutoring. 

How Much Does Kumon Cost? 

Kumon costs anywhere from $100-$200 per month, depending on the location and subject matter. High school students and higher levels may cost more, but the sessions are all the same length. 

Kumon students attend twice a week for the duration of their time and have about 30 minutes of extra homework every week. This is included in the cost. The main variant in cost for Kumon students is whether they are enrolled in tutoring for math, reading, or both. 

What are Customers Saying About Kumon? 

Kumon has more mixed reviews than Mathnasium, with a good portion of Kumon’s students and parents saying that there wasn’t enough personal support and Kumon was a lot of work. However, many other customers emphasized that the rigor of Kumon is what produces results – by repeating a formula hundreds of times, a child will never forget it. 

One of Kumon’s main teaching points is that the students are put into lower testing brackets than they may need. This system ensures that every student learns every concept, no matter how simple. However, it can lead to students doing work they already know or redoing work from several grades below them. 

Although Kumon is much more rigorous than Mathnasium, the results are often similar. Children aren’t as positive about their Kumon experience, but they do learn math and reading concepts without forgetting them. 

Mathnasium vs. Kumon Similarities

Mathnasium and Kumon both have the same goal: to get students struggling in academics to a better standard. They both teach math, and both have relatively good results. These tutoring centers have different teaching methods but are set up similarly in several ways. 

Another way Mathnasium and Kumon are similar is that they are cheaper than standard one-on-one tutoring. Because the students are grouped by three or more with a single tutor, they won’t get one-on-one instruction (unless the center is empty that day). 

Mathnasium vs. Kumon Differences

The main difference between Mathnasium and Kumon is their approach to education. While Mathnasium focuses on where the student is and allows them to bring in homework or have input on what they’re working on, Kumon has a rigid curriculum focused on memorization and repetition. 

Kumon is generally less expensive than Mathnasium and offers both reading and mathematics as subjects. However, the students at Mathnasium are given more one-on-one attention and small group instruction. Tutors at Kumon act more as group facilitators. 

The tutors go through extensive training to work at Mathnasium and have a minimum required test score. While Mathnasium does hire some high school students as tutors, anyone working with middle schoolers or above will have graduated college or be in college. Kumon does not have such an extensive hiring process. 

Mathnasium vs. Kumon: Which is Better? 

Between Mathnasium and Kumon, the decision depends largely on what your child needs. Every child learns differently, and some need a more rigorous, repetitive curriculum to drill math or reading into their heads. However, others learn better with the possibility of rewards and visible progress. 

If your child needs help with both math and reading, Kumon is the better option for the two. It’s the only one that offers both at the same location. Kumon is also slightly less expensive and has a more flexible schedule. However, it sends extra homework to the child. 

online tutoring

For a more laid-back, personalized approach to learning math, Mathnasium is the better choice. Your kid will have a more personalized relationship with the tutors at the center and will receive a stronger foundation of math basics. While they might learn math by rote memorization at Kumon, Mathnasium helps them to take control of their knowledge. 

Overall, Mathnasium is the better choice for most students. Kumon has its advantages, but the learning system is more contentious than not, and learning professionals argue that it’s important for a child to take control of their own education to some extent. If you want your kid to like math, put them in Mathnasium! 

Why We Recommend Learner Instead 

While great, in-person math tutors will be more difficult to find and commute to than online tutoring. Learner have all of the benefits of Mathnasium and Kumon, but you can complete every session from the comfort of your home. 

The benefits of Mathnasium are personalized lesson plans, some individual tutoring, and a rewards system. Kumon uses memorization and repetition to teach math. With individualized online tutoring, you can take both of these methods and make the perfect lesson plan for your child. 

Learner is a company that offers a custom-matched math expert for each type of problem you need to solve. The tutors are world-class and experts in their fields, so no matter what level you or your child struggles with, you’ll be able to find someone to help you. 

Instead of sticking to a schedule and going several times a week to a building with other kids, a different tutor every time, and a distracting atmosphere, you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Learner are especially helpful for kids who struggle with attention or focus in a crowded classroom environment. 

With a free first session and guaranteed results beyond grades, Learner focus on the individual students’ life plans and goals. We will help you get to where you need to be to succeed in class this year and wherever you end up after that. 

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