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Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.16 – Kumon Math & Reading Centers – US

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Products & Services: Supplemental education

Number of Locations: 25,437

Total Investment: $66.51K – 140.61K

Founded: 1954

Began Franchising: 1958

About Kumon Math & Reading Centers

High school math teacher Toru Kumon developed the Kumon method of learning more than 50 years ago in Japan, when his son was struggling with second-grade arithmetic. Realizing that a strong foundation in the basics–addition, subtraction, multiplication and division–was essential for higher-level math, Kumon created a series of math worksheets for his son to work on after school. With daily practice, Kumon’s son gradually expanded his mastery of mathematical skills and by sixth grade was able to solve differential equations and integral calculus problems.

Today, at locations throughout North America, Kumon franchisees apply this method of daily practice and self-paced advancement to children’s math and reading skills.

Franchise Units

2013 1,492 328 23,590 27
2012 1,495 328 23,590 30
2011 1,395 327 23,580 30
2010 1,288 331 23,550 30
2009 1,204 307 24,800 20
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units worldwide.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $66,506 – $140,618
Franchise Fee: $1,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: $32-36/student/mo.
Term of Franchise Agreement: 5 years, renewable

Net Worth: $150,000
Liquid Cash Available: $70,000


Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 2 – 3. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: over 3 months. At franchisee’s location: ongoing. At regional offices : ongoing.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, National media, Regional advertising,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #16 (2013), #18 (2012), #14 (2011), #12 (2010), #27 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #22 (2013), #17 (2012), #24 (2011),
Low-Cost: #3 (2011), #4 (2010), #4 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #4 (2013), #17 (2012), #12 (2011), #10 (2010), #25 (2009),
Kumon Math and Reading Center
Kumon Method Logo.svg
Type Private
Industry Education
Founded 1958
Headquarters Osaka, Japan (Global HQ),Teaneck, NJ (North America HQ)
Products Kumon Math and Kumon Reading Kumon Chinese(In Hong Kong and China)

Kumon Education and Research Association of Japan is a corporation and an education brand created by Toru Kumon. The Kumon method is the math and reading educational method which is practiced in the Kumon centers.

Kumon History[edit]

In 1954, Toru Kumon began to teach his eldest son, who was having problems in mathematics at school. Kumon developed the Kumon Method. In 1956, Kumon opened the first Kumon Center in OsakaJapan with the help of parents who were interested in the Method. In 1958, he founded the Kumon Institute of Education, after which Kumon Centers began to open around the world. Since 2011, some 16 million students have been enrolled in Kumon. As of 2009, over 4 million students were studying under the Kumon Method at more than 26,000 Kumon Centers in 46 countries.[2]

The Kumon Program[edit]

Kumon is a math and reading program intended to supplement rather than replace school lessons. Students do not work together as a class, but progress through the program at their own pace, moving on to the next level when they have achieved mastery of the previous level. Students are guided by trained Kumon Instructors and Assistants. Mastery is defined as speed (using a standard completion time) and accuracy.[3] They take an achievement test at the end of each level. The ratio between the time the student takes on the test and the number of mistakes will determine which group level the student will be in on the test. There are a total of four group levels on the achievement tests, and the lower the group number the better the score.

Company Value[edit]

The Kumon family, led by Toru’s wife Teiko, owns 60 percent of the company. Forbes magazine estimated in March 2009 that the entire company was currently worth over $650 million.[4]

Math Program[edit]

7A-2A are preschool levels.[5]

  • Level 7A: Counting to 10
  • Level 6A: Counting to 30
  • Level 5A: Line drawing, number puzzles to 50
  • Level 4A: Reciting and writing numbers up to 50
  • Level 3A: Numbers up to 120, Adding up to 3
  • Level 2A: Adding up to 10

Levels A-F are elementary school levels.

  • Level A: Horizontal addition, Subtraction from numbers up to 20
  • Level B: Vertical addition and subtraction
  • Level C: Basic multiplication, division
  • Level D: Long multiplication, long division, introduction to fractions
  • Level E: Fractions
  • Level F: Four operations of fractions, decimals

Levels G-J are middle school levels.

  • Level G: Positive/negative numbers, exponents, Algebraic expressions, Pre-algebra
  • Level H: Linear/simultaneous equations, inequality algebraic, functions and graphs
  • Level I: Factorization, square roots, quadratic equations, Pythagorean theorem
  • Level J: Advanced algebra

Levels K-O are high school levels.

  • Level K: Functions: Quadratic, fractional, irrational, exponential
  • Level L: Logarithms, basic limits, derivatives, integrals, and its applications
  • Level M: Trigonometry, straight lines, equation of circles.
  • Level N: Loci, limits of functions, sequences, differentiation
  • Level O: Advanced differentiation, integration, applications of calculus, differential equations.

Level X is an elective level for grades 7+; also, there are no tests available yet on this level.

  • Level XT—Triangles: Sine, cosine theorems, application of trigonometry in area
  • Level XV—Vectors: Vectors, inner products, equations of lines, planes, and figures in 3-space.
  • Level XM—Linear algebra: Matrices, determinant, mapping, linear transformation
  • Level XP—Probability: Permutations, combinations, probability, independent trials, expected value
  • Level XS—Statistics: Binomial and normal distributions, probability density functions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing

Answer books are available for all levels 7A through O.

Reading program[edit]

  • Level 7A: Look, Listen, Repeat
  • Level 6A: Reciting With Pictures, Rhymes
  • Level 5A: Phonics, Step-By-Step Stories
  • Level 4A: Consonant Combinations and Vowel Sounds
  • Level 3A: Advanced Vowel Combinations, Compound Words
  • Level 2A: Functions of Words (nouns, verbs, adjectives), Reading Aloud
  • Level AI: Simple Sentences, Basic Expressions, Vocabulary
  • Level AII: Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills, Thought Sequence, Vocabulary
  • Level BI: Subject and Predicate, Modifiers (adverbs and adjectives), Irregular Verbs and Plural Nouns, Vocabulary
  • Level BII: Defining Words, Identifying Ideas, Comparing and Contrasting, Vocabulary
  • Level CI: Parts of a Sentence, Expressions of Language, Constructing Sentences, Vocabulary
  • Level CII: Elements of Statements, Organizing Information, Synthesizing Ideas, Vocabulary
  • Level DI: Compound and Complex Sentences, Statements from Paragraphs, Vocabulary
  • Level DII: Topic, Main Idea, Understanding Paragraphs, Vocabulary
  • Level EI: Clauses, Direct and Indirect Speech, Graphing and Charting, Vocabulary
  • Level EII: Sequence and Imagery, Underlining, Reason and Result, Vocabulary
  • Level FI: Referring Words, Interpreting Text, Responding to Questions, Vocabulary
  • Level FII: Unraveling Text, Recounting Story Events, Concision, Vocabulary
  • Level G: Point Making, Theme, Story Elements, Summary
  • Level H: Facts and Opinions, Passage Organization, Interpretation of Language, Summation
  • Level I: Persuasion, Argument, Description, Precis
  • Level J: Critical Reading, Passage Structure, Character Analysis
  • Level K: Plot, Setting and Atmosphere, Irony, Comedy, Content Evaluation
  • Level L: Figurative Language, Interpretation, Tragedy, Critical Writing

Throughout the World[edit]

The Kumon language program varies regionally. For example, the Chinese reading program in China is different from the Chinese reading programs in Hong Kong andSingapore,[6][7][8] and the English program in the U.S., Canada, and the Philippines varies from the English program in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Kumon Korea has other subjects, such as sciencecalligraphyKorean, and Chinese characters, which are not available elsewhere.[9]

The Math program also varies. The math program for most countries goes up to Level O and Level X.[10][11][12] However, in Japan, the math program is available up to Level V.[13]The Kumon method is controversial in Japan, with its critics, including the Japanese Ministry for Education, alleging that Kumon promotes rote learning as opposed to critical thinking.


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