A friend of the family cannot stop talking about how Kumon helped her children ( I think the Score is on the same lines too ). She had her children in the program right from the 1st grade - now the older child is in the 5th grade and I can see that they are doing really well in school.
(Well, not peer pressure - but I got bought in by the commercial on the TV that says knowledge can melt away during summer - I see that happening with my kids - 4th and 5th graders ) I talked to the Score folks in the midtown and their sales pitch is excellent !
My kids are above the average level in school. They can certainly put in a little more effort and get to the top level as far as academics is concerned, but then their social activities/sports comes into play. I am always torn between letting them go play ball outside vs asking them to sit down and do one advanced math problem.
Both me and my spouse have an advanced college degree, we can definitely help the kids with their math, science problems - but the main challenge is to get them to "sit down" and agree to work on stuff (they will do the bare minimum required to get them out of 'homework' ).
Getting them to sit down and work on something will be resolved if they go to one of these programs and have an instructor watching over their shoulder for 1 hour ... but then a part of me wonders, if this would be pushing them a bit too much ( joys of decision making as a parent )
I want to get a realistic feedback from the parents who have tried these programs and have liked it / hated it ...