It’s been 30+ years since I’ve taken a math class in school, and while I use math for budgeting and finances, I am not required to use anything more than basic math in my day-to-day life. However, my girls are learning ALL THE MATH in school. When they come home with questions, I am of no use to them because, a) I don’t remember how to do any of it and, b) its taught so differently now than when I was in school. The motto back then? You don’t need to understand it, you just need to accept it. Over the years, educators have discovered that children actually grasp, learn and retain more math knowledge if they understand the WHY behind it. When my local Mathnasium approached me about providing additional instruction to both my girls in exchange for a few blog posts, I knew that this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.
In case you aren’t familiar with Mathnasium, they are a neighborhood math-only learning center that teaches kids math the way that makes sense to them. Their experienced math tutors utilize a proprietary teaching materials and techniques, The Mathnasium Method™, to deliver a customized learning plan designed to address each student’s needs, whether they started out far behind or are already ahead in math. Their instructional approach goes beyond traditional math tutoring to develop understanding and build a love for math.
My kids are in two different places when it comes to math; our 6th grader is in accelerated math and has some of the highest math test scores in the state. Mathnasium will create an enrichment plan for her that will make sure her fundamentals are strong, and then work on developing areas that she will be studying later on in the year (based on information I received after reaching out to her math teacher). She is an avid student who loves school and is thrilled and excited to up her math game even more than it already is.
Our 3rd grader is having a harder time with math. After switching to a computer-based testing model this year, her math scores have significantly gone down and I’m not sure if it’s that she doesn’t know the material or that the pressure of a timer on her every-day math practice amps up her anxiety and causes her brain to freeze. It’s hard to tell. But she’s struggling with basic addition right now, and Mathnasium couldn’t have come in to our lives at a better time. (BTW, I recently learned from our Mathnasium staff that timed tests like this in math are not an effective way of measuring math competencies. They don’t use them.)
Each child is evaluated with a written and verbal assessment unique to Mathnasium. Based on the assessment results, they create a custom program designed to help close educational gaps they may have and make it easier for them to jump ahead when they’re ready for advanced math challenges. Beyond teaching students all-important math concepts and skills, their special program helps them build number sense by showing them just how numbers work. As it progresses, students get more and more comfortable with numbers. Mathnasium calls this numerical fluency—the ability for elementary school kids to effortlessly recall addition and subtraction facts—a valuable asset when they face upcoming challenges in math.
I’m excited that each one of my daughters will receive exactly the math instruction they need for the level they are at. And the instructors? Our Mathnasium Roselle team is incredible! They is a comprehensive exam that each of them have to pass just be hired at Mathnasium ~ and 75% of applicants (some of which are math teachers and aides) don’t pass!
For more information on Mathnasium and to find a location near you, check out the main Mathnasium website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re local to me, you can also follow the Mathnasium – Roselle location on Facebook too!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by #MathnasiumIL and I have received services in exchange for writing this article. All opinions and experiences are 100% my own.