Math. You either love it or you hate it. As you learn math, you build upon previously learned concepts. The kids that hate it, often have gaps in their learning that is difficult to build upon, making the subject all the more problematic as they progress through school. Learning math is like crossing a wooden plank bridge in the rain forest. Each plank needs to be in place and secure to get to the next plank. Any concept in math not understood is a missing plank. Kids can jump over a missing plank to get to the next subject, but will need it later. The more times they jump over planks, the wider the gap gets and the harder it is to move on. Eventually, the gap is too wide and kids can’t continue on.
Lucky for us, Mathnasium has come to our rescue! Mathnasium is a Learning Center that has just celebrated its grand opening in Fishers at 11789 Commercial Drive, off 116th Street, next to Target. They find those missing planks/gaps in learning through their extensive, risk-free assessment, and fill them in through their instruction. The owner, Chris Lemieux, decided to open this learning center because “math is non-negotiable. You have to pass it to graduate. After talking to various teachers, they thought it was something from which our community could benefit.”
The Mathnasium MethodTM was created by educator, Larry Martinek with the help of his son, Nick. Since his son was mathematically gifted, Larry had to come up with different ways to present math subjects to him so he could comprehend them at a younger age. At one point, Nick said, “Too many words, Dad,” which made Larry realize he needed to simplify the instruction. Together, they created thousands of pages of math curriculum before Nick’s untimely death in a car accident. To honor his son who wished to share this knowledge with the world, Larry and two other men started the global franchise, Mathnasium. Their mission statement is: “To teach children math in a way that makes sense to THEM.”
Mathnasium’s method is to start off using a sophisticated evaluation to accurately determine what a student knows and doesn’t know. With that vital information, they tailor-make a personalized learning program, adhered to by the student with the help of a specially trained Mathnasium math instructor. The educational strategy used by the instructor is a unique combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile and written techniques to help children learn math. To track a student’s improvement, assessments are given throughout the process to confirm the progress they are making over time. In fact, Mathnasium uses a third party company to collect, analyze, and validate their results. Multiple independent studies carried out by EyeCues Education Systems since 2004 have found Mathnasium to be effective 100% of the time, increasing student performance on standards-based tests in 20 sessions or fewer. Student skills jumped at least a grade level and in most cases, multiple grade levels. These studies are posted on their website.
You may be wondering, “What makes Mathnasium better than other tutoring programs?” Here is your answer.
The instructors at the Fishers Mathnasium all have very strong math and teaching backgrounds and are trained and certified in the Mathnasium MethodTM. Marcia Brown, the Center Director, has over 20 years of teaching experience. Her experience is very diverse, including teaching multiple grades in a one-room Christian school setting and more recently teaching college level math.
“The center is set up like a gym membership,” says Chris Lemieux. “Payment is taken at the beginning of the month and then students can come in as many times as they want.” When they arrive, students grab their personal learning folders and sit down at open seats. The instructors might be working with four students at a time, helping each one individually, and then moving on to the next student while the previous one is completing a problem or set of problems. That way, each student gets the opportunity to process the information and practice, with help and instruction always nearby. Each student typically stays around an hour and then puts his learning folder back where he got it. “No homework is ever taken home. The task of tutoring their kids in math is taken out of the parents’ hands,” smiles Chris.
Mathnasium distinguishes itself as a Learning Center, as opposed to a tutoring center. While schools are the primary education provider, Mathnasium is a supplemental education provider. They supplement what the kids are learning in school. A tutor’s job is to help a student get through tonight’s homework and upcoming tests. Mathnasium does help in that regard, but their primary task as a Learning Center is to delve into the reasons why tonight’s homework is such an issue. The concern is more about the application of math, rather than memorization. They explain WHY a formula is what it is so the students can actually FIGURE OUT math problems, which is helpful if they forget the formulas later in life. Mathnasium does not offer a quick fix, but rather a long-term approach to actually SOLVE kids’ problems in math.
If your child needs help in math, it doesn’t take a lengthy algorithm to figure out that Mathnasium could be your solution. For more information about the global company and teaching method please visit www.mathnasium.com. To learn about the Fishers center and/or to sign up for a free consultation, please visit http://www.mathnasium.com/fishers or call (317) 288-4306. They are open in the afternoon/evening, Sundays through Thursdays.