Figuring problems out just part of the equation at this Richmond learning centre

Becoming adept at math isn’t strictly a numbers game for young students.

Yes, figuring out figures is important. But possessing the confidence to reach out and learn is also an important factor.

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That’s the approach Mathnasium, billed as the world’s premier after-school mathematics program, strives to accomplish.

“If there are gaps in a student’s fundamental knowledge, we can fill them in so they can challenge the next topics ahead,” explains Tony Colabella who owns and runs the Richmond location of Mathnasium. “Plus, we’re not just a tutor. We help students understand, not just memorize things.”

A major aspect of that is establishing clear and easy to follow lines of communication between teacher and student.

“I don’t care if my teachers have a 4.0 as a math major. If they can’t communicate with these kids in a few different ways, they will stare back at them in the same way they do with their school teachers,” he says. “Our teachers have to find alternate ways to explain concepts that make sense to the students. And we can show them in different methods, whether it’s visual or tactile, so they can bring it all together.”

The one-on-one attention at Mathnasium also allows students to feel comfortable asking questions.

“And the nice thing about math is that once you do figure a problem out one way, the other ways also start making sense,” Colabella says. “We see that often when the kids say, ‘Oh, why didn’t my teacher just say that? This is easy.’”

That “lightbulb” moment is key and also helps the student develop confidence to tackle other, tougher challenges, not just in math.

“Often, we hear from parents that their child’s grades have not only gone up in math, but their other subjects, too, because they are confident and willing to try new and learn new concepts,” he says.

And that’s a satisfying moment for everyone at Mathnasium.

“It’s rewarding when you see a kid, who believed they were not good in math, come in and tell us they got an A in their last math quiz and want to try and solve more math problems with us,” he says. “That’s when I go home and say it was a good day, we got through to them.”

For more information about how Mathnasium can help, visit mathnasium.ca/richmondbc, or call 604-449-7990.

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