The way to successful learning can take several routes.
And the instructors at Mathnasium in Richmond are there as guides to find learning methods best suited to the student.
That’s the foundation Mathnasium provides, says Tony Colabella, who runs the local learning centre, which in the past year has adapted well to the health protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic through its virtual classes.
“We are slightly different than some other online programs because we still feature one-on-one instruction in a group setting with the students,” Colabella says.
“We allow the kids to interact back and forth the whole time so they can gain more from it. But our instructors move into a virtual room to provide that personal time.”
The online learning option was originally meant for when students went on vacation, but Colabella says it’s something his Mathnasium location will stick with, even when public health restrictions are relaxed and in-person instruction returns to more normal levels.
Since last July, in-person classes have been offered with a full measure of COVID-19 health protocols in place.
“We have plexiglass stands, everyone has masks, and we make sure to sanitize in between sessions,” Colabella says. “Even though we can seat nearly 40 kids, we limit it to 15 to ensure everyone is spaced out and comfortable.”
Mathnasium offers assistance for students from kindergarten to Grade 12, tailoring the experience to each person since everyone learns differently.
To get students started at Mathnasium, they undergo an assessment to judge their level of understanding and tailor a learning program that allows them to progress.
“It’s a case of meeting them where they are positioned so we can help bring them up from there,” Colabella adds.
“We don’t want students to rely just on memorizing how to do things. We want them to understand fully, so we’ll teach in a number of ways that make the most sense to them because once it does, it becomes more exciting, and they become more engaged.”
That experience can often create a “spillover” effect in other school subjects.
“A lot of kids come to us thinking they have poor math skills. And a lot of the time, by building their self-confidence, allowing them to work on math problems on their own where they grasp the solution, their overall skills become a lot stronger because they don’t doubt themselves as much,” Colabella says.
While progression differs from child to child, when they do “click” with the program, it’s a satisfying moment for both student and instructor.
“It’s all a matter of showing them a way of attaining a solution that makes sense to them,” Colabella explains. “And when that happens, they come back with, ‘I can do this, give me more.’
“And that’s great to see how encouraged they get, especially when they are asking for something more challenging.”
For more about how Mathnasium can help your child succeed, check out their website at mathnasium.ca/richmondbc.