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Summer Brain Drain? Is That Really a Thing?
With all three of my kids, I have experienced the realness of summer brain drain. My girls have it the worst. They take after their dad, out of sight, out of mind.
When I was given a chance to enroll my 10-year-old daughter Liv in a complimentary two months enrollment at Mathnasium in South Barrington IL this summer I couldn’t sign up faster. A huge thanks goes out to them for partnering with me!
Dyslexia and Dyscalculia – learning differently
First, let me give you a little background on Liv. Dyslexia and dyscalculia run in our family. I have it and my two daughters have it. It’s not a “typical” version. It doesn’t follow the normal parameters and it causes frustration in us not to mention the teachers who struggle to navigate it.
We learn differently, but we don’t see it as a disadvantage. We have become very creative, hardworking people. It’s like any other “disability”, we can do what everyone else can – just in our own way. I had to learn how to learn my way and both the girls have followed suit. Liv seems to have the worst of the dyscalculia, like her mother. Doing math in a traditional way is difficult for her.
Liv had a very bad year health-wise and her school work suffered from it. She was not really given guidance or time to catch up. She literally can’t work at the pace other children can in her classroom.
She needs segmented lessons and throwing an entire sheet at her with 4 different concepts that need to be implemented makes her face go blank. You lose her completely.
With over 40 locations in the Chicagoland area, Mathnasium has transformed the way kids understand and appreciate math. They use a unique combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile, and written techniques in our education strategy. Mathnasium’s proprietary curriculum focuses on helping kids build their number sense so they truly understand math.
On our first visit, she was given an assessment. She was assured that if she didn’t know anything to skip it and not to stress about it. It was eye opening on how many holes she had in her math. Not once did she seemed stressed. That is HUGE. Just uttering the word math gives her a tick normally. She was so at ease with the instructors.
After her assessment I allowed her to be in the room while we were given the results. Liv told me after the assessment that she felt so much better than she had all year because she didn’t feel inadequate coming away from the meeting. She felt supported, safe and excited about math. My husband and I were speechless.
How Mathnasium has changed my child
I have never seen her excited about math. Ever. She asks to go to her session.
She loves that each worksheet/concept is segmented. Everything is at her own pace. It’s not separated by grade, but by ability. She doesn’t move on to a new section until she mastered the one she was working on.
I asked her what her favorite part of Mathnasium is and she said the instructors. She walked out her first session and told me that she learned more in that hour than she did in all of 4th grade.
It creates a sense of independence. You can stay and sit in the waiting area or drop them off. Your child is responsible for checking themselves into their session.
They also have the responsibility of retrieving their binder. I love that they are given cards to personalize so each binder is unique to each child.
Your child then takes a seat. They may have a different instructor every time if you go at varying times, but each instructor only has 3 kids at a time. Liv has loved all of the instructors so this hasn’t been an issue so far.
Liv works on one page at a time. For each page she completes, she gets a punch. She works at her own pace and doesn’t move on until she masters that page.
I LOVE the reward system they have. For every punch card they fill, they get a $1 credit. They can save as many as they want and redeem it from the prizes they have at the facility or something else. It gives them something to work towards, which I think helps them learn responsibility and determination. Liv has to put in the work before she is rewarded.
Like I said before, Liv walked out amazed at how much she learned in just one hour, how non-stressed she felt and actually asked me if she could back on Saturday. Saturday people!!! That is her sleep-in, don’t wanna do anything day.
At the end of each of her sessions, she will receive another assessment of her progress. She can also opt to take the assessment early if she thinks she is ready to move on before if she feels she is ready, even if she hasn’t completed all the pages in her lesson.
I am so excited to see her progress over the next two months. Then we will decide if we are going to continue on with the program. I have a feeling we will choose to after watching her response so far.
My top 5 reasons Mathnasium is unlike any other program I have seen.
- Teaching for understanding – it’s not just working on homework or review work. It’s meeting goals and not just pushing through. Liv moves on when she is ready, not on a time schedule.
- Customized Lesson Plans – The learning plan identifies the math concepts needed to meet the specific learning goals for your child.
- Dedicated, Caring Instructors – All instructors are required to pass a rigorous math screening that tests mathematical thinking, familiarity with our approach, and their ability to translate complex concepts in a relatable way for kids.
- Safe, Child-Friendly Environment – while Mathnasium is set up like a classroom, it doesn’t feel like one. It’s colorful, bright and airy. There are large bookshelves with math-friendly games, awesome art, and a HUGE fish tank. It’s fun without being distracting.
- Unique, accurate assessments – I have been to a few different learning centers and walked away unimpressed. Most of them don’t individualize to the child, work off the same curriculum as the school and were basically just a homework helper. I was BEYOND impressed at how deep (but super easy on her) Liv’s assessment was and how accurate it was to things that her dad and I have been seeing at home with her that her teachers didn’t understand.
About The Mathnasium Method™
“Children don’t hate math. They do hate being confused and intimidated by math. With understanding comes passion, and with passion comes growth – a treasure is unlocked.” — Larry Martinek
For more than a decade, the Mathnasium Method™ has transformed the way kids understand and appreciate math. Larry Martinek, creator of the Mathnasium Method, has spent 40+ years designing, developing, and refining this approach based on his extensive experience teaching math to kids. We build math knowledge upon what they already know – this helps kids learn quickly and boosts their confidence right away.
How It Works
Our proprietary method consists of three key components which are closely monitored and adjusted to address each child’s learning goals:
Assessments: Students start by taking a customized assessment which pinpoints their needs, allowing us to meet them where they are and take them where they need to go. These assessments continue throughout their Mathnasium instruction to ensure progress and skill retention.
Customized Learning Plans: We then design a customized learning plan for teaching the concepts the student needs to master, and use a combination of proprietary materials and instruction techniques to ensure your child masters these concepts.
Specially Trained, Caring Instructors Who Teach: Mathnasium’s specially trained instructors implement the learning plan and work with each student to ensure they master the material. All teaching takes place during the Mathnasium session, and we don’t assign homework.
The Mathnasium program provides the foundation and support to succeed at each stage:
- Elementary School: Building math foundation, mastering computation and problem solving with whole and rational numbers, and understanding number sense
- Middle School: Continuing to build strong math foundation, mastering “the how and why” (algebra readiness), helping with homework, and filling in gaps needed for advanced classes
- High School: Filling in foundational gaps, addressing different levels of knowledge, helping with test preparation, and assisting with homework
Mathnasium of South Barrington is located at 100 W. Higgins , (In the Arboretum – Next to Noodles & Co), South Barrington IL 60010
Phone: (847) 783-5500 or (847) 626-8717
Book your assessment today!
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