Mathnasium opens first East County math learning resource center in Santee

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No matter what language is spoken, math is a universal language that everyone can understand. And that is the context behind the special tutoring services that Mathnasium of Santee approaches to teaching math to any child. East County’s youth gained opportunity to better education on Aug. 27 when the worldwide franchise Mathnasium of Santee and the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its grand opening of a math-learning center that caters only to the education and comprehension in math.

No matter what language is spoken, math is a universal language that everyone can understand. And that is the context behind the special tutoring services that Mathnasium of Santee approaches to teaching math to any child. East County’s youth gained opportunity to better education on Aug. 27 when the worldwide franchise Mathnasium of Santee and the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its grand opening of a math-learning center that caters only to the education and comprehension in math. Center Directors Claudine Tsui and Yen Le saw that with more than 600 locations worldwide, several being in San Diego, it was time Mathnasium came to East County.

Math is considered a hard subject for many students and Mathnasium works diligently to ensure that each of its students not only learn the various formulas to come to an equation, but also to comprehend and retain the knowledge with its individualized programs. Mathnasium began 40 years ago when Larry Martinek, both a teacher and a father, realized that there were gaps in math teaching methods and children lacked understanding of the curriculum. Tsui said that Martinek developed a curriculum similar to Common Core to help the children understand math.

 “Even now there’s a group in LA headquarters, I think ten or more, that are constantly looking at the curriculum across the U.S.,” she said.

From the moment students come to Mathnasium an individualized  program is prepared to best fit each child’s needs.

“With every student we custom tailor learning plans specifically to them. So every child, we’ll give them an assessment, it could be verbal, written, you know depending on their grade, their age, how much they comprehend,” said Tsui.

After the assessment the center works to help students understand math, rather than temporarily master certain concepts. From kindergarten through twelfth grade the center facilitates and follows student growth.

“We want to teach math the way it makes sense to them,” Le said. “If you try to memorize something you don’t understand you’re not going to retain that two, three years down the road.”

Tsui said that the learning center doesn’t approach other subjects because math is the focus.

“Students that don’t do well in math, they lose that confidence in doing well in school,” she said. Math influences all aspects of students’ education. Le also stressed the importance of math. “If they don’t like math they probably don’t like school.”

A main purpose of Mathnasium is to provide a starting point that the children can grow from. Tsui ensured that, “We’ll give them core foundations to build the math if they need to”.

The center will also improve the skills of students who are more advanced.

“For people that are ahead, we also have enrichments,” said Tsui, which include Roman Numerals, reading rulers, how to tell time, and working with money. The whole program caters to individuals and challenges them while teaching valuable, real life skills.

Mathnasium also provides a unique take on math because the highly trained instructors give different insight than parents and teachers.

“It’s confusing for the kids too because the parents teach them one way and the teachers [are] teaching them another way,” said Le.

Mathnasium instructors work with a learning plan that the students can depend on to remove any unnecessary confusion. In order to achieve this Tsui explained, “All our instructors have to pass a very rigorous test to one be qualified to teach in math and you know we want to make sure their personalities match kids”.

The center also appeals to children because it doesn’t intervene with their busy schedules.

“You don’t have to schedule a time that you come, so with the membership you just come in like two to three days a week or four to five days a week,” said Le.

Parents drop off their kids whenever it is convenient and in that time students become more confident and comfortable with math. There is no schedule and students may come in and work on progress on their time and at their pace.

Mathnasium also helps children gain interest in math. With fun visuals and games all around, Tsui said. “Well if you can see our center, we try to make it fun” in appropriately described the room as “vibrant”. 

Le said that kids love coming to Mathnasium and Tsui agreed.

Open since June, Mathnasium already has a large list of clients it serves and many of its students joined in the opening day celebrations. Joining this new branch of the East County community is especially rewarding for newcomers as the registration and assessment fees are waived during this grand opening for a limited time. For more information about Mathnasium of Santee’s services visit www.mathnasium.com/Santee.

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