Why We Like Mathnasium

We have been fans of Mathnasium for four years now. The results are outstanding. We’ve seen kids who were struggling at their grade level of math improved to perform very well at two grade levels ahead. We wrote about the West Boca Mathnasium’s opening last year.

Amy & Harel; Mathnasium in Westwinds of Boca (between Home Depot and Publix)
Amy & Harel; Mathnasium in Westwinds of Boca (between Home Depot and Publix)

A lot of parents go to math tutoring for homework help or test prep. Mathnasium does that, and does it just as well as anyone else. But Mathnasium is special because of “Number Sense.” This short video explains that a little:

We do not take our kids to Mathnasium for homework help or test prep at all. We focus on the Number Sense curriculum. This is not about the short term goal of the next homework or the next test. We are interested in the long term goals of readiness for math at the high school and college levels, as well as tests like the SAT and ACT.
Like many parents, we are unhappy with the math curriculum in our schools. People love to blame one group of politicians or another. The truth is that politicians of all stripes and education bureaucrats have been destroying math education for decades. It dates back to New Math in the 1960s and has only gotten worse.
Mathnasium’s own curriculum brings kids back to math that makes sense. We have found it particularly helpful with kids in elementary and middle school. In a way it’s like a vaccine. Spending a couple extra hours a week doing math the right way inoculates kids against the sickness of Common Core and No Child Left Behind. It helps them develop a solid foundation of real understanding, making it easier to learn higher level math when they get there.
To think about it another way, spending a couple extra hours a week doing math can only help a child for those high stakes college admissions tests down the road. If it gets your kid an extra 50 or 100 points on the Math SAT, that makes a significant difference in what schools they can get into and what scholarships might be available. Thinking even longer term, a kid who might otherwise be scared of the math in engineering or some other subject could be more ready to take on those challenges.
Mathematical literacy is tremendously important for college-bound kids. For those who are looking to give their kids an extra boost, we highly recommend Mathnasium. It’s not an overnight fix, but a process that leads to substantial improvement after a year or two.
Here’s another video about Number Sense, with the Mathnasium founder:

Mathnasium Returns to West Boca

mathnasium-outside
A few years ago we encountered a wonderful place for helping school kids with math. Mathnasium had a location in Boca Lyons Plaza (southwest corner of Glades and Lyons), not far from Yokohama Sushi and Steve’s Wood Fired Pizza. We know one family who had a fifth grader struggling with math at grade level. After just a couple months that kid was doing much better and is now two grade levels ahead.
Unfortunately that location closed a couple years ago. In what might be a better spot, nestled in the elbow of the main structure at Westwinds of Boca, between Home Depot and Publix and near a number of restaurants, sits a new Mathnasium of West Boca. It’s fresh and clean and looks great inside.
mathnasium-inside
The previous franchise still has a location just east of Town Center Mall, in the same plaza with Five Guys, Corner Bakery & Cafe, and Hooters:
math-east
That “east” location is thriving with a steady flow of kids and great staff and management.
For the West Boca location, it’s early. They’ve only been open less than a week, and it’ll take time for them to scale up to a full roster of students. It’s such a great experience we’re confident they’ll make it. They have bright and energetic leadership in Amy and Harel:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The key to Mathnasium is a curriculum called “number sense.” We would translate that to mean: “Not confusing students with all the nonsense bureaucrats jam into school textbooks and tests.”
Here’s a cute video that explains it a little:

They have several other videos on the Mathnasium Learning Centers YouTube channel.
One we remember from a few years ago is this tear-jerker giving the history of how Mathnasium came about:

Also helpful is their model. They aim to have no more than three kids per teacher and kids get a lot of one-on-one time because of that setup.
Like the east location the walls are full of cute math graphics and quotes:
math-quote
math-wall
For more on the Mathnasium approach, a pdf of their Welcome Pack is below:
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