You’ve decided that your child needs some tutoring help in math. But which of the many options is the best? Some tutorial businesses will come to your home to provide one-to-one coaching. Some offer a business location to take your child to. Which is the best for you?
Our small group learning environment efficiently balances student work time with instructor feedback and direct instruction. Instead of chunks of time where the instructor is simply observing the student complete work, the group learning model allows the instructor to check in with several students within the same time frame. This means that time (and money) is not wasted as an instructor waits for a student to finish a question before moving on. It also diminishes feelings of anxiety that can arise as a student feels they are being watched and feelings of dependence that can be associated with finding success only when the instructor is present.
But isn’t one-to-one attention important? Small group tutorials have advantages other than price. In small groups, kids learn to work on their own, develop confidence and avoid developing that sense of dependence on their instructors. At Mathnasium, we maintain a ratio of 1 instructor to no more than 4 students. The tutors direct teach as needed, but they also provide real time feedback on student work and motivational support to get your child confidently solving problems on their own. This balance results in a more resilient student, who knows they can ask for help when stuck but feels enables and confident to try a problem independently, even if they may make a mistake.
Many students who have experienced dropping grades and increasing confusion in math class have negative emotions associated with math class and have even developed anxiety towards the subject. This is an understandable reaction when facing constant defeat by something that may seem natural or easy for their peers. At Mathnasium, we create a learning plan that starts wherever your child is at, so they can find success and build up a strong foundation of skills to move forward from. Most students who are struggling with math aren’t actually struggling with the current topic – they are missing a prerequisite skill. We provide a positive, calm environment that allows students to build up those missing skills and regain lost confidence, which in turn allows for them to find greater success.
Why Mathnasium working for Cambridge Parents today
Parents are busy chauffeuring from place to place. Most activities are scheduled and it becomes a problem if you suddenly run late. At Mathnasium, we operate on a drop-in format. If you get caught in traffic, delayed at the doctors, or the “game” goes into OT, you are not committed to a specific time, even a specific day. Relax. Your full session begins when you get there. All you have to do is come back in an hour to pick them up. Or if you are very late, just plan to attend the next day. No reservations required. We recommend your child attend 2 or 3 times each week, 10 times a month minimum, but you can attend every day we are open if you wish.
Another key factor is how much homework help you expect. For many tutors, that is the main focus, but keeping up with homework is difficult if your child hasn’t mastered the prerequisite skills necessary to do that homework. At Mathnasium, some of our students are working two years below their grade level, and we focus on reteaching those missing prerequisite skills. But we also check their homework and make sure they have a better understanding to complete it when they get home. We want to make sure that they don’t get further behind while they are catching up. We also help them prepare for upcoming exams, often by explaining the concepts they are afraid of, in a manner that makes more sense to them.
For those students who are doing very well at school but need a challenge, we provide “lateral enhancements” to the curriculum, to make learning fun again. We are very familiar with the curriculum and concepts being taught in the classroom and know how to expand on those concepts. What we are careful not to do is too fast track them though the upcoming material. We don’t want them to miss the nuances of the material or develop only a vague understanding of the concept. We emphasize quality over quantity, and provide the challenge they need to stay engaged and curious.