High School: Prove that "Mathnasium = High Math Marks"

Aug 6, 2020 | McKenzie Towne

This article is written for families with students going into or returning to high school.

Prove this equation: “Mathnasium = High Math Marks”

While all of us want this to be true, it simply is not the case. Why? It all comes down to the individual student. Most students enrolled at Mathnasium do find they achieve higher marks. 90% of regular attenders for at least 6 months told Mathnasium “my child’s math grades improved.”

What about the other 10%?

Sometimes a student will attend because they are obligated to do so, not because they want to

More mature children need to actively participate in directing their own education. They must see the connection between their desire for a good math course outcome and how we can help them achieve that aim. We have great instructors and access to good educational material. Of course, having educators and textbooks in the room with you doesn’t automatically result in learning; a student needs to be engaged in the material and interacting with instructors. Ask questions. Be motivated. Maintain focus. Take advantage of the resources Mathnasium provides.

Sometimes a student will have gaps in prerequisite skills that form a barrier to higher proficiency

We have seen students understand a new concept taught in school but, when applying it on specific problems, their lack of mastery of basic skills trips them up and causes them to arrive at the wrong answer. Further, they see the pressing need of an assignment deadline or test preparation looming and a busy schedule of activities ahead, then choose to defer addressing those underlying gaps. A prudent approach is to use time management: spend the first 15-20 minutes of every Mathnasium session working on skill gaps uncovered during an assessment. The balance of a session can be used for homework assignments or reinforcing topics from class. Over time, students should be able to close those gaps and achieve proficiency in the fundamentals, resulting in improved accuracy.

Sometimes a student will attend sporadically or only the day before a major test

Understanding math isn’t magic and doesn’t just happen in an hour or two. Work and consistent practice are required before most students achieve proficiency in a specific area. Last-minute exam preparations have their place but students rarely retain everything “crammed”.

For students enrolled in a flexible program, we recommend sessions at least twice each week and preferably more. Give plenty of time to learn and retain new concepts and refresh old ones as needed. Start brushing up on last year’s course material a month before this year’s school course begins and get ahead of the wave. Prepare in advance – the earlier, the better.