Flattening The “COVID Slide” Through Online Math Instruction

Apr 17, 2020 | Mesa North

Mathnasium Launches Live, Home Math Tutoring through Mathnasium@home

Education Week released an article on Thursday outlining a new curve we need to worry about flattening -- the “COVID slide.” The COVID slide is the projected academic recession students will experience due to school closures. These projections take into account students learning relatively less new curriculum since mid-March as schools transition to remote learning and are based on trends from summer learning loss in past years.


The Northwest Evaluation Association, NWEA, released figures outlining how we can anticipate the COVID slide impacting student scores. As grim as the forecast for reading is, math is far worse. Students are projected to lose between a semester and a full year of academic growth in math! These projections are likely conservative for students in upper elementary grades, and perhaps even more so for vulnerable students who receive additional socio-economic support from their schools.


Why is math such a high risk subject? Beth Tarasawa, a researcher at the NWEA, explains “Anecdotally, we find it’s easier to keep reading in front of kids… it’s more difficult in a lot of ways to teach math to the curriculum and the new standards we have.” Despite math being a challenge to teach, success in the subject is entirely dependent on the individual’s prerequisite skills. “Students not only must master previous skills, they need to apply those skills to more complex concepts with each successive grade level,” said Mathnasium Executive Director Karen Lossing. Parents and educators have to tackle the issue head on. 


Academics and educators alike agree -- our best hope of flattening the academic slide for our students is to “repeat successful prior interventions for catching students up”. Enter Mathnasium@home.


Mathnasium@home is the online version of Mathnasium’s face-to-face, expert instruction so kids can learn math from the comfort of their own homes. Mathnasium@home features the same math tutoring and enrichment, homework help, and test/quiz prep services with our highly trained instructors as our learning center, but live through a computer.


“Mathnasium@home began as a way to serve customers whose busy schedules make it difficult to bring their children into the centers consistently,” said Lossing. “But given the current concerns about public health issues and school closures, we knew it was important to bring all students on board.”


“Mathnasium@home has served thousands of families since its launch in 2015. Our online students experience all the benefits of our in-center learning sessions, so we’ve worked to migrate over our current families and offer virtual services to the rest of our community as quickly as possible.” Just as with an in-center experience, students attend their live sessions an average of two to three times per week to work on a personalized learning plan. For students who always struggled with math, now is a perfect time to gain the skills to get back on track. 


Both in-center and online, Mathnasium students boost their grades and scores, learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and gain self-confidence, transforming their understanding and appreciation of mathematics.

To learn more about Mathnasium@home, call (480) 325-MATH (6284) or visit us online at mathnasium/at-home/mesanorth.