Ethan's Relief

May 20, 2015 | Summerlin

Ethan was struggling badly, and his mom didn’t know what to do.  He was being held back to go to first grade again so his confidence was shaken as well.  When I saw her one afternoon I encouraged her to bring him to see us at Mathnasium.  I assured her that it’s quite normal for a boy to be a little slower to develop, but that if we teach him in a way that makes sense to him he can get caught up and possibly speed ahead.  She started him right away.

Ethan was a little slow to warm up to the place because he was so intimidated by numbers.  So I spent a little extra time with him, talking about submarines, playing a game (that he didn’t recognize as being a math development game!), just helping him feel comfortable.  In no time he began working on his math concepts and would push himself to be as productive as he could be.


Flash forward a couple of months to a conversation I had with his mother.  She said, “I can’t believe it.  It’s like he’s a different child.  When he started with you all he could do was count, and now he’s acing his timed tests at school – and they were the bane of his existence before!”

How did that happen?  We started with some manipulatives to help him begin to visualize what’s happening when we add groups together.  Once he began to visualize these things we moved to the abstract with exercises that cement the pairs of numbers that add up to ten.  Next is adding “ten plus what?” to get to the teens.  Then he started to put together a system by which he could figure out 8 + ____ = 15.  Eight up to ten is two, and ten up to fifteen is five, two and five makes seven.

Of course this is just one of his first steps in his mathematical experience, but armed with the confidence he now has, and the building blocks for his next step, Ethan is well on his way to a bright and successful academic future! 

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