For many families, COVID made a dramatic change in schooling. Instead of going to in-person classes, lessons have taken place in a patchwork of remote delivery plus occasional face to face options. This puts many parents into the unexpected role of teacher.
After ensuring their child’s health and safety, parents often worry about making study time effective and the child continuing to make appropriate progress in learning. We sat down with Glenn Mikaloff, co-owner and -director of Centerville’s Mathnasium, to see how they can help.
1. What is Mathnasium?
Mathnasium provides supplemental math instruction outside of school hours to students in grades K through 12, up to pre-Calculus. Mathnasium bridges the gap between traditional and newer math programs by helping students master number facts, build computational skills, and improve number sense. Beyond facilitating good grades and top scores on standardized tests, Mathnasium cultivates an intuitive understanding of math.
While our instructors do help students with homework, our role as a learning center is to uncover the root cause of difficulty and cure it by strengthening the student's math foundation.
Mathnasium provides enrichment as well as remediation. We meet the students where they are in their math development through the assessment process, and develop a personal program to help them improve.
2. How have you seen the needs of your clients change after COVID-19?
The change to remote learning has been a challenge for most school administrators, teachers, but most of all, students. Mathnasium has implemented a remote learning platform that is very good, but we still feel in-person delivery is superior. Many of the students we see have suffered as a result of not attending school in person, and there has been a lot of learning loss as a result. We see that many students have lost almost a year of progress.
3. What are parents finding most challenging about "homeschooling"? How are you helping?
"Homeschooling" can have several connotations. Those parents and students who were already homeschooling before the lockdowns have suffered less than the parents and students who were attending school. What we do for both groups is to diagnose gaps in foundational skills and address them. We have families who homeschool as a matter of choice and use us to supplement what the homeschool curriculum provides.
4. What is your best tip for families as they study in this new environment?
We recommend that parents find a way to objectively gauge their children's progress. There is too much at stake to leave your child's academic progress on autopilot. Trust but verify. Of course, Mathnasium can help with that in the math department.