Math learning centre helps students fight the ‘COVID slide’

Math learning has been especially hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic with some students still struggling to fully transition to remote learning.

When children have extended gaps in learning, they can find that their skills and comprehension erode by the time school starts again. Normally called the summer slide, this phenomenon has been exacerbated by school closings across the country in light of COVID-19.

Mathnasium of Richmond, an after-school math and learning centre that helps children from kindergarten to grade 12, is helping students fight the COVID slide and prepare them for the upcoming academic year.

The math learning centre will reopen July 1 but Mathnasium of Richmond BC has also launched Mathnasium@Home, an online platform that offers real-time, face-to-face instruction that students can access wherever they have an internet connection.

“We’re still able to have face-to-face with the kids, and they’re able to see a teacher working on a whiteboard with them over the internet. We’ve found the kids like this because they can talk and have interaction,” Mathnasium of Richmond owner and director Tony Colabella says.

The centre will be reopening July 1 with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, ensuring social distancing and hand hygiene. Mathnasium will be open to students all year round, even in the summer, and will offer flexibility for parents – whether that means dropping students off at their convenience during office hours or the option of online sessions while on holiday.

“We find that kids who go to school year-round hold onto skills a lot more,” Colabella says.

“Kids will have been away from school around more than five months by the time school starts again in September. It’s amazing how many skills they can lose in that time.”

Mathnasium combines quality, personalized instruction with learning games to help students excel in math. When students first enter the program, Mathnasium does a comprehensive assessment to understand their knowledge and skill gaps, as well as their strengths. After that, they will receive an individual learning plan to work through with their engaged, face-to-face instructors.

Mathnasium improves a child’s confidence in math by fostering an understanding of the foundational skills of math. The centre doesn’t give out homework, but students can bring in their assignments and work through it with Mathnasium’s instructors. Students have a chance to earn rewards for completed assignments.

“It’s very easy to forget things you memorize and nearly impossible to forget things you understand,” Colabella says.

“We prefer to help kids understand the concepts – if we can help students understand, they’ll be able to hold onto those math skills.”

To learn more about Mathnasium and its innovative Mathnasium@Home program, visit its website at www.mathnasium.ca/richmondbc.

© Richmond News