Community Editor Review of Mathnasium, Northcote Road
When I was asked if my 7-year-old son would like to trial Mathnasium, the new maths learning centre for Year 1s to Year 11s, on Northcote Road, my first reaction was, “Why? Isn’t Mathnasium just for children preparing for exams or those who might be struggling with maths at school?”
That’s where the Centre’s Director, John Preston set me straight. Mathnasium is a learning centre for all kids to make sense of maths. Whether your kid is preparing for an exam, is finding maths difficult at school or enjoys maths and would like to do more of it, then this is the place to do it.
Mathnasium is tutoring with a difference. It’s not about memorisation, drills and repetitive exercises, it’s about understanding the ‘why’ behind the numbers, training the mind to problem solve so that it doesn’t matter whether it’s 2+2 or Pythagoras theorem, the same skills apply.
For my son, it has been amazing. I have seen his confidence grow and his passion for numbers shine. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by his school teachers either. This was very important to me as I was concerned that Mathnasium might conflict with the school curriculum or even confuse him, but it’s been the complete opposite. Mathnasium complements what the kids learn at school and takes them to the next level so that quite simply, numbers are not scary or confusing, no matter what the calculation is.
In his own words, my son said, “I like Mathnasium because it’s fun, you fill out a star card after every time you go, and you can win a really cool toy.”
That’s because Mathnasium runs an incentive scheme for the kids. After each session, they earn stars and when they reach a certain amount, they can choose an item from the reward cupboard. Why’s that? Well because they are kids and after all that hard work, they really do deserve a reward.
John certainly knows his numbers having been a banker in a past life. He explains that working with the kids and seeing them understand and grow to love maths is incredibly rewarding. He is very hands on in the business, sitting at the front desk and always available to talk to parents. He and his qualified maths instructors know the kids individually, understand their needs and develop a bespoke programme for them.
In your first session, your child is assessed and any difficulties are identified - I was sent the results of the assessment and we took it from there. The exercises start off easier and over time get harder, but never so much so that your child feels daunted or out of their depth. They gradually understand the concepts whilst having fun. This is why John asks parents to make a minimum commitment of two days a week to really benefit from the programme. And there are many different programmes that you can discuss with John, to suit your child’s needs.
The centre is open five days a week and kids can come as often as they like as long as it is one session per day. The session is a one hour drop off where your child has a one-to-one session with an instructor.
My son actually asks me if he can go to Mathnasium. I would never have believed it at the start. He really enjoys going and always comes out buzzing which from a parent’s perspective is so lovely as I don't feel like I’m dragging him there against his will!
He has been going three days a week which still enables him to do other clubs and squeeze in playdates and I have seen a real improvement after only a month. I receive regular updates on his progress and concepts he’s yet to master so I always feel involved in the process.
Mathnasium does not set any homework, but the tutors can do your child’s maths homework with them, helping them overcome homework frustration and understand the concepts they are taught at school. That’s one less thing you have to worry about at home.
The kids at the centre are a mixture of ages and schools both from the private and state sector. Every kid has a different reason for being there, but the outcome is the same, they understand the logic behind numbers and in my view, that is an invaluable skill to set them up for life!
The centre is open five days a week Monday to Thursday from 3:30pm to 7:30pm and Saturday from 11am to 3pm.
Mathnasium will also be running summer clubs over the holidays. Please enquire at the centre directly for more information.
If you think your child will benefit from maths tutoring, pop in to see John or give him a call.
122 Northcote Rd, London SW11 6QU
0207 0787 000
In the interest of transparency, Nappy Valley Net was gifted a month’s free trial at Mathnasium. However, my views are my own and I was really impressed by the attention, care and involvement of John Preston and his team of instructors.