Wendy Gehman, the owner of Mathnasium, admits that as a student, math once terrified her.
Everything changed years ago when she was hired as a math liaison. Once she started finding ways to explain math that broke it down simply, she was able to help her students understand it. Then math became her favorite subject to teach.
Mathnasium is a franchise math learning center that currently includes more than 1,100 locations. Wendy owns three centers in Brownsburg, Zionsville and Avon, which opened in December of 2021. She, her husband Drew, and Director Susan Kolozsvari run the Avon location.
Mathnasium instruction helps students prepare not only for college, but also for the trades, as the trades rely on effortless math calculation, estimation and problem solving.
“Math is all about problem solving,” Drew says.
We’ve all heard frustrated students complain when presented with math problems, with comments like, “Why do I need to learn this? I’ll never do this in real life.”
Drew shares an analogy to explain why math problems do help.
“A barbell is used to isolate a muscle and build muscle mass,” he says. “It’s used for a greater purpose. In math, that greater purpose is to learn how to isolate the problem, break it up into manageable segments, solve quickly what you do know, and research what you don’t know to finally come to a solution. Math is about problem solving, and Mathnasium is your own private trainer.”
Students are encouraged to come to the center about twice per week (10 times per month) for 60-minute sessions. While in-center instruction is by far the best way to learn, they also offer online services for families that are unable to attend due to logistics or health reasons.
At Mathnasium, the staff members help students in pre-K through calculus level. Last year a freshman came to them who had failed geometry. He repeated the class over the summer while simultaneously working with instructors at Mathnasium. Though he was initially scared that he wouldn’t pass again, he scored an 85%.
Another student enrolled at Mathnasium during the height of the pandemic. She despised math but chose to make math tutoring part of her regular education. Now in the eighth grade, she’s not only getting an A+ in math, but also an A+ in every subject, all due to her bolstered self-esteem.
“Her attitude around being a confident learner has changed everything,” Wendy says.
This is why one of Mathnasium’s taglines is “Confidence in math, confidence in life,” because if a student can confidently solve a problem, the problem is not to be feared anymore.
“Now she understands that just because she doesn’t know something doesn’t mean she can’t learn it,” says Wendy, who notes that often when students start to feel secure in math, their other grades improve too.
Mathnasium Founder Larry Martinek once stated in an interview that children don’t hate math. What they often hate is being confused and intimidated by math.
“With understanding comes passion, and with passion comes growth,” Martinek says. “Then a treasure is unlocked.”
Call Mathnasium at 317-680-1980 to set up a free assessment in Avon, or 317-754-6284 to set up a free assessment in Brownsburg. Mathnasium of Avon is located just north of the high school at 621 South Dan Jones Road. The Brownsburg location is at 315 West Northfield Drive, across from Walmart. You can visit them online at mathnasium.com.