26 Jan 2010
How to run a successful franchised math learning center
Canada certified math teacher and founder of Ho Math and Chess
How do we judge if a math-learning center is successful? It depends on what types of learning centers. There are many types of math learning centers. Some learning centers mainly prepare children for tests, some are for total skills training including thinking skills. It also depends on what parents want? Some parents only look at if there children’s marks have improved, while some parents also like to see if the math program can improve their children’s thinking skills. To put in a nutshell, a successful learning center is a place where children like to go and also enjoy it.
A successful math learning center is a place where children are smiling and happy while they are learning at the center and then come home telling their parents what they have learned and are happy to go again. A successful math-learning center makes kids learn in a happy mood.
A successful math-learning center will not be successful if their materials are boring and inhuman. Why will children be happy if all they do at the learning center is just drilling on math worksheets even it means their computation ability have improved? The untold negative side effect is they will not have fond memory and experience with this kind of learning center, I have my students in my class telling me that they “hate” this kind of math learning center but some of their parents “forced” them to go. One thing I can say is these unimpressed children will not send their own kids to this kind of learning centers again when grow up to be parents one day.
I have done some research and also personally observed on what kind of math as pressure as their old brothers or sisters to just wanting to get high math marks for universities so these young children are happier to go to a math learning center where they do not just sit there and do pure math work. The problem is most of math learning center cannot offer what these young children want. I know what kind of worksheets children like to work on since I have offered them choices and I have the chances to observe their reactions and feedbacks.
Children like to be entertained while learning; learning while having fun is a great way for children to learn.
We cannot turn math learning center into a circus so children having lots of fun but doing very little math. This is not an idea of integrating fun and math learning.
Many children like puzzles but not math work, so how do we “trick” them to do puzzles while they also have to do math work? We are not talking about computer games or computer-based learning here. We also are not talking give children some separate puzzle worksheets in a math class. We are talking about pencil, paper and re-printable “game, puzzles, and math” integrated worksheets.
If a math learning center can integrate math, game such as chess, and puzzles all into one worksheet then this is what children prefer to do rather than traditional type of math worksheets.
How to deliver these fun worksheets in a systematic way such that they will also increase children’s math marks is very important to make a math-learning center succeed.
A successful math-learning center must have fun worksheets and these fun worksheets also foster the environment of thinking.
A successful learning math-learning center offers something that children like and the end results are children are happy to learn and their math marks also improve while having fun.
Frank Ho, Amanda Ho