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Couple’s passion for teaching adds up to success

ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX (March 11, 2015) Mathnasium Learning Center of Rockwall-Heath is relocating to a bigger and conveniently-located facility at the intersection ofGoliad StreetandRalph Hall Parkway.

An Open House is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

When Bob and Becky Barnes first opened the Mathnasium franchise in Rockwall a little over five years ago, they never imagined the overwhelmingly positive impact the learning center would have on local children.

With the lease on their current location at 919 East I-30 coming to an end on March 31, and with the ever-increasing demand for their quality services seemingly outgrowing their space at that location, it all adds up to the need to move into the spacious and accommodating new location.

“We’re excited about the space because we have twice as much room,” Bob said. “It’s a really neat layout.”

Mathnasium’s new home includes a private consultation room plus a dedicated First Steps room for their youngest students (ages 4-6). A big observation window will let Bob, Becky and other Mathnasium instructors survey everything that goes on. Bob also designed a First Steps table which includes Mathnasium teaching aids that let the kids draw on its surface – a perk that has the young ones really excited.

Prior to Mathnasium, Bob was in sales in Florida, where he met his wife Becky. He has a Master’s degree in Education and taught 6th grade straight out of college. He received his Teacher’s Certificate inKansas. Becky also has a lengthy teaching history and taught for over 20 years prior to opening Mathnasium in Rockwall.

“It’s grown steadily and it’s been a lot of fun,” Bob said. “I think Becky and I both agree that this has been the single most rewarding thing that we have ever done in our 30 years being in business together.”

Becky said that the passion for teaching that she and her husband share helps them develop close bonds with their students, and their almost ministerial-type approach to helping kids learn Math has led to a lot of success for Mathnasium and its students.

“It is so rewarding to watch these students progress as they increase their mathematical understanding, which in turn increases their confidence in their abilities,” Becky said. “Many of them are failing math in school, and they walk through our front door and consider themselves stupid, which of course, they are not. After about a week or so, the same students begin to realize that they’re not stupid; they just didn’t ‘get it.’ When they begin to connect the dots, they actually come to enjoy math.”

So just what is the Mathnasium Method, and how has it become so effective at helping kids excel?

According to Bob, it all has to do with explaining Math in such a way that kids can grasp the concept. Since adults are much more adept at thinking abstractly than children, helping them to understand Math – an often complex and abstract subject – is all about explaining it in such a way that a child’s mind can comprehend it.

For instance with multiplication, Bob said, kids tend to struggle with the number 12. But when Mathnasium instructors break that number down to 10 and two, it becomes more manageable.

“It starts to make sense when you explain to them how and why Math works,” Bob said. “One of the things that’s really important to Mathnasium, to us and to kids is that they develop what we call Number Sense: the ability to look at numbers, take them apart and put them together in a variety of ways. We want them to think of numbers as building blocks to things that they need to do.”

Bob and Becky said they fully support the Rockwall ISD and its incredibly hardworking teachers. They can also appreciate the difficulties that can come with teaching in the typical classroom environment.

“At Mathnasium, we have the luxury of spending an hour of one-on-one time with each student, which can be difficult to achieve in classrooms where teachers must work within time constraints and thus may not be able to spend as much individual time as they would like with their students,” Becky said.

“Whenever I sit down with someone and they are clueless about what they’re working on, we talk about it and work through it together,” Becky said.  “The light bulb comes on and they say, ‘I get it!’  I get chills every time I think about it, because they went from a complete lack of understanding about what to do, to understanding what they’ve done, and being able to apply it to something else.  Now, that’s exciting.”

Mathnasium’s team of 8-10 instructors – including an early childhood specialist who works with its younger students – have been instrumental in helping many kids in Rockwall to not only excel in Math but have fun with it as well.

For more information, visit mathnasium.com/rockwall-heath or call 972-722-6000.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News reporter. 

A Personal Testimony

“Our daughter Abigail was struggling with math. We sent her to another well-known tutoring company when she was in second grade but did not see any progress. Our family came across a new place that had just started in Rockwall called Mathnasium; we were really skeptical because of prior experience but thought we’d give it a try.

We were so glad we did because our daughter has come such a long way. I still remember when Abigail began Mathnasium in third grade. An assessment was given and we were told she was at a kindergarten level. We were completely shocked that we had a third grader functioning at a kindergarten math level.

After a few sessions, we realized that this was the place that could help my child conquer her fears with math. Not only did they teach her but explained things to her in ways where she began to understand and not get frustrated.

Bob and Becky Barnes are very special people to our family. They were the first and only tutors who ever made a distinct, measureable difference in my daughter’s performance. For the first time my child looked forward to doing her math studies because it was fun. My daughter’s math grades soared. They improved in a few weeks to straight A’s. My daughter is currently in 7th grade Pre-AP Math and continues to go to Mathnasium, making straight A’s. I can’t say enough about Mathnasium’s expertise or about Bob and Becky Barnes and whole-heartedly recommend this tutoring service as being the very highest quality.”

~ By George and Jeney Mammen

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