Does your child really hate math? Circuit Learning, a math-focused education center based in Bingham Farms, can help. It's a simple equation, really.
Begin with an active space with plenty of natural light. Add beanbag chairs, a "sports field" and "restaurant." And multiply the fun with "real-life scenarios" taught in a highly individualized way by certified teachers who love math. What's it all equal? Lots of learning, and an impressive student retention rate of 90 percent.
"Imagine sort of a fitness circuit that targets various muscles with various activities. We do the same thing in math," says co-founder and chief marketing officer Maggie Durant. "We really tried to avoid the traditional classroom of tables and chairs facing a lecturing teacher." She's teamed up with CEO Reid Gough, who's also a father of three.
As a former university dean, Gough says, "I saw these kids coming into college totally unprepared for school. I wanted to make a difference."
They started helping youth in Detroit in spring of 2013. It was so successful, they opened a permanent center in July (they continue to work with Detroit Public Schools, too).
It's all about bringing math to life in a fun way for kids in grades 2-9 who struggle with it, using engaging tactics like iPad apps, playlists and sports activities – such as calculating your own stats as you play darts or basketball. There's a separate room for middle schoolers, too, who have a "different mindset," Durant says. "They don't want to be sitting next to a second grader." Once they've grasped a concept, they earn a COW – or "competency of the week."
"We not only help them build their math skills," Gough says. "We help them build their confidence."
How to Help
Gough and Durant recommend parents:
- Take a breath. The way math is being taught has changed since you were a kid. Try not to get frustrated.
- Talk about math in a positive way.
- Bring math to life at home through everyday dealings with money, place settings and recipes.