A reflection from Ms. Susie
While Math Genie exists today as an elite mental training facility for youth, it is not a very old company. Over the last decade, the company has made tremendous strides in helping students find the genius within them.
When Math Genie first opened its doors, I was only 14 years old. While I did live in New Jersey, I had already passed the age limit that Math Genie offered. Thus, I never got the chance to experience the program as a child. So many years later, and I really wish I had the chance to go to Math Genie back when I was a kid. Here’s why.
As a child, I hated math. I have vivid memories of crying over math homework, and calling my aunt on the phone to help me because my mom shared my math phobia as well. Back then, we didn’t have Google and Youtube to teach us everything, so I fell behind quickly. In time, I grew to fear math, developing a phobia. By high school I regularly got C’s in math. Despite that, I had always been a straight A student growing up and excelled in honors English. I was even in my gifted English program for many years. Math brought me down, along with my pristine GPA and self confidence.
In high school, I stayed after school for tutoring and even sacrificed my lunch break to get the help I needed. I read my textbook in depth and took time with my homework. I was always a hard working student, but math was kicking my butt. I realized that I had lost so many fundamental concepts and ideas I needed to ever dream of catching up. I was checked out and just making it by.
In college, I had to take just one math class to fulfill requirements. I struggled with every part of it and went for tutoring on a regular basis at The Math Lab. As you could imagine, I didn’t pursue a degree that even touched on math. The thought of struggling through a collegiate-level math class sent shivers down my spine, and I avoided it at all costs.
One day, post college graduation, I came across an ad to work at Math Genie. The ad was for a reading and writing tutor, and as an avid writer and specialist in that department, I jumped at the opportunity, (especially because I would be working with kids!)
When I was hired, I was asked if I would be willing to teach math. As an adult, my math phobia still held shadows over me from time to time. I relied on a calculator for simple equations and only did math while grocery shopping (to get the best deal.) I even google searched how much tip I should leave at restaurants. It was honestly quite embarrassing.
I told the Math Genie team of my unfortunate math phobia, and they helped me through it with kindness and compassion. I agreed to training and took the opportunity as a chance to start fresh. I was trained on the abacus by Ms. Naina, and she worked with me patiently until I learned everything up to multiplication and division. I was assigned homework on the abacus and underwent extensive training.
At first, negative thoughts of self doubt swept over me like a tsunami.
“You can’t do this, stop trying.”
“You have always been bad at math and you always will be.”
“What is wrong with you?”
I fought through and kept telling myself I could do it. I could learn the abacus. I could learn mental math and go back to the fundamentals to figure out everything that had scarred me in the past. Anything was possible with Math Genie.
And guess what?
You guessed it. I became a math teacher, and I LOVE the abacus!
Before I started working at Math Genie, I had never even heard of an abacus. Unfortunately, it is not a concept that is taught in math classes across the United States, so its existence remained a mystery to me.
I believe that is what helped me conquer my math phobia. Since I had no previous knowledge or experience using an abacus as a child, I lacked any memories that would scare me away from it. It was brand new and I started with the basics. I didn’t move forward to the next set of skills, buddies, and steps until I knew the old ones. I learned how to practice mental math for the first time in my life!
Now, if I had Math Genie as a child, life might be very different. Perhaps I would have attended a different university, pursued a different major, and ended up on a completely different career path.
I’m not saying that I regret my collegiate experience or my academic and personal journey to date. I am grateful for all of my experiences- especially the ones that have taught me humility. But, with Math Genie, life and math would have been a whole lot easier.
If your child is struggling with math or reading, help them now. Don’t wait for them to figure it out. Don’t assume it’s a phase. Don’t attribute it to laziness. Step in and get them the help they need. Know that it will make the difference of a lifetime. Understand that if they are struggling with a skill now, this struggle may travel with them through college and into adulthood. Don’t let your child cry over their studies when you have access to a program and curriculum as fantastic and honorable as Math Genie.
Math Genie helped me get rid of my math phobia as an adult. I even learned to enjoy math and teach the abacus to friends in my free time. Imagine what it could do for your child!
Schedule a free class and assessment today for math or reading with a passionate Math Genie teacher. Don’t wait. Help your child now. They’re counting on you.
-The Math Genie team