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When Dawn Sheriff began the search for a math tutor for her daughter, she had no idea it would lead her to open a math-learning center of her own.

“I was looking for a math tutor for my daughter and really couldn’t find anything locally,” she said. “I found a Mathnasium in Columbia. I thought, ‘Gosh, I guess we can do a two-hour drive on Saturday, but that’s a half a day.’”

After the owner of the Columbia Mathnasium suggested Sheriff consider opening a Greenville branch, she decided to pursue the venture.

Mathnasium Learning Centers, a math-only learning center franchise with more than 600 centers across the United States, specializes in teaching kids math in a way that makes sense to them, according to its website. Students go to Mathnasium year-round to catch up, keep up and get ahead in their math skills.

“I flew out to L.A. for Discovery Day and fell in love with the whole concept,” Sheriff said. “We took the plunge, and we’re growing quickly now. I think it shows what a need there is with math, especially with Common Core changing the ways kids learn math. Maybe parents can’t help them with it because they don’t understand the current method of teaching of math.”

Greenville’s Mathnasium opened Jan. 4 in the Five Forks area of Greenville, providing children in grades K – 12 customized plans for improving their math skills.

“We’re a math-only learning center, so we help kids who are struggling with math — any and all math,” Sheriff said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Common Core math or private school curriculum or if they’re home-schooled. We do it all. We help them with their homework, but we also go back and find the missing element. A lot of times, our students are kids who are struggling because of something they didn’t master along the way. Just like building a house, you need a strong foundation. Your math skills are that way, too. If you don’t have that foundation, you start to see problems, especially when they get up to middle school or high school math.”

Parents interested in seeing if Mathnasium is a good fit for their children receive free trials that begin with highly detailed assessments of each child’s strengths and weaknesses. Each student then receives personalized instruction from one of the center’s highly trained instructors, some of whom have special training to work with students with autism, ADHD, ADD and anxiety disorders, according to its website.

Unlike many learning centers, students can get help with their school homework at the center and can also use their time to help prepare for important standardized tests, Sheriff said. Instructors try to make math fun through a combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile and written techniques.

“Our goal is to prevent students from ending up with a hate relationship with math,” she said. “We also help kids with SAT and ACT prep. We do advanced sessions as well for kids who love math but who aren’t getting enough enrichment or enough challenge with their schoolwork. Basically, if it deals with math, we can help.”

Mathnasium is located beside the Publix at 1756 Woodruff Road where it intersects with Butler Road. Learn more about its program by calling 864-626-3030 or visiting www.mathnasium.com/greenvillefiveforks.

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