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New Darien Tutoring Center Makes Math Fun

DARIEN, Conn. – It’s one thing to teach kids math, but it’s quite another thing to get them excited about learning it. That’s the goal of Darien’s newest tutoring center, Mathnasium .

The center’s tutors provide kids with one-on-one instruction, enrichment and homework help, with learning plans structured to meet each student’s specific needs. Kids can also play math-based games and spend time with other students who may help in the same areas.

Center Director David Lubner remembers the first time a student was in tears because he didn’t want to leave after his mother told him it was time to go home. “Their expectations are that it will be like school and very strict,” he said. “But it’s learning while having fun.

“As much as I love seeing their math skills improve, I really love seeing their confidence improve.”

That confidence comes from tutors working with the students to help them figure out problems that have been giving them difficulty. If one approach doesn’t work, they’ll try it from a different angle.

“It’s about understanding math, not drills and memorization,” Lubner said. “There’s always a way of getting things across. Sometimes it takes a while to find what resonates.”

The games can be a reward for students who complete assignments or provide a break for kids with learning disabilities. They all involve math or strategy to keep kids’ brains active while they’re playing.

Lubner is from South Africa and studied biochemistry in England before coming to America. After an eclectic career that involved a number of jobs, he found there was one constant – math.

“I decided that what I really loved was teaching math,” he said. He planned to start his own tutoring center. While doing research, he discovered the Mathnasium franchise and found its philosophy meshed with his. He opened a center in Fairfield last year before opening the Darien center shortly after Labor Day.

He said the response has been positive, and he is happy that parents in Darien care about education and student success. Mathnasium will host a Grand Opening party on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m. for parents to learn more about its programs.

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