Jennifer Chevalier has always had a passion for math. So much so,
that she studied the subject through college, earned her teaching
credentials through The Evergreen State College and now teaches 8th grade Math at Bush Middle School in Tumwater. The mother of two has always shown a true commitment to teaching math and adding Mathnasium Owner to her list of passions is a natural fit.
“When my son was first born we were looking for a way for me to stay home,” explains Chevalier. “We looked into Mathnasium and my husband and I fell in love with the idea behind the franchise. We became very invested in the ideas and methods being used, but at the time just couldn’t afford to do it. When my husband passed away I was given some life insurance money. I thought about my options of what I could do with the money and decided to invest it into something we both believed in: Mathnasium.”
The idea behind the Mathnasium Method is simplicity. “It’s all about breaking down the problems and focusing on the vocabulary,” says Chevalier. “The creator of the method, Larry Martinek, used his knowledge of math and watching students struggle with math to come up with the concepts we use. It’s about changing the way a student looks at the problem. For example, instead of saying, ‘What is seven times eight?’ we approach the problem and ask, ‘What is seven eight times?’ This simple change can lead to so much more understanding for a student.”
Mathnasium focuses on the gaps to build the foundation. “The first thing we do is give an assessment to discover the gaps in student understanding,” explains Chevalier. “The assessments are built for different grade levels and include visual, written, and verbal problems. Based on the assessment, we are able to find those gaps of understanding. Our goal is to fill those gaps. We don’t want to have to have a student rely on a tutor forever. Our goal is to build a solid foundation that they can depend upon to tackle any problem.”