Math tutoring lab is helping kids catch up on skills that may have been lost with virtual learning

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — Without a doubt, the past year has been a challenge for students, many of which continue with virtual learning.

Now a recent study shows evidence that students may be far behind in mathematics and it could take months just to catch up.

“Starting about 60 days ago, I have felt a big change,” Pete Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman owns and runs Mathnasium in Brookhaven and says the phone calls will not stop.

“It’s the same conversation over and over again. ‘I’m concerned. I think my student is falling behind,’” Zimmerman said.

According to a recent Renaissance Learning study that looked at more than one million first- through eighth-grade students across the United States, all grades showed students performing behind expectations set for 2020, compared to pre-pandemic years.

“With everything going on there’s likely, we feel a kind of a gap or a lag. That’s definitely occurred over the last 12 months,” Brian Resutek said.

Brian Resutek has a daughter in the second grade. She began dropping in for math tutoring at Mathnasium because of what he and his wife noticed in 2020.

“If you don’t have that confidence, especially early on, it’s frustrating. I was beginning to see that frustration in math,” Resutek said.

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Zimmerman believes a face-to-face connection works best to teach math. The past virtual year stole that from students. This latest research study confirms what Zimmerman sees daily.

“There’s a lag of at least 12 weeks for these kids at this time,” Zimmerman said.

But he believes children can bounce back with time, patience and repetition.

“She had a test the other week, and I asked how did the math test go. She was like, ‘Well, I got all those right.’ I was like, ‘Great!’ You know, that’s a good feeling,” Resutek said.

The work for students to catch up is on top of the work they are currently doing in school. For that reason, Zimmerman believes this summer more than any other before is the perfect time to emphasize math so that your student can hit the ground running in the fall.