BrainBoost our stories

Riley (16) is a full-time student at Lord Byng High School. Finding that online math was the right option for her, she is seeing a tutor from BrainBoost to strengthen her learning.  

Why did you start coming to BrainBoost?

Math at school just wasn’t going well. I knew I was good at math, but the class and the teacher weren’t the right fit. My teacher didn’t really care about my questions. I’d like more communication for tests and quizzes. I wasn’t really successful in that class and I knew I could do better. I started doing online math, but I needed extra help just to clarify some topics because I wasn’t fully getting it. So, I had friends who came to BrainBoost. They said, “It is a great tutoring place, you can talk with your tutor, and you get your own room and it’s one on one”, and I started doing that. Now I’ve been here a year!

What are the challenging aspects of online math?

I find that if you’re not a super motivated person you could end up pushing it to the side. You could go through a whole chapter, and say “I don’t really feel like doing a test right now” and then two months later you’re like “Oh yeah! I need to do that test on that lesson from ages ago!” That’s kind of hard. At certain times you might want more clarification on questions and explanations. You can always message your online teacher, but you can’t just sit down with them and ask “Why did this happen?”

Last year you completed math 10 online with Deanne. How did she help you?

Deanne would help me fill in the gaps. She would show me a way to an answer, and I’d say “I’m still not getting it” and she’d bring out a whiteboard, or blocks, until I finally understood it and it clicked! Once you get it you can apply it to another questions, but it has to click first. Sometimes that’s not how they teach it in school. They’ll just teach it one way and tell you “Have fun with that, I hope you get it!” She really helped me by showing me different ways and to take time to really focus on areas that I just didn’t understand.

She really knows all the concepts and is fresh in her mind. People here are trained to tutor one on one, and be really friendly, and don’t just expect students to learn a certain way. They are able to help people in many different types of learning, especially for math.

Now, I’m doing Pre-Calculus 11 online with Deanne. It really helps me and I did pretty well in math last year, and I just want to continue that trend.

What are the benefits of doing math online?

It gives you a lot more room to learn and learn what’s best for you. You just may need an extra day for a concept to click and sometimes you don’t have that time in school.

Since math builds on previous knowledge, gaps in your knowledge make future learning hard. That happened to me a lot before – I just didn’t understand a concept, we’d move on, I’d do badly on a test, and I’d never get to go back and learn it! Grade 11 was harder and the holes in my knowledge just kept getting worse. Online and with a tutor you can work on any holes and understand it all.

How do you think BB has affected you as a learner?

I’ve learned that if I’m struggling with a tough question, I should just keep going and come back to it with a fresh mind. If I keep trying to figure it out, I just get frustrated. Sometimes you need to move on and come back and tackle it again and let it breathe!