He is Norman Tien, founder of Neuromath. We know each other through an interest group workshop 7 years ago. At that time, I had no idea how big his business was, for he was a man without air, always so helpful.
As AJ grows up, I started to widen my knowledge in the arena of enrichment programmes, school curriculum and other educational stuff. Gradually, it came to light that Norman was no small fly. I have never spotted any cues that he is such a successful businessman during the regular meet-up in our interest group all these years. In Chinese they said ‘有眼不识泰山’. Indeed I was.
So, beside the interest group meeting when we both get to meet each other, I started to attend his regular free talk to parents. He holds this kind of talk 2 to 3 times a year FREE of charge. Sometimes we do get to catch up after the talk, most of the times we don’t as he would be surrounded by parents with burning questions awaiting his enlightenment.
Anyway, I told him I would like to feature him in my monthly blog feature “Inspiring Individual’ in December as a finale.
A Little about Norman
Norman started giving Math tuition at aged 19 to children who hated Math and thus scored way below average. Somehow, he has this gift with ‘problematic’ children and so he was able to command higher tuition fee since not many tutors wanted to take up such assignments too. He delivered results because he didn’t drill them with worksheets and assessment books. Instead, he took interest in their hobbies (like computer games, chess, Power Ranger toys, etc) and tailor-made the Math lesson plans and the Math strategies.
Noticing his ‘gift’ in this area, Norman then further his studies in cognitive psychology, special education for the gifted and those with learning disabilities, as well as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Through these, he was affirmed that his skill sets are not limited to reaching out to the late bloomers but also the high achievers and the gifted ones as well.
A Little About Neuromath
He founded his own learning centre in 2001 under the name of ‘Norman Tien Brain-based Learning’, subsequently renamed it as ‘Norman Tien Mathematics’. After completing a short module on Neurocognitive skills in Colorado, he renamed his company to the current name ‘Neuromath’.
“I am a Chinese cuisine person but had to withstand the many days of burgers and steak in Colorado, USA, during that period. On the third day and during class, I had such strong craving for Singapore’s famous beef noodles that I started doodling on my lecture notes. That was how, the brand Neuromath was coined! From the drawing of a bowl of noodle and the word ‘牛肉面’.” – Norman Tien
The ‘noodle’ man satisfying his craving!
Through his self-created Math strategies, he and his team have helped many students to attain A/A* from fail. These days, besides concentrating on PSLE A* training workshop for Primary 6 students, Norman also trains his centre teachers, school teachers and parents.
While there are many big names in the enrichment market, what stands out in Neuromath is the ability to impart Math strategies and concepts that are meaningful to the students instead of plain drilling or forced memorization. Their students understand the concepts and apply the strategies to those Math problems. These skills are fundamental to solving real-life problems too, they are tools that serve them beyond academics!
You may also like to know Neuromath has launched an online portal recently. I took great interest in this because I think children these days would rather type on the computer keyboard than to write on papers. And this portal has videos to demonstrate to students (and parents) how each problem is solved. Norman told me that the intention of this online portal was to provide the off-site support to parents who wish to guide their children with quality questions. With the video demonstrations, both parents and children have access to better understanding on the working.
In case you wonder, no, this is not a sponsored post. I didn’t send AJ to Neuromath either, for Norman has been encouraging me to teach him myself. While I do not rule out sending AJ to enrichment classes or engaging a private tutor in the future, he doesn’t need Math enrichment classes as yet.
With this post, I hereby conclude my monthly series of ‘Inspiring Individual’ for 2014. I hope you have enjoyed reading them thus far. There will be new focus next year, do come visit my blog on 1st Jan 2015!
This post was first published at http://mylilbookworm.blogspot.