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Sylvan vs Mathnasium: Which is Best for Your Child in 2024?

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Sylvan vs Mathnasium

Are you struggling to find the right math tutoring program for your kid? With so many options out there, it can be difficult to determine which one will best meet your child’s needs.

Two popular tutoring programs that people often consider are Sylvan Learning Center and Mathnasium. While both programs aim to improve students’ math skills, they have different approaches and teaching methods.

The main difference between Sylvan and Mathnasium is that Sylvan offers a variety of programs, including standardized test prep, while Mathnasium focuses on math tutoring only. But, now the question is, which one is better?

In this article, we’ll compare Sylvan vs Mathnasium and help you make an informed decision on which tutoring center is the right fit for your child.

Introduction to the debate: Sylvan Learning Center vs Mathnasium

If you are considering online tutoring, the most important step is to carefully compare all your options for top online tutoring services and make an informed decision on which tutoring service is the right fit for your child. We have analyzed the two programs Sylvan Learning Center and Mathnasium on the following parameters:

  • Subjects offered
  • Teaching methodology
  • Tutor matching process
  • Pricing and plans offered
  • Customer reviews

Sylvan vs Mathnasium: Comparison

The following table can help in easily determining which platform will be a good choice for you based on different parameters.

Keys SpecsSylvan Learning CenterMathnasium
Company TypePrivate tutoring companyIn-center and online tutoring 
Subjects offeredSylvan offers personalized instruction in STEM, reading, writing, mathematics, study skills, homework support, and test preparation for college entrance and state exams.Covers mathematics topics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.
Method of instructionOnline and in-person classesOnline and In-Person Classes
AgesAll age groupsElementary through high school
Trust Pilot ratingTrustpilot score: 3.2Trustpilot score: 3.8/5
PricingSylvan Learning Center costs $40 to $100 per hour for private tutoring and STEM programs. Sylvan costs $290 per month for academic coaching or advancement classes. Sylvan learning prices for test prep are $1,199.Varies by program and location
Minimum purchase requiredThe minimum purchase is $40 per hour for private tutoring.The minimum purchase differs from center to center
Cancellation policySylvan Learning Center does not mention about cancellation policy on its website. You can get info from your nearest center6 hours or less notice will be treated as sessions are taken.
Offers standardized test prepYesYes
Help in tutor selectionSylvan offers small-group learning. One instructor for 3 students.When you first sign up for Mathnasium, you will take an online assessment that will assess your math skills and abilities. You will also have a phone consultation with a Mathnasium instructor, who will get to know your learning style and goals. Based on this information, Mathnasium will match you with the best available tutor.
Offers free trialNo. Sylvan does not offer a free trial lesson.Yes. Mathnasium offers a free trial for 30 minutes.
Use of AINot applicableNot applicable
Sylvan vs Mathnasium: Comparison

Understanding Sylvan Learning Center

Sylvan vs Mathnasium #1 - Sylvan

What is Sylvan?

Sylvan is a private tutoring and education company that provides personalized instruction to students of all ages and skill levels. Sylvan Learning Center offers a range of services, including academic tutoring, test preparation, STEM programs, and college admissions counseling.

Their tutoring programs are designed to help students improve their academic performance and build confidence in their abilities.

Sylvan uses a personalized approach to education, with each student receiving an individualized learning plan tailored to their specific needs and goals. Their certified teachers use a variety of teaching techniques, such as interactive technology and hands-on activities, to engage students and help them achieve their full potential.

How does Sylvan work?

Sylvan works by providing personalized instruction to students in different subjects and areas of study.

The first step is to assess the student’s current academic level and identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. This is done through the Sylvan Insight Assessment diagnostic tests, evaluations, and consultations with parents and teachers.

Based on the assessment results, a customized learning plan is created for the student. The plan outlines specific goals, objectives, and strategies to help the student improve in their targeted areas of need.

The student is then matched with a certified Sylvan teacher who provides one-on-one or small-group instruction. The teacher uses a variety of teaching methods and materials, including technology, to engage the students and help them master the subject matter.

Sylvan Learning closely monitors the student’s progress through regular assessments and progress reports. The learning plan is adjusted as needed to ensure the student is making steady progress toward their goals.

Throughout the process, Sylvan Learning maintains regular communication with parents, teachers, and the student to ensure everyone is informed and engaged in the learning process.

Subjects covered by Sylvan

Sylvan Learning offers personalized instruction in a wide range of subjects and areas of study. Here are some of the subjects and skills typically covered by Sylvan:

ReadingSylvan offers programs to help students develop strong reading skills, including phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.
Writing Sylvan provides instruction in all aspects of writing, from grammar and sentence structure to essay writing and creative writing.
MathSylvan offers math programs that cover everything from basic math skills to advanced algebra, geometry, and calculus.
Test PrepSylvan provides test preparation services for a variety of exams, including the SAT, ACT, PSAT, GRE, and more.
STEMSylvan offers programs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), including robotics, coding, and game design.
Study skillsSylvan provides instruction in study skills and time management techniques to help students improve their organization, focus, and productivity.
College admissionsSylvan offers college admissions counseling to help students navigate the college application process, including essay writing, test preparation, and interview skills.
Subjects covered by Sylvan

What is the minimum age for kids to enroll in Sylvan?

Sylvan Learning does not have a strict minimum age requirement for students to enroll in their programs. They offer services for students of all ages, from kindergarten through high school and beyond.

Source: Sylvan Learning Center

What is the cost of the Sylvan Learning Center?

The cost of Sylvan Learning Center differs based on location.

However, they offer several options based on your needs and goals. The pricing of Sylvan Learning Center is as below:

  1. Tutoring starts at $49 per hour
  2. Classes and camps start at $199
  3. ACT and SAT Prep classes start at $999

Source: Sylvan Learning Center

*Pricing info retrieved from the Sylvan website in November 2023 

Evaluating Sylvan: Pros vs Cons

Pros Cons 
Personalized Instruction: Sylvan provides customized instruction tailored to the specific needs of each student. This approach helps ensure that students receive the support they need to build their skills and confidence. Cost: The cost of Sylvan learning vary significantly between different learning centers. 
Certified Instructors: Sylvan’s instructors are certified and trained to teach a variety of subjects, including reading, writing, math, and test preparation. This ensures that students receive quality instruction from knowledgeable and experienced teachers. Limited Availability: While Sylvan has many locations around the world, it may not be available in all areas. Students may need to travel a significant distance to access Sylvan’s services. 
Technology-Enabled Learning: Sylvan uses technology, including online tools and resources, to enhance the learning experience and engage students in the material. Learning Style: Sylvan’s teaching approach may not be suitable for all students, particularly those who require more hands-on or interactive learning experiences.
Ongoing Progress Monitoring: Sylvan closely monitors each student’s progress and adjusts their learning plan as needed to ensure they are making steady progress toward their goals. 
Flexible Scheduling: Sylvan offers flexible scheduling, including after-school and weekend sessions, to accommodate busy schedules and help students balance their academic and extracurricular activities.
Pros and Cons Of Sylvan

Understanding Mathnasium

Sylvan vs Mathnasium #2 - Mathnasium

What is Mathnasium?

Mathnasium is a specialized learning center that focuses on mathematics education for students of all ages. They have nearly 1,000 centers in the United States.

At Mathnasium, the primary goal is to help students build a solid foundation in math and develop strong mathematical skills.

The Mathnasium Method focuses on three main components: assessment, customized learning plans, and ongoing support. The program begins with an assessment to identify the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in their math knowledge.

Based on the assessment results, a personalized learning plan is created for the student, targeting their specific needs and goals.

Throughout their Mathnasium journey, students receive ongoing support and instruction from instructors, who monitor their progress and provide guidance and feedback.

How does Mathnasium work?

Mathnasium is a math learning center that operates on a unique approach to help students improve their mathematical skills and build a strong foundation in the subject.

The core of Mathnasium’s methodology lies in its individualized learning plans, customized to meet the specific needs of each student.

The first step at Mathnasium is an initial assessment, where students are evaluated to identify their current skill level and areas of strengths and weaknesses.

This assessment helps the instructors create a customized learning plan for each student, focusing on filling knowledge gaps and enhancing comprehension of mathematical concepts.

Once the learning plan is established, students attend regular sessions at the Mathnasium center, typically 2-3 times per week, for as long as they need.

These sessions are typically held in a small group setting, allowing for personalized attention and guidance from trained math instructors.

Mathnasium follows a structured curriculum that covers a wide range of math topics, starting from the elementary level to high school-level math.

The curriculum is designed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of mathematical principles, helping students excel not only in their current coursework but also in future math-related endeavors.

To support students’ learning, Mathnasium provides customized worksheets, textbooks, and manipulatives. These resources are used to reinforce concepts, provide additional practice, and encourage hands-on learning experiences.

By combining these materials with personalized instruction, Mathnasium aims to create a supportive and engaging learning environment.

In addition to in-person sessions, Mathnasium also offers online tutoring options for students who prefer remote learning or have scheduling constraints.

This flexibility allows students to access Mathnasium’s instruction and support from the comfort of their own homes.

Subjects covered by Mathnasium

Mathnasium focuses exclusively on mathematics, covering a wide range of topics across all grade levels.

The program is designed to help students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, build strong problem-solving skills, and excel in math. Here are some of the subjects and skills covered by Mathnasium:

ArithmeticMathnasium covers the basics of arithmetic, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
AlgebraStudents learn algebraic concepts such as variables, equations, inequalities, functions, and graphs.
GeometryMathnasium covers geometry topics such as shapes, angles, lines, planes, and coordinate geometry.
TrigonometryStudents learn trigonometric functions, identities, and equations.
CalculusMathnasium covers calculus topics such as limits, derivatives, and integrals.
Test PreparationMathnasium helps students prepare for math-related exams, including standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, and AP exams.
Subjects covered by Mathnasium

What is the minimum age for kids to enroll in Mathnasium?

Mathnasium is designed for students of all ages, from young children to adults. The minimum age for kids to enroll in Mathnasium varies by location, but most centers accept students as young as 5 years old, basically in grades K-12.

Source: Mathnasium

What is the cost of Mathnasium?

The cost of the Mathnasium can vary by location, as each center sets its own fees based on factors such as local operating costs and the services offered.

Mathnasium cost per month includes regular sessions with a Mathnasium instructor, personalized learning plans, and ongoing progress monitoring.

The average pricing of Mathnasium is as below:

ServiceAverage cost
Evaluation and enrollment fees$100 – $150
Cost per session$25 – $75
Cost per month$250 – $400
Summer programs (8 sessions to unlimited)$395 – $1,000
Mathnasium pricing

Source: Mathnasium

*Pricing info retrieved from the Mathnasium website in November 2023 

Evaluating Mathnasium: Pros vs Cons

Pros Cons 
Personalized Instruction: Mathnasium’s program is customized to each student’s individual needs and learning style, so students receive personalized instruction and support that can help them improve their math skills.Limited Subjects: Mathnasium doesn’t teach any other subject except maths. So it may not be suitable for some of the students.
Comprehensive Curriculum: The Mathnasium covers a wide range of math topics across all grade levels, from arithmetic to calculus, so students can build a strong foundation in math and develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.No one-on-one tutoring: Students may grow more if they have one-on-one sessions with their instructors. But Mathnasium doesn’t provide one-on-one tutoring.
Focus on Mastery: Mathnasium’s program emphasizes mastery of key mathematical concepts, rather than just memorization or rote learning. This can help students develop strong problem-solving skills and build confidence in their math abilities.Frequent change of tutors: Students work with different tutors rather than the same one each week as the tutors keep on changing frequently.
Flexible Scheduling: Mathnasium offers flexible scheduling, with sessions available during after-school hours and on weekends. This can make it easier for students to fit math tutoring into their busy schedules.
Ongoing Support: Mathnasium provides ongoing support to students, with regular progress monitoring and assessments to ensure that students are making progress and achieving their goals.
Certified Instructors: Mathnasium’s instructors are trained and certified in the Mathnasium Method, which emphasizes teaching math in a way that is easy to understand and engaging for students.
Pros and Cons of Mathnasium

Sylvan vs Mathnasium: which one is the right fit for your child?

Sylvan Learning Center and Mathnasium are two of the leading tutoring platforms for kids, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. The main difference between Sylvan and Mathnasium is that Sylvan offers a variety of programs, including standardized test prep, while Mathnasium focuses on math tutoring only.

Both Sylvan and Mathnasium are excellent platforms for kids, but the best choice depends on your child’s specific needs and preferences.

Sylvan offers a personalized learning plan for each student and uses certified teachers for tutoring. They offer tutoring in a wide range of subjects, including math, reading, writing, test prep, and more. Sylvan also offers both in-person and online tutoring options, which provides flexibility for families.

Mathnasium, on the other hand, specializes in math tutoring. They use a unique teaching method called the Mathnasium Method, which is designed to help students understand math concepts more deeply and boost their confidence in math. Mathnasium offers in-center and online tutoring options.

Here are some additional pointers that may help you decide between Sylvan and Mathnasium:

  • Subject Matter: If your child needs help specifically with math, Mathnasium’s specialized approach may be beneficial. If your child needs help in a variety of subjects, Sylvan’s wide range of tutoring options might be a better fit.
  • Learning Style: Consider your child’s learning style. Some kids might benefit from Sylvan’s personalized learning plans, while others might thrive with Mathnasium’s specialized math instruction.
  • Location and Scheduling: Consider the location of the tutoring centers and the scheduling options. Both Sylvan and Mathnasium offer in-person and online tutoring, so you can choose the option that best fits your family’s schedule.

Sylvan vs Mathnasium cost 

Although the pricing of both the programs varies by location but here is an overview of the Sylvan vs Mathnasium cost comparison.

Sylvan Learning Center Mathnasium
Personalized tutoring: $40 – $100 per hourEvaluation and enrollment fees: $100 – $150
Academic coaching: $290 per month and upCost per session: $25 – $75
Advancement classes and camps: $290 per month and upCost per month: $250 – $400
Summer programs (8 sessions to unlimited): $395 – $1,000
Sylvan vs Mathnasium pricing

Why should you consider Wiingy for 1-on-1 online tutoring?

In the comparison of Sylvan vs Mathnasium, most of the time people get confused and are not able to make a decision. Well, both are great options for students who want to learn math but both of them may get expensive for some people. However, before deciding on a tutoring service for yourself or your child, there is another better and affordable option to consider Wiingy.


The Wiingy platform offers 1-on-1 online tutoring to school, college, and adult students through its network of 1,000+ expert-vetted tutors for coding, math, science, computer science, AP, and 100+ subjects.  

Over 20,000 students have used Wiingy for private tutoring, homework help, assignment help, language learning, homeschool tutoring, and test prep. Students and parents have consistently rated the Wiingy experience as 4.8 out of 5. 

Unlike tutor marketplaces, each Wiingy tutor is vetted individually and undergoes an extensive assessment that includes interviews, mock lessons, and coding tests. 

Less than 3% of applicants are selected to become tutors on Wiingy’s platform. This means that you work only with top verified, qualified, and experienced tutors

An experienced tutor will be able to create a structured lesson plan customized to your pace and learning style. You will also get access to study materials, notes, practice materials, and exam strategies to help accelerate your learning. 

We know that sometimes you don’t want to pay for private tutoring because it is too expensive. Tutoring costs anywhere from $100 to $150 per hour which isn’t reasonable at all.

However, Wiingy’s rates are affordable, starting from just $28 per hour, much lower than the average tutoring offered by other platforms.

We don’t require you to sign up for packages or subscriptions, so you can pay for lessons as you need them. We also offer a free trial lesson so you can try out our service before you commit

While we try to match you with the perfect tutor per your needs, we understand that sometimes, even the best tutors might not be the right fit for you. 

This is why we offer you the Perfect Match Guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your tutor for any reason, you can request a replacement tutor at no additional cost.

Lastly, if you do not wish to continue our services, we offer you a no-questions-asked full refund for your unused lessons with us. 

In addition, we have 24/7 instant support from a personal student success advisor. You can contact your advisor via chat or phone if you have any questions, whether it’s about your lessons, your tutor, payments, or if you are looking to explore any other subject.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better Sylvan or Mathnasium?

Both Mathnasium and Sylvan are after-school programs that provide supplemental math instruction to students. However, there are some key differences between the two programs. Mathnasium focuses on individualized instruction, while Sylvan offers a more traditional classroom setting. Mathnasium also has a stronger focus on problem-solving and critical thinking, while Sylvan’s curriculum is more focused on rote memorization.

Does Sylvan help with reading?

Yes, Sylvan helps with reading along with math and writing. Even the growth rate is very high for the students in Sylvan who are getting help in reading. So if you want help for your child in reading, Sylvan is a good option for you to consider.

Is Mathnasium good for kids?

Mathnasium has been a reputed brand for over 40 years. They provide personalized plans for learning math which makes it an expert when it comes to math. Mathnasium also helps with homework and assignments as per the needs of the student. So it’s definitely a great option for kids who want to learn math.

How often do kids go to Mathnasium?

It depends on the plan you purchase and every plan is different. However, it is recommended that the students must visit the Mathnasium center at least 2 to 3 times a week for better results.

Is Mathnasium worth it?

The value of Mathnasium depends on various factors, including your child’s individual needs and learning style. Here are some points to consider:

Personalized Approach: Mathnasium offers personalized instruction tailored to each student’s skill level and learning gaps. This targeted approach can be beneficial for students who require focused attention and customized learning plans.
Qualified Instructors: Mathnasium employs trained instructors who specialize in math education. They can provide guidance, support, and explanations to help students grasp challenging math concepts.
Structured Curriculum: Mathnasium follows a structured curriculum designed to build a strong foundation in math. This systematic approach can help students progress through different topics and ensure comprehensive learning.
Convenient Locations: Mathnasium centers are available in various locations, offering convenience for parents and students seeking in-person tutoring.
However, it’s important to note that Mathnasium is a paid service, and the cost can vary depending on factors like location and duration of enrollment. Additionally, some students may thrive in different learning environments or prefer one-on-one attention.
If you’re considering alternative options or personalized online tutoring, Wiingy tutoring offers a comprehensive platform with highly qualified tutors in math and other subjects. Their tutors provide individualized attention and cater to the specific learning needs of your child. Visit Wiingy’s website to explore their tutoring services and find the best fit for your child’s educational journey.
Explore Wiingy tutoring for personalized and effective online tutoring tailored to your child’s needs.

What are some programs like Sylvan?

There are a number of Sylvan-like programs available, including Kumon, Huntington Learning Center,Wiingy and MathWorks. These programs all offer supplemental math instruction to students, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

What is the cancellation policy of Sylvan?

Sylvan offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all new memberships. If you are not satisfied with the program within 30 days, you can cancel your membership and receive a full refund.

Is Sylvan good for kindergarten?

Sylvan can be a good option for kindergarten students who are struggling with math. The program’s individualized instruction can help students catch up and master the basics of math.

What is better than Sylvan?

While Sylvan is a well-known tutoring service with a long-standing reputation, there may be other alternatives that offer different advantages. There are a number of programs that you can consider, including Mathnasium, Kumon, Wiingy and Huntington Learning Center. These programs offer more individualized instruction, a stronger focus on problem-solving and critical thinking, and a more flexible curriculum.
Wiingy tutoring, for example, provides personalized online tutoring with highly qualified tutors who tailor their approach to each student. Wiingy offers convenience, flexibility, and a wide range of subjects, catering to the specific learning needs of students.

Is Mathnasium better than Khan Academy?

Both Mathnasium and Khan Academy offer valuable resources for math education, but they have different approaches and advantages. Here’s a neutral comparison:
Personalized Approach: Mathnasium provides personalized instruction tailored to each student’s needs, focusing on filling knowledge gaps and building a strong foundation in math.
In-Person Learning: Mathnasium offers in-person tutoring at their centers, providing face-to-face interaction with instructors.
Structured Curriculum: Mathnasium follows a structured curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of math topics.
Khan Academy:
Extensive Online Resources: Khan Academy offers a vast library of online videos, exercises, and educational materials covering various math topics and other subjects.
Self-Paced Learning: Khan Academy allows students to learn at their own pace, providing the flexibility to focus on specific topics or progress through a comprehensive curriculum.
Free Accessibility: Khan Academy’s resources are available for free, making them accessible to a wide range of learners.
While Mathnasium offers personalized instruction and in-person learning, Khan Academy provides extensive online resources and self-paced learning options at no cost.
If you’re seeking personalized online tutoring, Wiingy is an excellent choice. Wiingy offers highly qualified tutors who provide individualized attention and customized learning plans. With Wiingy, students can receive personalized online tutoring in math and various other subjects, tailored to their specific needs and learning style. Visit Wiingy’s website to explore their tutoring services and find the best fit for your educational journey.

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