Elena Yakubovskaya

About me

Teaching Math is my hobby. I am actually a molecular biologist. I graduated from the Moscow State University, have a PhD in chemistry, and my current research interests are enzymology, biophysics and structural biology.

I have been always interested how children’s aptitude does appear. What is the most optimal time to start developing child’s talent to help them master a new knowledge gladly and enthusiastically. I’ve started thinking about those questions in 1987-1995 when I was a teacher in the Chimera summer school. We had a wonderful and remarkable team of MSU professors and students teaching gifted children, gathered together from a whole Russia.

I want very much my own children to be like those I taught in Chimera. Therefore I have studied Montessori and Doman's methods, have taken a course of Children's early gifts developing program ('Zaitsev's course'). I also worked as a volunteer teacher in Waldorf School in 1998-1999 years. I have applied some elements of all these methodics in the Children Enrichment program for 3-5 years old, which I have organized in Moscow in 2001-2003. At the end of 2003, when I moved to Long Island, I started Mathematics club for my sons and their new friends.

In SchoolNova I teach a Math for children 5-8 years old.

What means ‘Mathematics’ for so young kids? It is not only arithmetic, although traditional school is generally focused on it. Conversely, Math for kids means mostly not arithmetic (i.e. a habituation of counting skills), but a development of their intellectual and creative abilities in a very broad range. (Interestingly, kids’ ability to calculate appears spontaneously during these courses, as a ‘byproduct’ of the main educational process).

Like a vast majority of pedagogues, I am convinced that every child is gifted, so my task is to recognize talent in my every student and to develop it. Children between age 4 and 7 are remarkable with their unique mentality, which is absolutely non-trivial and free from stereotypes. It is unbelievable, how many things these children can do and how avidly they swallow new knowledge.

During every lesson we train memory and attention, invent and solve various tasks, develop logical thinking and abilities to prove the validity of our conclusions. Topology and graph theory, fractions and equations, probability and set theory do not scare us, because we do not study them. We play them, and that is very interesting.

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