If you get anxious when faced with the prospect of solving a mathematical equation, converting miles to kilometres, or even balancing your bank statement, you’re not alone. Many people feel uncomfortable working with numbers — and it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

Daily life is challenging if not impossible for the individual who is not conversant with math. “Innumeracy comes at a high price to our society,” wrote Mark Chu-Carroll, a software engineer who used to work at Google and now works at Spotify. “When people can’t understand math, that means that they’re going to be making all sorts of important decisions based on something even worse than ignorance. They don’t just lack knowledge of the relevant facts that affect their decision, they lack the ability to even acquire the knowledge that they need to be able to make the decision.”

Mathematics is also essential to developing young brains, according to experts. “Math is the language of logic. It builds reasoning, which leads to comprehension. Developing a mentally organized way of thinking is critical,” says Dr. Jackie Chen, a professor of Child Development at the Erikson Institute in Chicago. “We need to provide high-quality math education at an early age.”

The Ontario government recently designated $60 million dollars to increase mathematical instruction time in the province’s elementary schools. While initiatives such as these represent a step in the right direction, they aren’t enough to make all students proficient in math.

For that reason, a growing number of parents are sending their kids to Mathnasium, which provides customized learning plans to help students feel comfortable working with numbers and excel at it. The educational franchise has grown from one to more than 800 locations across the globe since it launched in 2002.

Its instructors adhere to the patented “Mathnasium Methodology,” which offers a unique combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile, and written techniques to help children understand math. This approach is unique in that it first determines where the individual student is lacking math knowledge and then works to address those gaps. One branch of mathematics tends to build on another, so, for example, a gap in algebra comprehension could result in later struggles to understand geometry.

Also at Mathnasium, students develop the ability to appreciate the size and scale of numbers, to understand what they mean, in the context of the question at hand. This methodology, Number Sense, includes three elements: counting, wholes and parts, and proportional thinking.

“When kids can’t do math, they feel stupid. The damage is incalculable,” Mathnasium founder Larry Martinek told Forbes. “But take a child who thinks she absolutely won’t ever be good at math, show that child that she can actually triumph in math, and that child is reborn.”

Martinek encourages parents whose children are struggling in math to visit the Mathnasium website and look for the nearest learning centre.