07 Jun Abacus – beyond Mathematical abilities
Children all over the world seem to be developing shorter attention spans and this would definitely impact the way they approach learning in the long run. As parents we can employ a lot of methods for improving memory and concentration skills which would be beneficial for our children.
Starting with games of listening at a young age, and moving to mental puzzles and story telling sessions as they grow older, we can start off this process even at home. As the child grows older, one of the most effective ways to go about this would be using the tehnique of Abacus that uses mental math to achieve this improvement. Helping our children to develop their listening and focusing skills by using mental math techniques would be a great starting point for improving their overall performance too.
The proponents of Abacus emphasize that this technique uses the right brain as well as the left brain skills, and therefore contributes to overall mental development too. The teaching method involves first using a physical abacus to carry out the mathematical calculations, and as the student starts getting adept at it, the abacus is no longer used, but instead pictured in the mind. Since all the steps from taking in the question to the calculation involves no pen and paper or any other aids, but is only done mentally, the concentration skills are really honed very well.
It is believed that the ideal time for such a program is between the age of 5 and 12 years as the brain is developed enough to start understanding the concepts, but is still being imprinted with new knowledge much more easily than we as adults can learn. Most Abacus training academies take in children at these ages, though some may start a little earlier at 4 years too.
The visualization of the abacus brings with it an enhanced creativity due to the practice of picturing solutions in the mind so well. With an improvement in the speed of their dealing with mathematical problems will also come an increased confidence and self-esteem, and this would lead to an overall interest in all subjects and not just related to fast math.
Check out our website for detailed insights into our Mental Math program http://www.aloha-usa.com/arithmetic.html