Among many other academic subjects at school, mathematics is generally the most difficult to deal for students. Of course, there are many who could easily master it but the ones who could not find it interesting may end up being a numerical mess. To maintain their academic performances, abacus maths learning may help your kids excellently.
You may remember your school days too when you had to confront your fear of mathematics. Well, you will never want your kids should fear anything especially the subjects they learn. Rather you need to put in efforts that could induce their interest in learning. The benefits of abacus learning are not unknown now yet there may be many parents who’re unaware of this interesting concept. It could help your kids with easy calculations within a few minutes that too, without any material aid. Imagine them calculating great figures without calculators!
What is Abacus?
Abacus is the oldest device that was used for arithmetic calculations in the era before written numeric system. It is known to be invented 500 years ago. Around 1300 A.D. it was brought to use in various Asian countries. Overall these years of its invention, the abacus is still used in countries like Russia, China, Africa and India. It is even entitled as the ‘first computer’.
It is composed of rods, beads and a frame. Each row represents a different place value. The beads can be moved along the rods and represent numbers. Abacus has been considered as the fastest way of calculation that involves large numbers. Learning abacus would make mathematics meaningful and fun for kids.
Math Makes Sense with Abacus
There had been various studies that initiate abacus for kids. A major reason behind this is that abacus would make math meaningful for them. They will be able to understand what exactly they are doing and how did they get the answers. Young children find it difficult to understand abstract concepts. Therefore, textbook learning would not be enough to teach them important concepts of mathematics that may be a part of their academic syllabus.
Until the age of 9 or 10, they will be entirely dependent on memorization of abstract concepts until they have a concrete, physical example before them to clarify their doubts. However, learning abacus will let the children develop a much better understanding of what they are doing and attain excellent calculation skills since numbers and math would then be meaningful for them. Because numbers would turn to be a concrete idea for them they would be able to solve problems with confidence. They will not only find the right answers but also know the reason behind that.
The right age of learning abacus for kids
The most appropriate age for abacus learning would be 4 years. It is something that would be the earlier, the better. Since 4 to 14 is the peak age for brain development, these courses are open for children of this age group. Abacus training at a tender age helps in the full-fledged development of the brain. However, there are different types of abacus training for which you can enrol your children accordingly.
• Abacus for brain development: abacus learning at very early age induces brain development and the imagination of children. Training at a tender age helps kids to attain the abilities to solve arithmetic and other academic problems very easily.
• Abacus for calculation skills: Weak knowledge base does not allow children to solve problems and this is one of the major reasons for high school children hating math. Abacus learning at elementary age would, therefore, help in improving their skills in solving arithmetic problems. It will also improve their learning skills and academic performance altogether.
Benefits of Abacus Learning
Abacus maths has been already identified as one of the best means for developing the mental capabilities of children and this is just enough, a reason to enrol your kids for the same. However, if you’re still not satisfied, there could still be a lot more benefits to list down.
1. Build a concrete foundation for mathematics
Not every student has the same interests. Mathematics could, therefore, be a burden to many. Learning abacus in the formative age will let them have a better understanding of abstract concepts of math with the help of concrete examples, subsequently helping in problem-solving. Practising problem-solving on the beads help in improving the hand and eye coordination for kids; resulting in faster and accurate problem-solving. With continuous practice on the abacus, children are then able to develop an image of the abacus in their mind and easily perform mental math.
2. Development of the right brain
The development of the right brain is essential for human intelligence. The right brain is responsible for attributes like recognizing colours, images, faces, music and reading emotions. The right hemisphere of the brain is also known to control intuitions and creativity. Therefore, it is important to take up activities that help in the development of the right brain of children along with the left brain. By inducing the development of the right brain, abacus learning also improves visualization, photographic memory, imagination and creativity.
3. Enhance confidence in calculations
Just as you can rely on the calculations done by a calculator, you could be pretty sure and trust the calculations of a person who knows abacus. Learning abacus will let your children solve arithmetic problems and do calculations without any tools. They could certainly feel more confident about their calculation skills and bring up correct solutions always. Unlike a calculator doesn’t need to be carried to places since they would be able to make out the image of an abacus in their minds after continuous practice.
4. Improves Logical Understanding
With abacus maths learning children develop the ability to imagine an abacus in their mind and attain improved ability to perform mental calculations. With triggered logic, they can know the correct movement of beads for solving the math problem that is presented before them. Also, repeated practice of the same improves their logical skills in day-to-day life.
5. Improves Proficiency
Learning abacus lets children improve their proficiency in arithmetic to great levels. The problem-solving speed and accuracy has been evident and left people astonished when young kids solved problems that include large numbers. These courses could help in attaining proficiency that matches the level of a calculator. However, this comparison would be unworthy since the student performing these calculations is not an electronic device but a human.
6. Improves Concentration
There had been several studies at schools that showed considerable improvement in concentration levels of students who have taken abacus training. This may be an important factor that allows them to solve problems with such speed. The concentration here is not just referred to while problem-solving but also while doing any other tasks.
7. Patience and Endurance
In the highly competitive world that surrounds not only adults but also the students, patience and endurance are some of the most important qualities that may be required by a person. Students are continually under pressure to perform well enough as per the expectations of their teachers and parents. Learning such skills will let them be confident about their performance and keep their mind calm and stable. The activities in the present are likely to show up the results tomorrow. These training will act as little supportive elements in the long run for success.
8. Improves memory and visualization
As per studies, the auditory and visual memory of abacus learning children is known to be stronger than non-abacus learners. Also, it had been proved that abacus learning can improve visualization capabilities which are important not only for the problem but for various other fields of study and life. Since abacus learning includes a lot of visual understanding, its practice can help children grab and learn easily whatever they see. They find it way easier to memorize visual elaborations than other students who haven’t taken abacus training.
9. Problem Solving Skills
Learning abacus not only helps in improving speed while solving arithmetic problems but also induces these skills when it comes to life. These children are more logical and faster in coming up with better suggestions as compared to other traditional students. This training allows them to develop confidence about whatever they are doing and easily come ups with the correct solutions. Learning abacus would, therefore, be useful for them to become confident enough.
10. Enhanced Creativity
Creativity is one of the most valued attributes in the prevailing world that is highly competitive. It is one of the most important qualities needed to be successful. While you are trying to induce creativity of your kid, this could be a great effort for attaining positive results for the same. Abacus learning helps in the growth of the right brain which is responsible for creativity.
11. Greater reasoning power
Whether you consider academics or life, reasoning skills are also very important. Often parents enrol their kids for special reason classes ignoring the fact that such training can easily bring up these skills altogether. Abacus learning helps to greatly improve reasoning skills of children.
12. Attentive Observation
Not everyone is perfect with observations; also, this is an important attribute that parents had been focusing on improving for their children. It has been observed that kids who have learned abacus maths are more attentive in class. Not only this, they are attentive and more observant in whatever they do and whoever they deal with.
13. Enhance academic performance
The fact is quite understandable that when kids will be able to perform better in all their subjects they would be able to attain a better academic position. Mathematics is the subject that students generally find to be difficult, improving their confidence and performance in it will certainly change the image of their academic report.
14. Enhances lifetime skills
Abacus training helps in improving and acquiring many skills at a time. These skills are probably important and will work well enough to let them lead lives and make a better place in the world as confident and talented individuals.
The futuristic approach
While still learning abacus, your kids may be too young to make the best out of this knowledge. However, the actual benefits of this course or training may be noticeable as they reach to higher classes and face life as grown-up individuals. There are going to be times when they would be required to solve greater problems involving complex calculations. This is when this learning would actually make sense, getting them the right answers and good grades.
Students with abacus training are likely to solve word problems, geometry and ratios very easily with respect to other students. This training will prove to be a great academic aid to your kids along with textbook learning and general math practices. They will be able to acquire skills at a very small age and these skills will be with them for the rest of their lives.
How to learn Abacus at home?
You may already know how difficult it could be to clarify basic mathematics to your little learners if you have ever tried to teach them at home. Younger kids usually run low with concentration and making them learn the concepts of addition and subtraction within this short span may turn out to be a mess. Learning with an abacus could rather make it easy and also grab interest from children.
Simple Methods to use Abacus for kids
The most important thing that you will have to teach your children is how to use the abacus. You may either get the one that uses multicolour beads or the other one that has the same colour beads. Make sure you clarify the concept of abacus before the kids run into more complex problems like addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Adopting the right sequence for doing things will let learning go on smoothly in the right direction. The below-mentioned methods would certainly be of great help:
1. Match My Move Method
• Put all the beads on the abacus on the same row to make a start point. Ensure that beads in each row are on the same side.
• Start off from the top row; put a few beads on the alternative side of the abacus frame.
• Do the same with beads on the other row and ask your kids to follow you. Make sure that they move the exact number of beads you did, in the same direction you moved the beads in the row above.
• Now move a few more beads in the next row and again ask your kid to follow the same. Your kid will have to carefully follow the same in the row below.
• Be sure that you are slow enough so that your kid can watch and understand.
• If your kid is too young, consider counting the number of beads as you move them.
• It is suggestible to opt for different bead moving patterns, for instance, one bead, two beads, three beads and so on. This will keep a check on the level of complexity as you shift to a different row.
2. Counting Game Method
• Move a few beads to the other side starting from the first row. Make sure that you do it well enough to keep up space between the separated beads.
• Now ask your kid to count the number of beads you moved and move the same number of beads. Further, ask them to count the beads that were left behind.
• Ask them to count both sides of beads and tell how many beads are there in total.
3. Teaching money with abacus
• Arrange one rupee, five rupee coin, ten rupee, twenty rupee, 50 and 100 rupee notes on the display.
• Now part ten rows into halves.
• Set the value of 100 beads equal to 100 rupees. Thus the value of one bead now would be one rupee.
• Now, show them a one rupee coin and tell one bead on the abacus is equal to that. Then a two rupee coin and two beads that equals it. Similarly, show up different sets of beads for different monetary value.
• Once kids understand this, you can shift the value of one bead to 10 rupees and tell them the concept of 1000 rupees.
Both the above-mentioned methods would be perfect to teach your children the basic concept of numbers and abacus. Within least time, with proper practice, they would be able to know and learn the right use of abacus without being overwhelmed and messed up with a new learning device. This could also be a great way to teach your children easily, the concepts of addition and subtraction.
The human brain is equipped with similar intelligence for all however, the external environment is greatly determinant in its complete development which creates the difference in abilities of different individuals. Learning abacus for kids could be highly beneficial, letting them attain the best values and skills of a lifetime.