Abacus Develops Whole Brain
PO Box 0870
Fairfax VA 22038-0870
August 3, 2006
Fairfax, VA-A growing number of American educators and concerned
parents are looking for ways to help children develop the math
skills necessary to succeed in the careers of the future.
In Asia, many schools have rediscovered the secrets of the abacus,
an ancient calculating device that offers remarkable benefits for
nurturing young minds and encouraging proficiency in mathematics
and mental calculation. With abacus instruction, children can achieve
much more than just excellent math skills. Abacus use can build
confidence, provide a sense of achievement, promote intuitive thinking,
enhance problem-solving capability, stimulate creativity and improve
concentration and mental endurance.
Educators in Asia say abacus skills are a key reason children
in these countries consistently win top rankings in international
math comparisons. Many schools in Asia, where abacus instruction
is widely popular for teaching mental math/arithmetic, introduce
the abacus between kindergarten and 4th grade.
U.S. Student Math Performance Lags Behind Asia
In 2003, U.S. performance in mathematics literacy and problem
solving was lower than average among OECD (Organization for Education
and Cooperative Development) countries. Korea and Japan ranked
at or near the top in problem solving and combined math literacy.
In the United States, abacus instruction is catching in some schools
as well as among parents who home-school their children.
They realize that math proficiency gives students a competitive
edge and prepares them for tomorrow's highly selective job marketplace.
Most new jobs in the U.S. require good math and science skills,
and abacus instruction is geared to helping children master mental
math/arithmetic at an early age.
Abacus training also keeps children from becoming overly dependent
on electronic calculating tools for simple arithmetic - a problem
that worries teachers.
The abacus is an excellent substitute for rote memorization of
multiplication tables. Abacus calculation relies on the manipulation
of beads rather than use of traditional arithmetic. It teaches
children to visualize numbers and their relationships and placement
Abacus Stimulates Whole Brain Development
When children use both hands to move the abacus beads to perform
arithmetic calculations, there is quick communication between the
hands and the brain that stimulates both the right and left hemispheres
of the brain. This promotes rapid, balanced whole brain development.
If a child starts learning the abacus before being taught traditional
arithmetic, there is minimal conflict and the child will easily
work within both systems. If a child starts the program later,
having already received traditional foundations, there may be a
slightly extended learning period for the child to accept and integrate
the abacus method.
A popular abacus program is available through Fairfax, Virginia-based
NurtureMinds.com, which offers books containing simple step-by-step
instructions that make learning the abacus fun for children. This
set of books, Learning Mathematics with the Abacus, was developed
specifically for teaching youngsters in grades 2, 3 and 4 how to
master mental math/arithmetic with the abacus. The site also offers
the Japanese Soroban abacus, which consists of a wooden frame divided
into 2 parts separated by a beam, with one row of beads on the
upper deck, and four rows on the lower deck.
Japanese Educators Hail Abacus Training
In Japan, educators maintain that the abacus helps children develop
powers of mental calculation.
It enables children to:
- understand the base-ten number system and place values,
- understand concepts of carrying and borrowing in arithmetic,
- visualize close relations between numbers and numerals.
Learning Mathematics with the Abacus is available in the United
States exclusively through NurtureMinds.com. Beginners use the
Learning Mathematics with the Abacus Year 1 textbook and activity
book to start adding and subtracting numbers up to 100. They start
by identifying the different parts of the abacus, holding and using
it correctly, mastering the correct fingering technique in moving
the beads, and learning to visualize as they calculate.
Learning Mathematics with the Abacus Year 2 focuses on addition
and subtraction of numbers up to 1,000, and develops multiplication
and division skills.
Activities in these books have been carefully designed and structured
by a panel of academicians, curriculum specialists and instructional
designers to ensure that pupils not only learn mathematics effectively,
but also develop the ability to perform mental calculations.
These books are used by tens of thousands of students in Malaysia
and many other nations, where they are regarded as the best abacus
learning books for children on the market. Parents and educators
can visit the NutureMinds.com website to find out more about why
these books are becoming increasingly popular in many places like
Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,
India, Singapore and elsewhere. They have become valuable abacus
teaching tools in schools, tuition centers and community centers,
and are used by home-schooling parents around the world. The website
offers free downloads from the books.
For additional information on the abacus instruction program,
please visit the website or write to the address above.