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What is mental arithmetic?

This unique method allows children’s intellectual and creative abilities to develop in a balanced way, helping them to reach their full intellectual and creative potential.

It is well known that learning new things stimulates brain activity. The more we give our brain a workout, the more actively the neurones that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain work. And, as a result, what once seemed hard or even impossible becomes simple and understandable.

Research has shown that a child’s brain undergoes its most intense development between the ages of 4 and 12. The skills obtained at this age are easy to master and remain for years, and can therefore affect your child’s future success.

Mental arithmetic lessons are not only good for a child’s development, they also give the child access to a host of new ideas during the learning process, and provide the chance to make new friends.

So how do we teach mental arithmetic?

At the beginning of the course an abacus (or counting frame) is used. Later on, children will mentally visualise an abacus to do calculations in their head. The positive effect of mental arithmetic has been proven in several international studies.

In 2007 some British universities carried out research involving 3185 children aged 7 to 11 (Lynn R. & Irwing P. (2008) - Effects of Abacus training on the intelligence of Sudanese children. // Personality and Individual Differences. November 2008, pages 694-696). Regular practice using an abacus was shown to be effective, revealing improvement not only in maths but in other subjects as well.

Research into the effect of mental arithmetic on children’s memory carried out in China (Min-Sheng Chen, Chan-Tzu Wang (2011) - Effect of mental abacus training on working memory for children // Journal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers 09/2011; 28 (6): 450-457) demonstrated a significant improvement in visual memory among participants.

Finally, 50 children aged 5 to 12 took part in research in India in 2002-2004 (Bhaskaran M., Senottaiyan A., (2006) Evaluation of memory in abacus learners. Indian J Physiol. Pharmacol., 50 (3), 225-233). A mental arithmetic course improved the children’s visual and auditory memory, concentration and focus.

Mental arithmetic therefore facilitates:

  • The development of interaction between the right and left sides of the brain.
  • Improved academic performance and creativity.
  • Increased confidence and self-esteem.
  • Improved focus and concentration.
  • An enhanced ability to learn foreign languages.

The key advantages of the Abakus mental arithmetic lessons are the frequent use of videos and brain teasers to develop children’s attention and creativity and the combination of group and individual exercises to ensure both hemispheres of the brain are fully stimulated.

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