Why is Abacus a Superior Way to Teach Math?

Posted by Summer Centrone on October 13, 2023

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The abacus is often considered a valuable tool for teaching math, especially to young children, for several reasons. Aside from enhancing a young child's mathematical abilities, it offers unique advantages to your child's learning potenital.  Unfortunately, with it not being used in most school curriculum, it has become less and less used for students.

At Genie Academy, we believe that the abacus is an essential tool to developing a young child’s math skills. Using this tool allows them to form a foundation from which they can build upon as they grow in their learning journey. Following are some more reasons why the abacus is beneficial to your child's academic success. 

Concrete Representation

The abacus provides a concrete, tactile representation of mathematical concepts. Young learners can physically move the beads to perform calculations, which helps them to be able to grasp abstract mathematical concepts more easily. The repetitive motion of moving the beads on the abacus to solve math problems, teaches the student these concepts in a more tangible way. This hands-on approach can be especially useful for visual and kinesthetic learners.

Visual Aid

It also offers a visual representation of numbers and mathematical operations. This visual aid can help students understand and remember math concepts better. It can be particularly effective for teaching place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Young children being taught how to use the abacus only means that performing these skills will be that much easier for them as they advance in school. 

Mental Math Skills

Using an abacus encourages the development of mental math skills. As students become proficient with the abacus, they often transition to mental calculations, which improves their arithmetic abilities. This mental math skill can be advantageous throughout one's life. It’s so much easier to pick up a calculator, but teaching children how to use an abacus will not only challenge them, but allow them to be superior in their math skills for years to come. Below Justin shows you how the abacus enhances his math and problem solving skills.

Cultivates Number Sense

The abacus helps to acquire number sense in a child. This is the ability to understand the relationships between different numbers. Students will learn to recognize number patterns and make connections between all kinds of mathematical operations, enhancing their overall mathematical knowledge. 

Multisensory Learning

An advantage to using the abacus to teach your child math skills, is that it engages multiple senses, including touch and sight. Multisensory learning is known to enhance comprehension and retention, making the abacus a constructive tool for teaching math to students with various learning styles. One method of learning may work for one student, and not work for another, so it’s important to explore the options available, such as the abacus.

Improved Concentration and Focus

Using an abacus requires concentration and focus, which can be beneficial for developing essential cognitive skills. When completing a math problem, it is necessary to be immersed in the abacus in front of you, because it is the tool to find the correct answer. Over time, while students advance in learning abacus concepts, they tend to be more attentive in their work. The abacus teaches students to pay attention to detail and stay engaged in their learning.

Cultural Significance

A unique quality of the abacus is its rich cultural and historical significance in various parts of the world, such as Asia. Introducing students to the abacus can provide them with insights into different cultures and their mathematical traditions. In an ever-changing world, it is important to educate students on the different cultures that exist and how our world has evolved over time, in learning and in daily life. 

It's important to note that the effectiveness of the abacus as a teaching tool may vary depending on the individual student and the specific learning methods that they respond to. Modern technology and teaching methods have their own advantages, but the abacus brings a special historical and cultural element to the classroom that every child should experience. At the end of the day, the choice of teaching tools and methods should be based on the specific needs and learning styles of your child, and your goals for their mathematical skills. 

Here at Genie Academy, we believe that the use of the abacus at a young age builds an exceptional foundation for your child’s academic growth throughout their lives. Sign up today for a free abacus math class! 

Topics: Mental Math, Math Tutoring, Abacus Math

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