|1. ||What is "abacus"?|
| ||Abacus is the oldest computer surviving more than 2,000 years. Until now, abacus remains a favorite math tool in the digital age. The unplugged (non-electrical) bead-based calculator is prosperous as a complement of modern computer and is now widely recognized as a mean for effective math learning and mental development in early childhood.|
|2. ||What is "abacus math"?|
| ||The "abacus math" is an arithmetic method based on the principles of abacus calculation.|
|3. ||What is "abacus mental math"?|
| ||After one is working on an abacus for a while, a virtual picture of the abacus is formed in mind. One can use the ?virtual abacus? to perform calculations. It is not unusual for a person to handle a series of 5 or more digits numbers in +, -, x, or / operations at highly accelerated speed using the abacus mental math method.|
|4. ||Why are you so emphatic in getting young children to learn abacus?|
It has been discovered that human intelligence is largely determined by external environment, not just set by the genes. Everyone was born with an immature brain and has a long childhood for brain development. By the age of 10, the human brain can be 99% developed. Everyone has a chance to maximize the intelligence as long as the right learning experience was supplied during the prime times of the brain development. Remember, timing is crucial! Once the prime times have passed, opportunities for forging certain types of neural pathways appear to diminish substantially.
According to H. Gardner, "Intelligence refers to the human ability to solve problems or to make something that is valued in one or more cultures." Abacus math establishes a clear logic concept of numbering for small children. The abacus mental picture training will increase memory power and sharpen mental formation for a child. The speed training enables the child to gain better reflexes. In addition, the speed hearing training encourages the child to give full attention to study by listening more attentively and effectively. Using an abacus requires coordination of the main nerves of a human body for eyes, ears, and fingers. Constant practicing on an abacus provides stimulations that is social responsive and intellectually congruent for growth of brain cells. Studies of brain have learned that the longer the exposure to the right kind of stimulations, the more the brain grows. The outcome for the abacus math program is brighter kids.
|5. ||What ages are suitable for this abacus math program?|
| ||It depends on the purpose of the pupil. If the purpose is to promote the IQ effect by nourishing the rapidly growing neurons before the prime times end, it is better to start abacus learning at a young age that is around 10 years old or earlier. Anyone who can count from 1 to 10 and backward should be qualified for taking the abacus math program. The earliest age to start the abacus math is normally about 5 years old. Relative older people start to learn abacus normally can achieve at an advanced level in a short time and enjoy the lifelong benefit. |
|6. ||How can the abacus mental math help the school work?|
| ||Most of young children started to learn "numbers" by counting their fingers. It is difficult for them to comprehend numeric relationships beyond the number 10 for lack of countable objects. Using regular math, children can use nothing but limited memory and brain power to solve arithmetic problems. Abacus presents multi-digit numeric relationships in a concrete bead-based system. Using an abacus, young children can relate number values and comprehend the concepts of mathematics easily. Therefore, the abacus math is far more superior to regular math that is presented to children in an abstract form. |
Abacus math establishes numeric relations in a clear and logical way for small children. The abacus mental picture training will elevate memory power and improve concentration of a child. The speed training enables the child to respond to questions promptly. In addition, the speed hearing training encourages the child to dedicate full attention to study by listening more attentively and effectively. Ultimately, the abacus training will make the learner more confident and interested in school works, both curricular and extra-curricular. His/Her creativity and ability to analyze problems will be improved considerably.
Arithmetic skill can be trained in different ways. However, resolving a mathematical problem quickly and accurately is not always accomplished by every child. The abacus math program complements and supplements the arithmetic approaches adopted in schools, and helps students to overcome the fears of mathematics, if any, and gain confidence.
Evidence shows that those who have taken the abacus math program would have the following advantages:
Outcome of the abacus math program will also influence and be transferred to other subjects.
- Improved comprehension in math
- Better and faster calculation skills
- Better problem solving skills
- Clearer logic reasoning
- More attentive to instructions
- Keener listening skill
- Sharper memory
- Better reflexes
- Stronger mental formation skills
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Better endurance of stress and pressure
- Better and faster calculation skills
|7. ||Any pros and cons for a student to start the abacus math classes at a younger or older age? |
| ||The advantages shown earlier as a result of abacus learning will be observed for all students of about 5 to 10 years old. In addition, the computation and mental picture training is of great help to their brain development - the younger the more significant. The differences of pros and cons for students of various ages only show up during the process of learning.
Pros for younger beginners (7 years and younger): The benefits may start to show in just a few weeks. The student will comprehend and be prepared for a math level equivalent to 2nd or even 3rd school grade in a year.
Cons for younger beginners (7 years and younger): it may take a longer time for the student to comprehend the basic skills for abacus math. Children in this age range, however, generally have better memories than logical thinking. It may actually confuse them if parents try to make them fully understand the computation. Instead, they still can jump start the abacus training by memorizing the abacus rhymes first.
Pros for older beginners (8 years and older): it should be fairly easy for them to comprehend the idea of the basic skills for the abacus math. Although it will take about the same amount of class hours for everybody to learn the fundamental abacus techniques, the older kids can jump to several levels up from Level 10 (the lowest level) to begin their repeated training on both abacus and mental math. At this moment, most of the kids are well ahead of those younger kids who started at the same time and compensate the years that they did not start the abacus math learning.
Cons for older beginners (8 years and older): They may not feel much challenge at the Beginning/Exploring stage because of the simple number relationship. Often time, they will still use the traditional way that they were taught in school to solve the simple addition and subtraction questions. If so, it will take more time for them to use the abacus and get the benefit of using the abacus way for calculations. They will not be much motivated to verify the Times Tables using the abacus way since they may already memorize all of the Times Tables.
|8. ||Is student required to have an abacus for the lessons?|
| ||Yes, a modernized abacus with one bead at the top and four beads at the bottom will be needed. The IQ Abacus Math School has imported good quality abacuses for the convenience of those who need to purchase.|
|9. ||I have an abacus that has 2 beads on the top and 5 beads at the bottom. Can my kid use that for the class? |
| ||No, a 2-5 abacus should not be used in the class. IQ Abacus Math School adopts the modernized version of the abacus, i.e., the 1-4 abacus, for the abacus math program. It is important for students to formulate clear abacus images with one bead on the top and four beads at the bottom to perform fast yet accurate mental math calculations. |
|10. ||How long does it take to learn?|
| ||Abacus math is believed to be an excellent technique for optimal brain development during its "prime times" of growth, that is, the first 10 years of a life. However, please do not expect that abacus math is a short cut for children to learn math. Although many parents can observe improvement in math performance only after a few weeks of learning, it may take two years or more for a student to secure the skill and receive permanent benefits.
There are five (5) stages to complete learning of the abacus mental math at the IQ Abacus Math School. Every student has to go through the five stages of learning no matter what age does a student begin. Please note that the training begins to take effect only after a student reaches the "Advanced" stage (at a minimum). If a student withdraws before the Advanced stage, the time, efforts, and money spent previously are fully wasted. On the other hand, if a student is able to reach Level 3 or better, the mental math skill becomes a lifetime asset even if the student does not practice at all thereafter.
|Beginning / Exploring||Learning fundamental abacus skills - Additions & Subtractions. At the end of this stage, students are also expected to be familiar with "Multiplication (Times) Tables". Most students may not feel significant benefits from the abacus math program yet.||30 class hours.|
||After understanding the fingering rules for additions and subtractions using an abacus, students will be trained for better accuracy and reflex in abacus calculations, and in turn, the mental math. Students will work on an abacus/mental math workbook starting Level 10 or better depending on the age of the student. Students will also learn multiplication of multiple digits by a one-digit number.
||Depending on how often the student practice on an abacus. It takes another 30 class hours or sooner to get to Level 8 for abacus math.
||If a student is at Level 8 or better for Abacus Math and memorizes the Times Table, the student is ready to take the division lessons using an abacus. Singapore math is used in conjunction with the abacus mental math.
||It takes about another 30 class hours for the student to learn and be familiar with the multiplication and division skills using an abacus.
||At this stage, students are repeated trained for additions, subtractions, multiplication, and division for both abacus and mental math. Significant benefits from the abacus mental math training can be observed from students' school performance and reactions to real-life math problems.
||Depending on how often the student practice on an abacus. It can take as much as another year to get to Level 4 or better for abacus/mental math.
||Once students reach at this stage, their brains are functioned in an incredible speed. The target here is to continue stimulation of the brain development to the optimal extend. Students will also learn the four operations of decimal numbers.
||Depending on how often the student practice on an abacus. It can take another year to get to Level Pro for abacus/mental math.
|11. ||What are the "Levels" mentioned above?|
Twenty levels for mental math were clearly defined to indicate the ability for a person to correctly answer arithmetic questions in a given time. The levels go from Level 10 (the easiest) all the way to Level 1 followed by Level Pro 1 to Level Pro 10 (the hardest). The standardized system has been well recognized and widely used in many countries for issuing certifications according to results of official exams. IQ Abacus Math School students will take certification exams conducted by the US Mental Math Federation. Please refer to http://www.USmental math.org for details.
|12. ||Will the abacus math be conflict with the method that is being taught at school math?|
| ||Sometimes, some students may be confused for a short while by the two distinct approaches to solve a math problem. However, no matter how different the approaches are, there is always a common logic for solving a math problem. Our well-experienced and highly educated instructor is aware of the potential conflict that is always turned into a great opportunity for the instructor to explain the math spirit by linking the two approaches together. The outcome is that the students are lead to a creative thinking and a better comprehension in math.|
|13. ||Abacus is originated from China and well known in Asia countries. Will it be difficult for a student with a cultural background other than Aria to learn abacus math? |
| ||No. All the class materials were designed and created in English and have been used by several hundreds children born and living in the United States already. All the class instructions are also given in English. It appears that the abacus math program was well taken by the America born students and the enrichment benefit is also clearly observed from the students.|
|14. ||My child has always been struggling in math. Will abacus math help?|
| ||Yes. Since school math is taught in a totally different way from the abacus math, poor math performance at school does not infer the same result from learning abacus math. Abacus presents multi-digit base-10 numeric relationships in a concrete bead-based system. Using an abacus, young children are easy to relate place values and comprehend the concepts of mathematics. Therefore, the abacus math is far more superior to regular math that is presented to children in an abstract form. Using regular math, children can use nothing but limited memory and brain power to solve arithmetic problems. According to our experience, many students who came to IQ Abacus Math School with lower than average math scores achieve top ranks in math at school after as few as 3 months attendances at the abacus program.|
|15. ||My child has been tested to be proficient in math. What benefits will my child get by taking the abacus classes?|
| ||If a student has already been proficient in math at the appropriate level, the abacus math program will further boost up the math performance and meanwhile nourish the brain development. The student will need less time in understanding the math mechanism in abacus so that more time can be focus on finger training. It will not be long for the student to receive the benefits mentioned above. |
|16. ||Does your math program require much time from my kid and me?|
Class meets once a week and each class lasts for 80 minutes unless otherwise noted. Students in the Abacus Math program are recommended to spend a minimum of one hour a week for practicing and homework, unlink some other popular math programs that require students to spend hours every day on the homework. But still, the more time spent on practicing, the better.
It should be noted that parental support and involvement during the course of abacus learning is very important. Parents' encouragement and monitoring of the homework done in a proper way are actually keys to the success of the program.
|17. ||We have computers and hand-held calculation devices everywhere. Why bother learning the use of an abacus?|
Abacus still remains a favorite math tool in the digital age. The unplugged (non-electrical) bead-based calculator is prosperous as a complement of modern computer and is also widely recognized as a mean for effective mental development in early childhood.
Learning abacus math is very important because it is instrumental for developing optimal intelligence and lifetime skills of problem solving. Arithmetic skill can be trained in various ways. However, resolving a mathematical problem quickly and accurately is not always accomplished by every child. Abacus mental math enables a child to calculate without the aid of any instruments. A child will be able to calculate with speed and accuracy using his/her own mental power, anywhere, anytime. The abacus math program complements and supplements the arithmetic approaches adopted in schools and helps the students to be free from any fear of mathematics and gain better confidence.
|18. ||I have learned abacus during my childhood. It was not a pleasant class for me because I needed to memorize all those fingering rules. Is IQ Abacus anywhere different from those abacus math programs given elsewhere?|
| ||IQ Abacus Math School strives to promote math learning as a whole, instead of just transferring the ancient cultural skill to the next generation. To apply the old world technique to the new world of math, the math programs at the IQ Abacus Math School encompass the following features:
- Learning abacus by singing
It is true that some fundamental fingering rules are required to remember before one can utilize the abacus for calculations. Good news is that Ms. Chiou, one of the founders of the IQ Abacus Math School, has invented a methodology to connect numbers with music scales. The innovated revolution in teaching abacus greatly eases students' resistance in learning abacus math and introduce more fun for math. Time needed for finishing the initial learning stage ("Exploring") has also been greatly reduced to only 20 class hours, compared with at least 8 months indicated by other abacus tutors.
- Learning math by playing
Games were designed for students to establish relationship for numbers in a fun environment.
- IQ Reward Points
The IQ Reward Program allows students to collect points that may be redeemed for prizes based on the performance reflected in the homework and in class. The program encourages students to reach learning milestones by accumulating the IQ Reward Points as they excel in their abacus math studies. All students enrolled in the IQ Abacus Math School are automatically members of the IQ Reward Program.
- On-line mental math practicing and tracking system
students can conduct mental math exercises online at home or at any places with internet connections. Students perform the exercises in a standard limit of time. The online system will grade the results, track the progress, and update the IQ Reward points automatically for students. Guardians will have separate accounts to monitor the status and progress of the student, read comments from the instructor if any, communicate with the instructor if desired, and keep track of payment history.
- Applying the abacus mental math to solve academic math problems
Students have an option to sign on once-a-week math lessons and do math homework online at home. An online math system populated with math questions equivalent to school grade levels from 2 to 6 will be available to those who sign up for this program. The online system will grade the results and track the progress for students. Guardians will have separate accounts to monitor the status and progress of the student, read comments from the instructor if any, communicate with the instructor if desired, and keep track of payment history.
IQ Abacus Math School is the only math school combining abacus skills and academic math in one place and utilizing computer and internet technologies for systematic training and tracking progresses.