More about maths (Mental Arithmetic vs Kumon)
Posted September 1, 2009on:
I have a chance to meet with a Principal from an Abacus and Mental Arithmetic school. She has been in the business for more than a decade. This is what I understand from her:
– The program introduces maths to young children using Abacus – this is a tool to let the children ‘visualize’ the numbers : similar concept with dots cards used in Shichida and Glenn Doman. On top of that, using the Abacus with both hands help the right brain development. And it helps to train the coordination of the sight, feeling and hearing senses in a child as well.
– Similar to Kumon, it needs lots of practise and eventually the children are able to memorize the equations/answers. The difference is that for Mental Arithmetic what is memorized are pictures of Abacus – just like photographic memory in Shichida and other right brain training method. Where as Kumon, the image are the numbers.
– What is achieved for both Mental Arithmetic and Kumon are similar, that children are able to calculate, and calculate very fast, way way very fast.
– One last important point I learn is that, this program (and same as Kumon) doesn’t promise the children will score in school. Comprehension and languages come into picture when talking about problem solving and maths questions in school exam. The children needs to be able to understand (able to read) the questions and apply the correct Arithmetic to work out the answer.
– My husband used to ask me is it so important to be able to count so fast. One parent who sells satay is so impressed by what the Mental Arithmetic class has taught her daughter that she travels more than an hour every week to send her daughter to this class in KL (They are not from KL). She said, “My daughter can calculate the price the customer needs to pay very fast and without miss, and she is only 7 years old.”
So what I learn from the meet upl is that, everything still goes back to build a good foundation to be able to read and understand.