Are you right-brained or left-brained? Do you prefer art over math, or understand music better than language? Why not both?
Normally when we do mathematical calculations we use the left hemisphere of our brain. However, researcher Kimiko Kawano found that advanced abacus users use the right side of their brains when calculating!
Why does this happen? These findings wonderfully illustrate the goal of abacus teaching. Students actually see an abacus in their mind when calculating. This is “anzan”, or mental calculation.
Having a “mental abacus” allows students to remember more numbers, easily understand the decimal system and number placement, and calculate large sums very quickly.
Learning to visualize also enhances students’ ability to memorize other subjects as well. The stimulation of the right brain develops creativity and problem solving skills.
Physically moving the beads on the abacus is also important for cognitive growth in young children. Children learn by touching and moving the world around them. In this digital age, the abacus is a welcome stimulus for the hands and mind of children.
Learning the abacus not only helps students in math, but in every subject in school. This happens through whole brain development.
We love growing our students’ brains with the abacus at JAMS!
Check out the video to see how important the soroban (Japanese abacus) for Japan’s early childhood education, and for more information on how the abacus grows the mind!