It seems that there are as many unique teaching and tutoring approaches out there as there are children! And while many of them are similar, it’s important to make distinctions between the various styles – especially when your child’s education is the concern! Because everyone learns differently, as a parent it’s important to understand your child’s learning style in order to help them overcome their struggles. Kumon and Abacus are frequently associated but they are quite different. They both have Asian roots and require practice but the similarities end there. Here’s a quick breakdown of each style.


  • Ancient tool, originating from China and known as the Soroban in Japan
  • Taught in a small group environment and students work together to encourage one another
  • Increases child’s concentration
  • Improves problem solving skills
  • Utilizes eyes, ears and fingers to activate child’s senses
  • Teaches mental calculation
  • Focus on math and problem solving skills


  • Developed in the 1950s but Japanese educator, Toru Kumon
  • Learn on an individual basis
  • Requires high involvement from parents
  • Improves Memorization
  • Daily practice with worksheets
  • Does not teach mental calculation
  • Focus on math, reading and writing

If you were considering either Kumon and Abacus for your child, make sure you understand the approaches and which one may be best suited for your child. There’s nothing worse to see your child struggle to learn something in school to only struggle more outside of school. Help encourage them to succeed by getting them in an environment where they can succeed and see incremental growth.

Nothing fuels the fire for math than discovering you can be a math person! If you’re not sure Abacus will help your child, sign up for a free preview of our class – there’s no obligation to register! Come meet with us, find out what we’re all about and see if JAMS is the right fit for your child.

About JAMS

JAMS is dedicated to Abacus & Anzan instruction and to building a strong foundation of Mental Mathematics along with lifelong skills. JAMS empowers children to achieve success with the Abacus, so they will grow in areas that go well beyond the classroom. This is the teaching approach at JAMS since opening its doors in 2001.