Tuesday

Soroban Abacus

To watch someone proficient in the use of the Soroban (Japanese) abacus is rather astounding for most Westerner's. The effortlessness of the Soroban's calculations draws in even the most adverse to mathematics. The Soroban has easily beaten the calculator and is seen as an item of pride for Japanese people. At 2,000 years old, the abacus has some bragging rights. The computer is considered the height of information, but even in its greatness it only beats the electric calculating machine in multiplication. The Soroban is the decisive winner in addition, subtraction, and division.

The benefits for a child who is taught the Soroban are overwhelming. The most significant educational advantage of using the Soroban rather than loose counters when counting or doing simple addition is that it gives the student an awareness of the groupings of 10, which are the foundation of our number system. Although, adults take this base 10 structure for granted it is actually very difficult to learn. many six-year-old can count to 100 by rote memorization with only slight awareness of the pattern involved. As a manipulative the quick processing between the brain and hands stimulates the brain cells, promoting quick, balanced and whole brain development.

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