12 Oct, 2013
This very question is being asked, as I read between the lines it probably is indicating at the point that Indian Kids and Indian as such are good at Math. So why do they need anything like an Abacus or a Kumon?
Well, it is not like that. Even if it were correct that Indians are good at Math, if Abacus and Kumon courses have value to add to their Mathematical skills, I would certainly say these are useful for them too. Although the benefits may be age-specific only.
Abacus: To understand this let us discuss how Abacus helps a child in improving their Mathematical ability or their ability to do Mental Maths.
Abacus training involves an Abacus Tool. The beads in the Abacus have a numeric value. The user is trained to move the beads vertically up and down, following the numbers and the arithmetic operators to be applied in a sum. The final position of the beads on the Abacus tool is the answer. This process of moving the beads is done with both hands. This triggers a whole brain development in the Abacus trainee.
Over a period the students in the Abacus classes learn to visualize the Abacus tool, move the beads mentally as per the requirements, and reach accurate answers. They learn to do this at a great speed. It has been seen that the Abacus students can do sums with multiple digits and rows at great accuracy and speed.
The science behind these benefits of Abacus learning has a lot of research and backup by eminent scientists and educationists. The students undergoing Abacus training exhibit higher levels of concentration, logical thinking ability, ability to visualize and recall. This reflects in the overall performance of the kids in their Academics.
The benefits of the Abacus are best achieved by children in the age group of 5 to 15 years. It is a finite program of 24 months.
Kumon: It follows the traditional method of learning math by repetition. It is engaging and relies on children practicing sums on pre-developed worksheets by Kumon. Although it is a huge brand having its presence across the world majorly in the Western World, it is not much popular in India. Any student starting from 3 years of age to High School can take up this course.
Vedic Math- This is one process of Mathematics that can in real terms be labeled as being ancient. It finds its roots in the up-Veda of the Atharva Veda. Originally written in Sanskrit, it was later translated into commonly understandable Mathematical language by Adi Shankracharya Swami Bharati Krishna Thirath Ji Maharaj. It is based on 16 sutras and 13 sub-sutras or formulas. These help in mathematical calculation by skipping several steps that are generally followed in the conventional methods. Vedic Math also helps in fast calculations of a complex mathematical equation of Algebra, etc. It is of great help and has its applications in competitive exams.
It is best learned by a child in early teens with a certain level of intelligence.
I would like to conclude Abacus is dependent on the Abacus tool and has its technology of calculations, and has long-term benefits like improved concentration, visualization, recall, and photographic memory, etc. equally useful for a student from any part of the world. They could after completing the Abacus course move on to Vedic Maths.
As far as Vedic Maths, it has its indigenous technique for calculations, and one who is proficient in it could do miracles with math like solving from simple to complex mathematical calculations mentally without the use of any calculator. It uses the intelligence of a person rather than relying on any gadget.
All these courses ABACUS, VEDIC MATHS, and KUMON have their benefits for students be they Indian or from any other part of the world.