What Is Abacus Used For?

Learning Math on the Abacus

The abacus facilitates the mind in making calculations beyond what is typically possible. Although abacus users have the capability to do complex mathematics, it is the discipline itself that trains students to expect more from themselves. A well trained abacus master does not need a physical abacus, rather they visualize one and manipulate the beads mentally. It is popular to send young children to study the abacus in an attempt to increase their visual memory, expose them to new challenges and give them a head start in math. Additionally, it instills good study practices that students can carry with them through their life.

Starting to Learn Math on the Abacus

While it is possible to self-teach abacus, most students join an abacus club. Either way, it is a years-long commitment that requires daily practice to progress to new skills. Students can get started with Learn to Add and Subtract on the Abacus Course where kids learn to add and subtract on the abacus in preparation for more advanced math. This is a great way to get some extra practice.

What to look for in an Abacus Club?

Every abacus school is unique so it is ideal to meet with instructors from different clubs to discuss expectations. One key point to investigate is their approach to teaching visualization skills and at what level it is introduced. Some teach students to visualize the abacus from the very beginning and other schools leave it for more advanced users. There is also a lot of variation in finger movement techniques from school-to-school with some schools using only two fingers and others using two hands. Some clubs can be costly but may offer good stepwise learning processes.