Teaching your child about the abacus

As soon as a toddler begins to recognize numbers, he must be taught how to do simple mathematical equations like addition and subtraction. Early learning is essential for any child to ensure that his development would be up to the highest potential.

When it comes to numbers, the very first thing that parents teach their kids is to count using their fingers or toes. As an alternative, toys and other objects can be used to instil the basics of numbers as well. But as the child grows older, he needs to be challenged and taught how to subtract and add higher numbers. Using a calculator is simply out of the question because the device does not help develop math and comprehension skills in the child since the answers are delivered automatically. The best tool that parents could introduce is the abacus.

The abacus is a counting aid that had been first used by the Chinese and Middle Eastern people thousands of years ago. Some individuals may not be familiar with it but it is constantly being used as a tool to aid countless students grasp the idea of numbers and numeral equations. Apart from addition and subtraction, multiplication and division is possible using the abacus as well. Because there are a lot of abacus models available in the market today, parents must make sure to choose certain models that are specially made for children. Toy abacuses are lightweight, colorful and adequately sized so children won’t have a hard time using them.

The proper technique and skill is all it takes to do use the abacus well. But first, let the child get acquainted with the abacus. He should be allowed to feel the beads on his fingers by moving them side to side. Before teaching simple arithmetic, the child must be comfortable in moving the beads on either side. He must be able to count how many beads are on the right and how many are on the left.

Basic Addition Using Your Child’s Abacus:

1) For a math problem such as 4 + 3 + 6, let your child find the sum by moving the beads on the first three rows of the abacus.

2) For the first row, tell your child to move 4 beads from the left side to the right. The second row should have 3 beads on the left side while the third row should have 6 beads positioned on the right.

3) To get the sum, let your child count all the beads that are on the left side of the first three rows of the abacus. Your kid should count one to four on the first line then move on the second line and continue the count from four to five to seven (3 beads). Lastly, your child should move to the third row and count from seven to eight to thirteen. Once he has counted the beads and came up with the sum of 13, tell him that he has the correct answer.

Be patient and consistent since your child would surely have lots of questions. Teaching your child about the abacus is tricky but if you and your child are willing to learn, the rewards are always easily reached.


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