What are abacuses?
Abacuses are calculating tools with beads. They are manual calculators and portable maths training equipment.
People all over the world have used different types of abacuses throughout history, including the Romans.
The soroban abacus is a traditional Japanese calculating tool originally brought to Japan from China around the 16th century. Its design has evolved over time and its use spread across Asia and the rest of the world.
Even in the present era of computers and calculators, the ancient art of abacus has survived and is once again appreciated as an excellent educational and mental maths tool.
Today, the soroban abacus is taught in schools and after-school programmes in many parts of Asia, including Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore, where maths results top the world league tables.
Why do we learn the abacus maths today?
Abacus gives you a great exercise for your growing brain. (Studies suggest that even adults' brains are not fixed and can be trained and developed with exercises.)
By exercising your brain, you can become better at maths and even other subjects.
Anybody can tap into the potential of his/her brain by exercising it. In other words, you can get more brain power to do things!
With the abacus, you will exercise your brain using your hands, fingers, eyes, ears, and your imagination.
You will also learn to focus by using your abacus.
The abacus is a type of game or puzzle which you can learn to solve by making a lot of mistakes and learning from these mistakes.
REMEMBER It is okay to make mistakes. Without making mistakes, you cannot learn anything new. The important thing is to LEARN from mistakes.
Learning the abacus means you need to exercise your brain and challenge yourself.
The Japanese abacus and how it works.
On the abacus, any numbers can be shown with beads, so it helps you to to work out problems of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, by moving the positions of the beads.