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The Abacus is the Key to Every Math Problem

Posted by Tiara Swinson on February 23, 2018

abacus-helps-child.jpgThe fundamental part to Math Genie’s success is the abacus. As founder Mohit Jain says, “the abacus is the center of everything.” As a parent, you might wonder how the abacus can help your child with their fractions and geometry. How can this centuries old counting tool help my child with standardized test like PARCC and the PSAT? Some parents might believe that since their child is past first grade and already knows their simple arithmetic, learning the abacus is not what they need.  However, learning the abacus is what every child needs. If they are struggling with the Common Core work or falling behind, they need the abacus. If they need to be challenged more in school and want to advance into the next grade level or even skip a grade, they need the abacus.


The abacus helps with Common Core in many ways. One way is when a child is doing word problems. Word problems consist of two parts: what to solve and how to solve the problem. Many students get flustered or intimidated with word problems because of the two steps. Keeping the numbers and operations in order can seem very overwhelming, especially in first and second grade when word problems are being introduced. It is assumed that the child already knows their arithmetic very well by the time they get to word problems. However, if the child did not get the time to truly understand arithmetic and number relationships in a way that an abacus student understands them, then the child is at a great disadvantage.

A child would spend so much of their energy trying to figure out the first part of solving a word problem, figuring out what the problem is asking that they would not have that much energy left to complete the second part. Even though the second part is just the arithmetic, if the child does not have a firm grasp of arithmetic when they started, this can be their failing point. The second part of word problem is where the abacus student shines. A student who knows the abacus will not have to use any energy doing the arithmetic of a word problem because it is the same arithmetic they know and can do without any effort. They know this and can do this so well because they know the abacus. Abacus students fully understand how numbers relate to each other, and what different operations on numbers means.


The abacus helps students tackle math beyond word problems. Students who know the abacus know how to recognize patters and relations with numbers. Math is all about numbers and knowing what to do them. No matter what level or subject of math you or your child is learning, they will need to understand number relations. While an abacus student is learning number relations in arithmetic, they will be building on their pattern recognition skills. These skills will help greatly as they advance in middle school, high school, and college level mathematics.

Once a student can recognize patterns in their work, they will be advancing quickly in school. The student will need bigger challenges and new patterns and number relations to learn, more so the student will want these challenges.

A student here at Math Genie was struggling with geometry. He  couldn’t figure out the area of a circle or the circumference. After explaining to him one time: πr2 and 2πr, he understood every problem and completed his work with no errors. He said “I see the pattern” and that is all it takes.


Our parents here at Math Genie ask, “why use the abacus? My child needs help with fractions and area and conversions.”  One of our long time teachers, Ms. Stephanie has responded to these concerns. “Math builds upon itself,” she says. “You have to do the building blocks first. That is why a lot of kids can’t remember everything because they don’t have a strong foundation in [their] basics which is where the abacus helps them to do addition, subtraction…but it specifically helps with their memory with their mentals [hyperlink], their short-term memory and that is a main basic building block for them to build upon to help with other math topics that they have to learn.”

The abacus helps build confidence and reduces stress by taking the pressure of short term memory. With each correct answer, your child grows more confident in themselves and with each new topic your child grows more eager to learn.

Math Genie covers Common Core curriculum from kindergarten to 6th grade. The abacus training we have for our students allows them to advance in only a few months into higher and higher-grade levels. They will be growing more assured in their school because they already learned the material and mastered it with Math Genie. As your child grows with us, they will be succeeding far above their grade level in no time. Math Genie fosters enrichment, advancement, support, and success in every child in every area of learning. 

Topics: Common Core, Abacus, Confident Kids, Parenting Tips, Abacus Math, Math Anxiety

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