Beyond Books

Mental Mathematics - a popular method of Enhanced Learning

Abacus, a means to understand Maths

The first question that comes to mind when we hear the term 'Enhanced Learning' is how can we possibly enhance the process of learning? To define the term, Enhanced Learning covers approaches to teaching and learning that are often rooted in various philosophies and are fundamentally different from those of mainstream education. Most educational alternative methods teach the student focus and how to gather information more efficiently both in class and from text books. Some programmes help children learn how to better express themselves in their writing and in their speech.

Mental Mathematics includes diverse systems to help students understand the mental processes involved in different operations of mathematics and be able to perform calculations without the aid of any devices. It has emerged as one of the most popular learning methods. While some mental math methodologies are based on ancient philosophies, others are results of modern scientific research. But whatever the ideology, many parents agree that learning mental math at an early age helps to boost a child's confidence when it comes to numbers, develop mental calculation abilities, enhance mental capacity, promote intuitive thinking, enhance problem-solving capability, enhance creativity and last but not least, improve concentration and mental endurance.

Most popular mental math methods
* Abacus: The most ancient tool used to perform basic arithmetical problems, the abacus is gaining popularity for introducing mathematical fundamentals to children. Most importantly, research shows that the use of Abacus enhances both left brain and right brain development, training the whole thinking process to be more efficient and effective. The abacus process is easy to adapt for beginners and puts less stress on the mind of children. Abacus trainers start their courses with the use of the abacus and are slowly able to train students to solve even complicated mathematical problems without the aid of the device.

* Kumon: The Kumon Math Method was founded by a Japanese educator Toru Kumon in 1950s. In this method, students do not work together as a class but progress through the curriculum at their own pace, moving on to the next level when they have achieved mastery of the previous level. This usually involves repeating the same set of worksheets until the student achieves a satisfactory score within a specified time limit.

* Vedic Maths: It has its roots in ancient Indian scriptures or the Vedas. This method teaches you not only to add, subtract, multiply or divide but also to solve complex mathematics such as algebra, geometry, Calculus, and Trigonometry. Based on 16 Vedic Math sutras or word formulas, this method is said to encourage the development and use of intuition and innovation, while giving the student a lot of flexibility, fun and satisfaction.

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