1. What is the best age to start?
For optimum results, it is best to start the training at around five or six years old. Research shows that your brain develops most intensively up until the age of 12. During this period children’s brains are ‘plastic’ (able to self-correct), promoting the growth of brain cells and the formation of neural connections between them. Those older than 12 can also follow the programme, but progress will be a little slower.
2. Will it improve maths results at school?
Despite its name, the main aim of mental arithmetic is not to teach a child to do calculations or solve mathematical problems. The main aim of the mental arithmetic course is the development of all aspects of the brain’s work, and a developed brain can handle problems more easily, leading to improved performance in all school subjects.
3. Can adults also use this method?
Yes. In the USA this method is used to stave off Alzheimer's disease and dementia. This programme can be seen as a workout for the brain. The only difference is that adults have to train harder and more persistently. Just like in sport, the earlier you start and lay the foundations, the better the results. If you start later, with no natural ability, it just takes hard work: you will still see results. Currently, the Abakus Center do not offer courses for adults, but we are working intensively on the program dedicated to grown-ups.
4. How big are the groups of students?
Instructors can teach up to 10-12 children effectively in a single group. Our groups contain no more than 7-10 people.
5. How does the mental arithmetic programme differ from standard development programmes for children?
The goal of our programme is not just teaching how to count fast. The unique feature of this method is that it develops both sides of the brain in a balanced way. A developed brain is a platform for success in the future: children will be more independent and will find studying easier, and their performance will improve.
6. How long does it take to learn mental arithmetic to see results?
Each child follows the programme at his or her own speed. This is another unique feature of the teaching method - it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. To learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using an abacus requires on average 8-12 months. The lessons are one hour long and are held twice a week, plus 15 minutes of homework a day. Systematic learning is also very important, we recommend 15 minutes of homework a day.
7. Lessons last one hour or more. Isn’t it to long for children?
Children do not only do calculation for the whole hour, as they would get bored and the teaching would become less effective. For this reason, the lessons feature a variety of inspiring games. In addition, they do exercises to improve memory and attention span and exercises for the eyes and posture.
8. There are no mental arithmetic courses in our city - is it possible to study independently or online?
If there are no mental arithmetic classes in your city, please contact us. We will try to organize an online lesson, depending on the availability of our teachers.

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