Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the following set of general questions.
Coming soon: answers to questions about our program, center classes, private classes, promotions & discounts.
Q: What is the Soroban Abacus, and how does it work?
A: The Soroban Abacus is a type of abacus used in Eastern Asian countries like Japan and South Korea and works by manipulating beads to mechanize abstract math calculations. These beads, some which have different values, are moved in specific directions using learned techniques utilizing basic math facts to calculate. The Soroban abacus can be used to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It is also a preferred method of calculation by many competitive mental mathematicians!
Q: At what age can my child start Abakidz?
A: Most children who participate in Abakidz begin at or after the age of 5 years old. Although people of any age can learn how to use the abacus, many children under 5 are still developing their fine motor skills and are just beginning to get exposure to numerical symbols. Younger children therefore tend to struggle much more with writing their answers than actually using the abacus! We recognize that every child is different and recommend signing up for a free trial class to see how they do.
Q: How many students are in each class?
A: There are usually 3 - 6 students in a class. Sometimes exceptions are made for classes with less than 3 students, but they are taken on a case by case basis. It is very rare for a class to have more than 6 students, but in those cases, there is usually also another teacher or an assistant depending on the number of students.
Q: Do students get homework? How much?
A: Homework is a very important part of our curriculum, and the amount of homework assigned is based on student progress. Teachers usually assign 15 minutes worth of homework for each day until a student's next class, but some students actually want much more homework.
Q: What is the curriculum like?
A: The curriculum is composed of Jusan (Abacus Math) and Amsan (Mental Abacus Math) workbooks that are broken down into different levels based on difficulty. Students initially start out only with Jusan workbooks and learn the foundations of using the abacus to add and subtract. After they have a good sense of basic techniques, they move on to learning more complex addition and subtraction problems as well as multiplication and division. The Amsan workbooks are also introduced at this time. Students practice mental bead manipulation and embark on learning mental math using this set of workbooks.
Q: What kind of benefits can my child gain by learning with Abakidz?
A: There are many notable benefits to learning the abacus some of which are more direct than others. The most indirect benefits are that the exposure to numbers and exercises in our curriculum helps students feel more comfortable around math and builds confidence in approaching the subject. By using the abacus as a tactile tool, many children also develop a better ability to focus and improve their concentration skills. The most direct benefit is that students are able to learn how to calculate mentally, more accurately, and more quickly. All of these come together to enable students to be the best learners they can be. Some parents have even mentioned that the improved concentration has helped their children learn how to read faster!
Q: How long does it take for my child to experience these benefits?
A: Some students experience better number sense and confidence in as early as the first month, but becoming proficient at mental abacus math may take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Every child is different and moves at their own pace in our program. Younger children may take twice as long as an older student to make the same amount of progress, but the benefits are more permanent when children start learning earlier. Just like learning a language, it is much easier to be fluent at the abacus at an earlier age.