The SMART Academy Program utilizes Advanced Soroban Mental Arithmetic techniques for proper Brain Development but more importantly overall brain development. SMART Academy students achieve Brain Development by being trained to solve mathematical problems utilizing the Soroban. Mathematics is the chosen tool because it specifically stimulates and develops regions of the brain that are crucial to proper learning development. The Soroban is a renowned Visio-Spatial tool that is utilized to form mathematical images in a child mind and helps in the development of a number of sensory pathways responsible for creativity, reading, reasoning, observation, conceptualization, and many other benefits associated with brain development. As the student progresses in each level, they are slowly weaned off the abacus and learn to perform mental calculations that are quick and accurate. The Smart Brain methods collectively ensure that the appropriate action, cognitive and conceptual connections are made.
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Why is mental arithmetic important?
Arithmetic is remarkably important for helping young children build up a solid academic foundation. Teachers who work with young children know that it is not easy to introduce the concept of numbers and their values. It is a long learning process for young children to comprehend the concepts of mathematics when presented only in the abstract form. By abstract it means using nothing but brain power to solve problems. It is difficult for children to comprehend numeric relationships without using a concrete object such as the abacus beads to relate numeric values.
Learning how to compute numbers mentally is equally important as it will effectively tap the unexploited parts of the brain and therefore promote the overall intelligence. The practice of mental arithmetic will sharpen the imaginative and memory power. According to a scientific research, a child who lacks good mental formation can experience a sharp decline in mental abilities even as early as the age of 20. On the other hand, a child who receives this formation by the age of 12 will continue to remain brilliant even up to the age of 70.
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Why must one learn abacus while calculators and computers are available for computing numbers in the world today?
Although calculators and computers have replaced human brain in computing numbers, learning Soroban is a must for every child because it is instrumental in developing whole brain and lifetime skills. Using abacus requires co-ordination of the main nerves of the human body, such as sight, sound, and finger movement which will induce the growth of brain cells. The mind undergoes three main stages of development, namely physical contact, logical explanation, and visualization, throughout the process and the abacus acts as a medium that connects the three stages. More than 90% of the world's population is right-handed and right-handed people normally have more developed left brain and less developed right brain. The creativity side of the right brain is more than a thousand times that of the left brain. Learning abacus will stimulate the development of the right brain at an early age.
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How does learning mental arithmetic help in school mathematics?
For a child to do well in mathematics, he needs to develop his abilities in calculation. Learning Soroban-Mental Arithmetic can quickly enhance his competency in calculation. Professor Huang Guo Rong from the National ChangHua University of Education in Taiwan studied the effects of Soroban-Mental Arithmetic education on children’s academic performance in areas of mathematical abilities and comprehensibility, and reported the startling discoveries:
Children who have undergone mental arithmetic classes achieved far better results than other students (who have not taken part in such training) in the following areas: comprehension, mathematical abilities (including recognising and understanding mathematical concepts, calculating abilities, and mathematical problem solving skills), mathematical performance, and IQ tests.
Students who have had one to two years of training in mental arithmetic are found to possess a better grasp of mathematical concepts, calculations, and are more efficient in solving mathematical problems than those who have less than one year’s training. Students with more than two year's training showed even better results. Thus this indicates that the longer a child is exposed to such training, the better his mathematical abilities.
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How can SMART Academy help to increase a child's intelligence?
SMART Academy not only improves a child's calculating ability and his/her understanding of arithmetic, but also helps build his memory power, creativity, concentration level, listening skill, as well as the ability to analyse problem. Our aim is to develop a child's passion for arithmetic and build their confidence with school work and life in general.
By stimulating both the left and the right sides of the brain during the training process, experts believe that abacus and image abacus training is the key to optimal learning capability.
Question
As parents, we are not trained or have no knowledge of the Soroban. How do we guide our children at home?
There are several ways in which we assist parents:
1. Regular seminars organised by our centres help guide parents in assisting their children in their learning. These talks will include techniques of beads stirring and calculating involving the four operations of numbers.
2. At the end of each lesson, your child will bring home a homework for him/her to review and revise the lesson taught in class. You are encouraged to follow it with your child.
3. Online learning. Attending SMART Academy students will be given a password to access the online homework.
4. Teachers. Communication between parents and teachers is important. Teacher will highlight the child's weaknesses and provide guidance for parents to teach him/her at home.
Question
How can SMART Academy help to increase a child's intelligence?
SMART Academy not only improves a child's calculating ability and his/her understanding of arithmetic, but also helps build his memory power, creativity, concentration level, listening skill, as well as the ability to analyse problem. Our aim is to develop a child's passion for arithmetic and build their confidence with school work and life in general.
By stimulating both the left and the right sides of the brain during the training process, experts believe that abacus and image abacus training is the key to optimal learning capability.
Question
When is the best time for a child to start learning?
The best period to start our course is when a child starts writing numbers from 0 to 9. Children from late kindergarten to primary one or two have the best learning and absorbing brain power (with reference to The Stages of Development of the Brain), it is the best time for nurturing the brain's abilities and a critical stage when a child can start to grasp mathematical concepts.
Mental Arithmetic provides the fundamental training in mathematical and calculation concepts. It is also this stage where the child's school work is lighter; parents should seize this opportunity to encourage the child to attend this program. This will in turn build a stronger foundation for their future education endeavours.
The Stages of Development of a Brain
3 years old: The brain would have expected to grow up to 60%, therefore a child has the strongest absorbing power.
3 to 6 years old: The brain has grown a further 20%. The learning and absorbing power is not as strong as in a 3-year old. However, the child will obtain astonishing results if he is provided with more foundations.
After 8 years: If a child starts learning at this age, it is rather difficult for the child achieve good results, He has to work harder with more disciplined.
Question
What exactly is “Mental Arithmetic?
The SMART Academy Mental Arithmetic program trains students to quickly and accurately do complex calculations without the aid of a calculator or other helpers. Introduce the concept of visualization and thinking in pictures.
SMART Academy graduates learn new techniques and better understand how calculations work, enabling them to do their work faster and more accurately. That’s powerful knowledge to take forward into secondary school and beyond. Plus, the whole brain development and life skills SMART Academy fosters will help your child excel in any subject.
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Why should I enroll my child in SMART Academy child development program?
SMART Academy Mental Math program promotes whole brain development, develops foundational skills like focus, listening and creativity and trains the next generation of leaders to face the challenges of an increasingly competitive environment.
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My child is not good at math at all. What kind of improvement can I expect?
Because our training method differs greatly from that of traditional mathematics, just because your child struggles with math at school doesn’t mean he won’t do well at SMART Academy. On the contrary, some of the most successful students have been those who had previously found math difficult. If a student is dedicated to the program, receives strong parental support and encouragement and persists through the initial training period, dramatic improvement is guaranteed.
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When do kids start reaping benefits?
Parents start seeing results after the second level, or about six (6) months. However, attentive parents will notice improvement in different mental parameters earlier.
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Would SMART Academy program affect the time my child spends on school’s assignments?
Ideally, a child will need 15 to 20 minutes training every day with minimum help from parents. Parents are encouraged not to intervene, and will be guided by the course instructor on how they can help.In higher levels at a minimum, a child is expected to spend 20 to 30 minutes training everyday. Kids can do exercises as a break from regular school homework.
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Is there a certificate for attending the SMART Academy course?
Yes. Grading is held after completion of each level and certificates are awarded based on performance.
Question
I saw some videos for some super-natural kids trained Soroban; would my child be like that?
SMART Academy provides instruction and training but like anything else in life, the child needs to practice and train. The support your child gets from you (as a parent) helps make a difference.
At SMART Academy, a shift to the right takes place on normal distribution curve which guarantees improvement, provided kids are doing what they are supposed to do.
Question
What is the country of origin for SMART Academy?
Japan. The Thechnology we use is called “SOROBAN” and "ANZAN" which is of Japanese origin.
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Can we arrange a make-up class in case my child missed his/her scheduled class?
You can, but only for emergency. Typically, only one make-up class is permitted per term. Please contact your course instructor.
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Are there any assessment tests within the program
Yes, Assessment tests are conducted after each lavel to ensure that the students are understanding the principles taught during that level.
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How can we measure the benefit that the child has gained from SMART Academy program?
Research is done on kids to measure differences between kids trained at SMART Academy and kids who have not. Please check out these links for some available research on the subject.
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What is the duration of one lesson?
1 hour for KG Programme. 2 hours for Basic and Intermediate Programmes.