Can mental mathematics be taught? Of course! At Shichida, we spend the first three years providing a strong foundation for our students’ ability to do mental mathematics, then as they get older and start attending school, we teach them how to apply their mental mathematics ability.
At every level of Shichida, there is always a numeracy component. This is also included for the babies first joining the program at 6 months old!
The purpose of the numeracy component is to develop basic mathematical sense, calculation skills and reasoning abilities and is complemented by other whole-brain abilities taught at Shichida such as imaging, intuition, critical thinking, creativity and eidetic imaging abilities.
From 6 months to 3 years old we focus primarily on input for the children meaning that we don’t expect them to know or understand how to get to the answers by themselves yet, the children simply observe and participate in playing the games with their parents.
By demonstrating to the children what numbers are visually, aurally and kinesthetically, they gain a deeper understanding of maths and numerals regardless of their dominant learning style.
From 4 to 9 years old, we gradually encourage output from the children and teach them how to apply their mental mathematics ability and further strengthen and deepen their understanding of maths.
Our numeracy activities range from flashcards, songs, abacus, hands-on play with toys and materials to writing numbers, learning about money, time, measurements, flash computation and exploring quantities.
The benefits we have seen from the children’s participation in the Shichida program include:
- Appreciation of numbers as quantities.
- Seeing the relevance of numbers in real life
- Enjoying the process of learning maths
- Grasping the concept of numbers
- Ability to do mental mathematics
- Having confidence in their own abilities
- Being 6-12 months ahead of their school’s maths curriculum
- Not fearing maths as a subject
The Shichida program is a whole brain training method. The curriculum exercises and bridges both the left and right hemisphere in its function and abilities.
A study conducted in 2012 by researchers at University of Texas, Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity, Duke University and the University of Michigan has found that the strength of communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain predicts performance on basic arithmetic problems.