Mental Mathematics

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Can numeracy skills be taught from 6 months? Can mental mathematics be taught? The answer to both questions: “Of course!”

At every level of Shichida classes, there is always a numeracy component.  This is also included for babies joining us at 6 months.  The intent of the numeracy section is to develop basic mathematical sense, calculation skills and reasoning abilities.

In the first three years, we focus a lot on input to the children.  Showing children what numbers are visually, aurally and kinaesthetically helps with their ability to process numbers regardless of their dominant learning styles.  This forms a strong foundation for their ability to do mental mathematics.  For 4 to 6 years old, we will work on output with them, including activities to apply their mental mathematics capability.

numeracy at shichida

Our numeracy activities range from flashcards, songs, abacus, hands-on play with toys and materials to understand numbers, through to writing the numbers, learning about money, time, flash computation and word problems.

In the area of numeracy, what we have seen from children benefitting from their participation in Shichidaprogram includes:

  • Appreciation of numbers as quantities.  Not just a rhyme or song that counts from 1 to 10 or a picture of ‘5’ looking like the letter ‘S’.
  • Enjoying the process of learning in general.numbers 2
  • Not fearing mathematics as a subject.
  • Seeing the relevance of numbers to real life.
  • Grasps the concept of numbers and loving it.
  • Ability to do mental mathematics.

how

How mental mathematics works is that with the appropriate input, the brain will discover regularities as it processes information. Hence, when the children are processing information, they are automatically able to discover patterns among the information and can instantly get the answer in their minds.

Once children enter primary school, they will learn theories relating to mathematics calculation. Their understanding will be deepened and they can further master the mental mathematics abilities they have developed during their preschool years.

Below summarises how we see Shichida helping children when they get into the formal school system:

  • Love of mathematicsi know
  • Confidence in mathematics
  • Enjoyment in doing mathematics
  • At least 6-12 months ahead of curriculum.

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.