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Math center uses abacus to teach the basics

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Math center uses abacus to teach the basics

The abacus, an ancient calculating tool used primarily in parts of Asia for performing arithmetic processes, takes center stage at the new ALOHA Mind Math in Gainesville. ALOHA stands for Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic.
ALOHA Mind Math is an educational enrichment program that develops and strengthens a child’s mathematical abilities through use of the abacus. ALOHA Mind Math was introduced in the United States in 2006 after its inception in Malaysia. In addition to math, ALOHA also offers enrichment in reading and writing.
“Mind math begins with use of the abacus, and then slowly trains the brain to figure out math programs in seconds without its use,” explained Pranay Shastry, director of the Gainesville school. “Once trained in our program, the child will not need to depend on a calculator or pencil and will be able to solve a math problem in seconds.”
According to Shastry, the technique uses both the right and left sides of the brain.
“It uses visual, auditory and tactile skills, while stressing speed and accuracy,” Shastry said, adding that “We are the only enrichment center in Gainesville using this technique.”
Shastry was intrigued with the program after his 8-year-old twins learned the technique at another Aloha center. This led him to opening up the Gainesville location.
He has 11 years of experience as an administrator in higher education and five years as an administrator in K-12.
“My vision is to provide innovative education and to unleash the power inherent in the human mind by providing total brain development and training,” he said.
Shastry said that recent studies have shown the value of abacus-based math learning. Some of the results include an improvement in numerical memory, memorizing spacial arrangements and calculating single digit calculations.
Also, he said, many students are able to memorize pages of textbooks due to the stress on right brain development, which affects intuition, visualization, imagination, creativity, artistic ability and photographic memory.
He added that students who can perform mental arithmetic with ease are able to work quicker and more effectively on the math sections of standardized exams.
The after-school math enrichment program is available for students ages 5-12; the English enrichment program is for grades 1-5.
For more information, visit gainesville@aloha-usa.com, or call 703-468-1390. The center is located in at 7532 Gardner Park Drive.
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