## MENTAL ABACUS - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Practice makes a man perfect is a proverb that refers to the importance of practice in human life. There is no short-cut way to get mastery in any field. People who have excelled in their respective fields, be it sports, literature, arts, science, space research, automobile, have achieved it with hard work and regular practice. Practice brings completeness and excellence to the performance. We can achieve anything and reach to the unreachable heights in our life through practice.

This phrase is very much relevant to abacus learning also. For all of you who are new to abacus – it’s a way of doing mathematical calculations using the counting frame known as the abacus rod. An abacus consists of a rectangular frame holding a number of vertically arranged rods, on which beads slides up and down. A horizontal beam separates the frame into two sections, known as the upper deck and the lower deck. There are four beads on the lower deck known as earth beads and one bead on the upper deck known as the heaven bead. Beads are moved with the help of fingers.

Lower beads are moved up with the thumb finger and for all other movements the index finger is used. Basic arithmetic calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can be performed on the abacus rod. Children can start learning abacus around the age of 5 years. The ideal age for learning is upto 15 years, when the brain is in its development stage. Grown-ups can also learn, but it would take more time and effort for them to master it. The benefits of abacus learning include improvement in problem solving abilities and fast calculating skills.

It is said,* “ the more you practice the better you get ”*. This is true for abacus calculation too. It is mandatory that the child practices on the abacus regularly. Daily practice of atleast half an hour, will drastically improves the speed of calculation and accuracy. Mental calculations would be possible gradually with constant practice. Usage of tools like Anzan videos, worksheets and animated/ interactive software tutorial helps in enhancing the mental calculation speed. Research have proven that Abacus learners uses both sides of the brain that is the left & right hemisphere. This in turn helps in sharping memory, focus and concentration. It also assists in boosting confidence and positive attitude. Thus we can conclude that

**“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is PRACTICE”**