# General Questions

**Q: What is the abacus, and how does it work? **

**A: **The abacus is a 5,000 year-old calculation tool that was widely used in Asian countries like China, India, Japan and South Korea. The abacus can be used to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It is also a preferred method of calculation by many of the top competitive mental mathematicians!

**Q: At what age can my child start Abakidz? **

**A: **Most children who participate in Abakidz begin at or after the age of 4. Although people of any age can learn how to use the abacus, many children under 5 are still developing their fine motor skills. Younger children, therefore, tend to struggle much more with writing their answers than actually using the abacus! We recognize that every child is different; thus, recommend signing up any of your children for a free trial class!

**Q: How many students are in each class? **

**A: **There are usually 4 - 6 students in a class. Sometimes exceptions are made for classes with less than 3 students, but they are taken on a case by case basis.

**Q: Do students get homework? How much? **

**A: **Homework is a very important part of our curriculum, and the amount of homework assigned is based on student progress. On average, teachers usually assign 5-10 minutes worth of homework for each day until a student's next class.

**Q: What is the curriculum like? **

**A: **The curriculum includes engagement of three learning modalities: tactile, auditory, and visual. Students initially start out only with workbooks and learn the foundations of using the abacus to add and subtract. After they have a good sense of basic techniques, they move on to learning more complex addition and subtraction problems, followed by multiplication and division. Once students become comfortable with the physical abacus, they begin practicing mental bead manipulation and begin to learn the art of mental math!

**Q: What kind of benefits can my child gain by learning with Abakidz?**

**A: **There are many notable benefits to learning the abacus. The exposure of our curriculum helps students feel more comfortable around numbers and math. The confidence that builds as a result is priceless to see. Children also begin to improve their concentration and general study skills. Some parents have even mentioned that the improved concentration has helped their children learn to read faster!

**Q: How long does it take for my child to experience these benefits? **

**A: **Some students experience better number sense and confidence in as early as the first month. Becoming proficient at mental abacus math may take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Every child is different and moves at their own pace in our program. Younger children may take twice as long as an older student to make the same amount of progress, but the benefits are more permanent when children start learning earlier. Similar to learning a language, it is much easier to master mental abacus math if you begin at an earlier age.