Are you right-brained or left-brained? Do you prefer art over math, or understand music better than language? Why not both?

Normally when we do mathematical calculations we use the left hemisphere of our brain. However, researcher Kimiko Kawano found that advanced abacus users use the right side of their brains when calculating!

Why does this happen? These findings wonderfully illustrate the goal of abacus teaching. Students actually see an abacus in their mind when calculating. This is “anzan”, or mental calculation.

Having a “mental abacus” allows students to remember more numbers, easily understand the decimal system and number placement, and calculate large sums very quickly.

Learning to visualize also enhances students’ ability to memorize other subjects as well. The stimulation of the right brain develops creativity and problem solving skills.

Physically moving the beads on the abacus is also important for cognitive growth in young children. Children learn by touching and moving the world around them. In this digital age, the abacus is a welcome stimulus for the hands and mind of children.

Learning the abacus not only helps students in math, but in every subject in school. This happens through whole brain development.

We love growing our students’ brains with the abacus at JAMS!

Check out the video to see how important the soroban (Japanese abacus) for Japan’s early childhood education, and for more information on how the abacus grows the mind!

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Nothing fuels the fire for math than discovering you can be a math genius! If you’re not sure Abacus will help your child, sign up for a free preview of our online Abacus Classes – there’s no obligation to register! Come meet with us, watch some kids in action, calculating at the speed of light! We guarantee you will have fun watching these little geniuses.




JAMS is proud to be the only Abacus math school in Portland and in the State of Oregon certified by the League of Soroban of Americas. Since 2001, we have dedicated to Abacus & Anzan instruction and to building a strong foundation of Mental Mathematics along with lifelong skills. JAMS empowers children to achieve academic success, so they will grow in areas that go well beyond the classroom. JAMS parents can expect their child to improve in 5 different areas: concentration, discipline, problem-solving, time management, and confidence. This is the teaching approach at JAMS since opening its doors.