Next week, a new after-school math enrichment program will open in the Good Shepherd Center for kids ages five through 12. Abacus West puts a new twist on mathematics using an ancient calculating tool, the Japanese abacus (soroban). Once students get comfortable using the beaded calculating tool, they’re taught to develop a “mental abacus” (anzan), and in doing so, the kids enhance their mental calculating skills.
According Abacus West founder Vinaya Kulkarni, “Along the way students develop their focus, concentration, confidence, and visualization skills.”
Not a bad thing if you’ve got a kid who might be struggling with math facts.
Abacus West has been offering classes over on the Eastside for the past three years. During that time, they’ve grown from one to six teachers and have taught over 250 kids. They’ve gotten some favorable reviews from Eastside local press and were mentioned in National Geographic Magazine’s September 2010 article, “Abacus Masters.”
Abacus West Level 1 classes will be offered on Wednesdays at the Good Shepherd beginning next week. A 10-week session is $300. All new students will be required to purchase a Starter Kit for $50, which includes an abacus, a set of flash cards and a case. There’s a maximum of 10 students per class and the times offered are 3:00pm – 3:55pm and 4:05pm – 5:00pm. You can register online here.