HIKARI Mental Arithmetic

HIKARI Mental Arithmetic

Mental arithmetic (暗算,jap. Anzanis a traditional Eastern discipline, which is widely used in more than 50 countries around the world. As a popular and modern educational model for the development of cognitive abilities of children, its presence is increasing in the West.
The International School of Mental Arithmetic Kid Genius in its program is applying the original HIKARI 光 program of Mental Arithmetic. The program has a unique method originating from Japan, a country that represents the cradle of this prestigious discipline. It was created as a result of many years of work by psychologists, pedagogues and other experts in the field of education, and is based on the use of the ancient device abacus (算盤 jap. Soroban), whose visualization achieves extraordinary fast calculation.

HIKARI – Program of mental arithmetic

  • TBDP (Total Brain Development Program) is a system of overall brain development that stimulates the activation of both cerebral hemispheres in the early stages of life. As a result of this activation, a series of mental abilities are enhanced, such as memory, intelligence, concentration, imagination…
  • VAK method (Visual – Audit – Kinesthetic) is a method developed on the basis of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and involves the inclusion of three senses (vision, hearing, touch) in the learning process. This technique could also be described as Visual – I see what you are telling me; Auditive – it sounds good to me; Kinesthetic (body) – show me how to do it. Scientific research has shown that the best results are achieved when in the learning process information is received through different senses because in this way the most of neuronal connections in the brain is activated. By such learning, the memory process reaches its maximum as the received information is transmitted from one brain to the other brain, thereby activating the whole brain potential.

The program is intended for children from the age of 4 to the age of 12 years (to finish school by the age of 14), because during this period the brain develops most dynamically. The program is flexible and carefully designed taking into account the individual needs of each child. Learning is practiced in small groups (6-12 participants), through fun activities, various games and competitions, with the most important relaxing and creative atmosphere and positive emotional relationships.

The goal of the program is that the child maximally awakens his mental capacities and becomes Genius Kid. Mental development is achieved in a fun and playful way, the classes are based on three key things: calculating with the help of abacus, mental arithmetic and didactic games. Using the abacus, both cerebral hemispheres are activated to achieve maximum intellectual potential. After mastering abacus work, students are able to perform complicated operations such as 235 + 64 + 361 – 97 + 196 – 98 = … without any tools, purely thought-through, giving the correct answer in just a few seconds! This ability Genius Kid keeps forever, possessing it throughout his life.

Program phases

Concept and complements of numbers from 1 to 100

The starting stage is used for the youngest students. The goal of this preparation stage is to introduce the youngest participants to the notion of number and learn the laws applicable to numbers 1 to 100 (number complementarity). In this period, children still do not use abacus, but a classical school calculating device that has 10 arrays and every array has 10 beads.

The use of soroban (abacus)

The abacus stage takes place at the initial levels, where the use of a special Japanese calculating device – Soroban (算盤, abacus) is taught. After mastering the display of numbers, children learn to perform computational operations by moving abacus beads (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

At this stage, the focus of learning is on fine motoring and sensory stimuli (touch, sight and hearing). Learning abacus, children activate their senses, because in time they begin to visualize beads that they see (visually), following the teacher’s words (listening) to take a concrete action and moving the beads of the abacus (touch) to the correct answer. During the described procedure, the intense brain process is performed. The children’s fingers are constantly on the move, touching the abacus beads, tactile stimuli acting in the brain are activating, actively increasing the number of neuronal connections (synapses). Computational operations are performed with both fingers, which activate both (left and right) brain hemisphere, which leads to an increase in the cognitive capacity of children. That’s why it can rightly be said that logical operations on the abacus represent true brain gymnastics, something like squats or push-ups for the brain!

Mental arithmetic and visualization

This stage of mental arithmetic  (暗算, japan. Anzan) begins at higher levels, on which children learn to count, imagining the abacus in their head. It ceases with the physical use of abacus, as the children visualize the beads and computational operations. With this calculating, children continue to move their fingers as if they are still working on the abacus. In this stage, special “computer skills” (multitasking)  are mastered, that is, the right hemisphere of the brain is being used, responsible for imagination, photographic memory and creativity. These complicated cerebral actions of children are performed through play, fun tasks and relaxation. Developing cognitive abilities in the earliest optimal period of life, the child provides for himself a better quality of life, and is efficiently prepared for the upcoming most demanding business and emotional challenges.