Abacus Kids

An ancient technique - for modern maths.

At four years old Kelly is doing speedy sums visualising the abacus in her mind.

The program is called SEMAS - and is popular across Asia and in the US.

Carlien Scheepers has brought it to Australia, "by using the abacus as a tool we use the left side of the brain to do the calculation and the right side of the brain, so we encourage children and develop and train them how to use the whole side of the brain."

The classes have been running in Perth since last year, and are now being looked at by other States.

9 year old Michael has been doing SEMAS for 8 months his mother Hester is surprised by the results, "he's becoming so much better than us I've got to take the calculator and check him."

10 year old Lianda is two months into the course, "I like that it helps you in school and I also like that it's a fun and different way of doing maths and I just love the brain gym that's my favourite part."

Brain gym is an exercise routine at the beginning of each class.

At Summer Pines Child Care Centre kids as young as 2 and a half are taking part, these youngsters are doing basic number recognition, along with addition and subtraction.

Tash Wheeler is the director of the childcare centre, "to have people come in to incorporate maths was something that sounded really good."

She's added abacus learning after a one-month trial. The cost is 80 to 120 dollars a month but parents like Cindy believe it's worth it.

Further details on the program

www.semas.com.au