Abacus is a calculating tool which first originated in the European countries. However, it was in China where Abacus became popular and was used for day to day calculations. Predominantly, used as a calculating tool, it has a frame consisting of wires which are attached to frame and beads which slide along these wires. Each bead represents one unit.

Abacus is mainly used to perform addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. It is suggested that abacus learning at a very young age is useful in actuating the brains of the kids. When a child works on abacus, he/she will simultaneously use both his hands to move the beads. The right hand actuates the left hemisphere and the left hand actuates the right hemisphere, thereby helping in developing both sides of the brain in a balanced way. This promotes rapid and balanced development of the entire brain of the child. It is also suggested that Abacus math should be started at very early childhood, as young as age 4. Eventually the child retains the memory of bead positions and the relevant notation.

Abacus math if started during later ages can create a bit of hindrance.

• Although exceptionally helpful, abacus has plenty of drawbacks as the child might get overconfident in mathematics and the child might bypass the regular functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division methods.

• Abacus is primarily about cramming. It in a way creates monotony and takes well over two years to master it which might lead the child to get bored.

• Advanced mathematical concepts like calculus, algebra and geometry cannot be solved using abacus, an abacus in contrast to Vedic Mathematics is just basic and elementary.

Vedic Mathematics system is based on the 16 Vedic Sutras. These 16 Sutras were originally written in Sanskrit language and can be easily memorized and using these all kinds of calculations can be made. Vedic mathematics enables one to solve long mathematical problems quickly. It was founded in 1911 and has its roots in Atharva Veda. Vedic math can be entirely done in mind and paperwork is not required. Vedic math starts at a basic level of numbers and gradually progressing to simple additions, subtractions, multiplications and division.

Some advantages of using Vedic Math are –

• Vedic math is not just about solving the basic calculations as with Vedic math one can also be able to solve complex geometrical theorems, calculus sums and algebraic problems.

• Vedic math can be started at later ages as well without any difficulty.

• It is also very useful for competitive exams specifically while solving multiple choice questions where timing is an issue!

The rules of calculation are very simple; It focuses more on learning through logic and understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics rather than cramming and repetition as in the case of abacus. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.

So, basically what a child does in Vedic mathematics is, he/she will derive the answers using the concepts of Vedic mathematics and then compare their final answers got by the regular mathematics process and that will help the child in understanding mathematics better.

One of the best aspects of learning and using Vedic mathematics is that it does not become an additional burden for students, teachers & parents. It rather complements the existing mathematics syllabus and makes mathematics more interesting and enjoyable for all. The only drawback of Vedic mathematics is that it is not advisable for kindergarten and primary school children and a child can understand its concepts only after a certain age; say after the age of 9 or 10. However the advantages and applications of Vedic mathematics are so wide that it minor drawbacks can be overlooked and should is preferred over abacus.

## More Stories

## The Three Concentrations of Language

## Should the Teaching of Mathematics in Secondary Schools Be Resource Based?

## Teaching High School Mathematics in One Hour Time Slots