The abacus was invented in 3000 B.C. by Chinese to do calculations and its use spread from China to many countries like Korea, Japan, Egypt, India, Greek and ancient Rome to name a few.
This ancient tool has been revived by the educationist as one of the obvious benefits of an abacus is the simplification of the numbers and giving them more concrete form that is much easier for children to understand. This is one of the reasons why now a days we see simple abacus used by many education institutes in their primary education.
Even scientific brain researchers are advocating Abacus for children as it helps in the holistic brain development with special emphasis on right brain development.Here is an introduction of it
As you can see an abacus is usually in rectangle shape and is divided into two parts; upper part is called Heaven and lover part is called Earth. The parts are separated by a horizontal line called Beam. The upper part has one bead having five as its value and the lower part has five beads with each having value of one.
How to do addition and subtraction in an abacus?
It is very easy. In order to add, the beads are moved towards the horizontal line called Beam and to subtract, beads are moved away from the Beam. Here we have an interesting story about five brothers.
Once upon a time there were five brothers. Four brothers were brave and bold so they lived on earth as you can see on abacus four beads on earth and were just one year old that’s their value. Whereas the one brother was a wimp and lived on Heaven and he was five year old that is its value.
This helps children to remember the values in a story form!