by Brad C. Davis, Mercury Learning Systems LLC
Accelerated math skills are attainable even by children who don't seem to have any abilities or interest in the subject. In this article I'll discuss various ways math can be learned and share the most effective rapid learning math programs available.
An Accelerated Math Genius
Several years ago, I saw math genius Scott Flansburg on TV dazzling the viewers with his amazing skills. He was able to add, subtract, multiply and divide large numbers very quickly. I wanted to do math like him so I bought the course.
At first his system seemed fairly simple. Basically, I learned to group together and temporarily store different chunks of numbers in my mind from an equation while putting together other chunks, then assembling them all at the end for the answer. It worked great at first but what I found is, if I made one wrong calculation along the way, of course the final answer was wrong at the end of the process.
Also, as I progressed through the lessons the equations became more and more difficult. I found trying to keep multiple chunks of numbers in my mind just got too mental. My brain started shutting off so I ended dropped the course - it just wasn't for me.
When looking back, Scott really did have incredible rapid math abilities and figured out a system that can work for people with more left-brain oriented thinking. This system may be fine for some, but let's look at a much faster way much younger children are solving even larger equations through right brain learning methods.
Instant Math Calculation through The Right Brain
Equations solved by A. T., Nagoya (age 2 yrs-8 mths). ©The Shichida Method.
Imagine this: You enter one of Shichida's classrooms and observe young children concentrating on their lessons. As you walk around you notice a little girl saying rather large numbers out loud as she's looking at a small writing board. This interests you, so you wonder over to see what she's looking at. What you find is amazing: She's shouting out the answers to six-digit math equations! You ask the teacher how she does it. She simply says, "She sees the answers in her mind."
You may be wondering: How can someone, let alone a child, instantly see the answer to a math problem in her mind? She must have memorized the answers to some pre-written equations! Well, I've seen it myself and it's real. As fantastic as it sounds, children are capable of solving complex math equations faster than a computer. Here's what makes it possible!
Math is Not Like Geography
In his book, How To Teach Your Baby Math", Glenn Doman says, "Mathematics is not a subject like geography but a way of thinking and reasoning." The functions of math are really just a series of visual symbols that we arrange into other symbols. Following this idea, child development experts Doman, Shichida and Jones developed math programs using symbols instead of numbers and actually succeeded in teaching math to young children, and even babies. Although the methods used by these educators vary slightly, they all develop the mind's visual mechanism allowing complex equations to be solved instantly.
Instant Rapid Math Calculation through the Subconscious Mind
Instantly solving large math equations like this is not a function of conscious mathematical calculations as Scott Flansburg teaches. Instead, the answers automatically come from the subconscious where they are calculated instantly. Through our right brain functions, we literally see a picture of the correct answer in our mind's eye. However, we need to be in the right state of consciousness to see it. Think of it like playing baseball: If you're not in the right spot on the field at the right time, you won't catch the ball that was just batted to you. In most cases, being in the right place to receive the answers that appear in your mind takes certain training.
I Have Experienced Rapid Math Calculation!
Although I'm no math wizard, from time to time I've experienced the ability to instantly add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers without "thinking" about it.
Sometimes, when looking at numbers on paper I can hear my mind saying, "I need to add these." Or, "I need to multiply these." Instantly, the answer appears in my mind. It happens so quickly that often I hardly take notice. Sometimes, the answer will appear and then, in another instant, it's gone. When I do make conscious contact with the answer, I'll write it down.
What I just described doesn't happen all the time but when it does, my logical mind tells me it can't be right so I usually verify it by hand or with a calculator and, as suspected, the answers are always correct.
Dr. Shichida's Research Confirms This Ability
Child educator and pioneer in right brain education, Dr. Makato Shichida, tells us there are a great many five- and six-year-old children all over the world who can correctly multiply and divide five- and six-digit numbers in seconds. He believes that this is the right brain activity of fast calculation and imaging mechanisms. In fact, he verified his supposition using data from Positron Emission Tomography (PET) testing of brain waves. This data shows that specific brain functions of highly skilled abacus users are active when carrying out arithmetic operations. This contrasts with the rest of us, for whom the left brain is more active when doing arithmetic with a calculator. Remember, earlier we mentioned that the use of symbols in math equations activate the brain's instant math abilities. The abacus is composed of a series of visual symbols - beads.
So, if we want to train our children to calculate faster than a computer, we'll need a suitable math program and exercises we can use to develop our right brain's natural imagery and visualization abilities. This will enable our conscious awareness to see what our subconscious is showing us, which in this case, are answers to math problems.
Glenn Doman's Math Dots Can Make a Math Genius of Your Baby!
In his book, How To Teach Your Baby Math", Glenn and Janet Doman show a great accelerated learning method how you can teach your baby to instantly recognize huge numbers of dots, people, sheep, anything and even add, subtract, multiply and divide instantly. They developed a method called "Math Dots". See the results of this method with a 13 month old in the video below! Prepare to be amazed....
Jones Geniuses Accelerated Math Programs
In addition to the Shichida and Doman math programs, Dr. Miles Jones, Founder of The Institute for Accelerated Learning based in Texas, developed an accelerated math curriculum that has had such amazing results with young children that these "Jones Geniuses" have appeared on TV in a math challenge with college math professors. The professors got to use calculators and the students only used, well, their minds! Math problems in the contest included ones like finding the square root of 714,924,299. Who won? The students won by a landslide.
His programs begin with what Jones' calls Matrix Math. It's a system similar to Shichida and Doman with the use of dots to represent numbers but his learning method is much different and extremely effective. In fact, by the time your child completes the first course, he's already adding and subtracting numbers instantly.
Please see below for more information and resources available on this site.
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Video of Accelerated Math Using the Doman Method
Jones Geniuses Math Students Take on College Professors