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## Top 5 Mental Math Methods in the World

*Today you can define mental math in different ways. Some people say that memorizing the times table and remembering the solutions can be part of mental math. Some would say the ability to perform simple calculations in your head can be mental math.*

The web dictionary defines mental math as “*Calculating an exact answer without the use of pencil and paper or other physical aids.”*

Today there are five ways to learn and practice mental math.

Let’s start with the first one called ‘Learning by Heart’ or better known as rote memorization method where your teachers ask you to complete boring multiplication tables. It not only kills the child’s interest in mathematics, but also ensures that he develops an aversion to the subject for the rest of his schooling years. This system initially provides some degree of success to its enthusiastic devotee as it can respond to simple problems, but then runs out of steam when the supposedly bigger application problems come up.

The second one gives you a good degree of success and I would highly recommend it to the guys out there. It is from China and popularly known as The Abacus (also known as Soroban in Japan). An abacus is a calculating instrument, usually made of a wooden frame with pegs on strings. Using this tool one can easily perform calculations related to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Little by little, one practices with the instrument in hand and then when there is experience, one learns to do without. This tool is then installed in the mind and then it can add, multiply and divide in seconds. This tool also increases the attention level of the child.

The main disadvantage of this system is that it only focuses on 4 mathematical operations. Concepts beyond these operations such as Algebra, Square Roots, Cubes, Squares, Arithmetic, and Geometry etc. are never solved using it. It also takes a longer time to be able to fully understand the system, so you see courses in abacus lasting more than 2 years before the child gets bored and then drops out of the course.

Another class system is largely compiled from the book *Nine Chapters on Mathematical Art *Describes an approach to mathematics that focuses on finding the most common methods of solving problems. Entries in the book are usually in the form of a statement of the problem, followed by a statement of the solution, and an explanation of the procedure leading to the solution.

The methods explained in this system can barely be memorized and there is no rush to master them all. The Chinese were undoubtedly the most advanced civilization thanks to the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, but if I had to choose between the two methods that gave this culture, it would be abacus.

If there is a 99.99 percent decline in war, sometimes there may be an upside because they create stories of hope and creativity. The ultimate mental math system was developed during World War II in a Nazi Concentration Camp by a Ukrainian Mathematician Jakow Trachtenberg to engage the mind. What resulted is now known as the Trachtenberg Speed Math System and consists of Quick Mind Methods of Doing Math.

The system consists of a number of easy-to-remember patterns that allow one to perform numerical calculations very quickly. It has more extensive applications than the Abacus and in addition to the four basic modes of operation it includes Squares and Square Roots.

The method mainly focuses on Multiplication and it even gives additional patterns for multiplication by a specific number for example 5,6,7 and even 11 and 12. Then he gives a general method for quick multiplication and a special two-finger method. After working out the method myself, I realized that multiplication is a very useful mental method, but other methods used to solve division and square roots were not very friendly and impossible to do mentally. I was in search of a much better healthy way to do other things easily. Another shortcoming of this system was that, like the abacus, it did not have a wider scope, i.e. other fields such as Algebra, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Cube Roots, etc.

A recommendation by a friend of mine from America introduced me to what is known as the Kumon Math Method. It was founded by Japanese educator Toru Kumon in 1950 and as of 2007 over 4 million children were studying under the Kumon Method in over 43 different countries.

Students do not work together as a class, but progress through the curriculum at their own pace, moving to the next level once they have mastered the previous level. This sometimes *performs repetition* the same set of worksheets until the student achieves a satisfactory score within a given time period. At North American Kumon Centers, the math curriculum begins with very basic skills, such as pattern recognition and counting, and progresses to more challenging topics, such as calculus, probability, and statistics. The Kumon method does not include geometry as a separate subject but provides enough geometry practice to meet the trigonometry requirements, which are covered in the Kumon math curriculum.

I was very impressed with the glamor surrounding Kumon, but one look at her class left me deeply disappointed. It’s not mental at all. It doesn’t offer any special methods for doing math and you don’t improve your speed by doing Kumon Math. There is a program of worksheets that one does until one has mastered the subject. So for example a paper on Division One will continue to divide by conventional method until it gets a satisfactory score and then it will move on to a higher level. This certainly does not speed up the division and the process is certainly not mental.

A deep thought about the reason for its remarkable popularity in America led me to conclude the lack of a franchise business model of the abacus and the Trachtenberg speed system in the 1950s. The franchisee model was important in taking the course from country to country. This is where Toru Kumon thrived.

Disillusioned with other cultures of the world, my search led me to find my own Indian culture. What I found so amazing and amazing that I fell in love with the system and started training neighborhood students.

This is simply the World’s Fastest Intelligent Mathematical System called High Speed Vedic Mathematics. It has its roots in the ancient Indian scriptures called Vedas which means ‘fountain of knowledge’. With it you can not only add, subtract, multiply or divide which is the limiting factor of the abacus, but you can also solve complex mathematics such as algebra, geometry, calculus and trigonometry. Some of the most advanced, complex and difficult problems can be solved with extreme ease using the Vedic method of mathematics.

And all this is written in just 16 word formulas in Sanskrit.

High Speed Vedic Mathematics was founded by **Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja **who was the Sankaracharya (Supreme Monk) of the Govardhan Matha in Puri between 1911 and 1918. They are called “Vedic” because the sutras in **Atharva Veda **– a branch of mathematics and engineering in ancient Indian scriptures.

**High Speed Vedic Mathematics **it’s much more *systematic, simple and integrated *from the conventional system. It is a mental tool for computing that encourages the development and use of understanding and innovation, while giving the student a lot to do. **flexibility, pleasure and satisfaction **. For your child, this means giving them a competitive edge, a way to optimize their performance and give them an edge in math and logic that will help them shine in the classroom and beyond.

So it is straightforward and easy to implement in schools – the reason behind it **great popularity **among academics and **students **It is a Mathematics subject traditionally taught in schools by including a **a powerful control tool **and goes **save valuable time **in examinations.

The Trachtenberg Method is often compared to Vedic Mathematics. In fact, some forms of multiplication are remarkably similar. The Trachtenberg system is the closest to the Vedic system in comparison and simplicity of methods. But the simplicity and mental resolution of the other method, especially division, square roots, cube roots, Algebraic Equations, Trigonometry, Arithmetic, etc. clearly give way to the Vedic System. Even NASA is said to be using some of these methods in artificial intelligence applications.

There are only 16 Vedic Math sutras or word formulas that one needs to practice to be proficient in the Vedic Math system. Sutras or Word Math Formulas like Vertically and Crosswise, All to Nine and Last to Ten help to solve complex problems easily and also single formula can be applied in two or more fields at the same time. Vertically and Crosswise Formula is such a gem that you can multiply, find squares, solve simultaneous equations and find the determinant of a matrix all at the same time.

If one of these methods is learned at a young age, a 14-year-old student can easily do simple quick calculations during his exams and pass them.

Vedic mathematics is rapidly gaining popularity in this millennium. It is considered as the only mental math system that is suitable for a child as it helps to develop his numerical as well as mental skills. The methods are fresh and practical and teach only Mindful Quick Math.

The system does not focus on learning through repetition as in the Kumon Method. The system focuses on improving consciousness through basic teaching and alternative methods. The goal is not limited to improving performance in school or tests, but providing a broader perspective that results in improved mathematical intelligence and mental toughness.

For more information on Vedic Mathematics Sutras – The World’s Golden Mathematical System you can visit http://www.vedicmathsindia.org

This article is by Gaurav Tekriwal,, President of Indian Vedic Math Forum who has been conducting High Speed Vedic Math Workshops for the last five years and has trained more than seven thousand students in the field worldwide. He is the author of the best selling DVD on the subject covering over 10 hours on the subject. He is an expert in this field and is revolutionizing the way children learn math.

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