About Mental Arithmetic
1) Q: Will mental arithmetic disrupts regular mathematics/school studies? If my child feels mental arithmetic is confusing them when doing regular math, is mental arithmetic still suitable for them?
A:Mental arithmetic will never affect school studies. It is an alternative calculation method to derive answers quickly for questions concerning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
1st: For example, in addition (8+9=?). School teaches the finger counting method to derive answers, whereas students equipped with mental arithmetic skills can immediately tell you that the answer is 17.
2nd: Wekie Education will teach students how to round off and borrow digits before a school exam. Students can quickly derive answers for place-value in ones and move on to tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. Students will feel that mathematics is very simple, which indirectly boosts their confidence. In contrast, children who do not learn mental arithmetic, will take longer time to complete a question, and over time they will become less and less fond of mathematics.
3rd: Wekie Education is certified by the Malaysia Ministry of Education, they will never approve of teaching methods that will conflict with the school, and therefore our teaching methods will not disrupt regular mathematics in school.
2) Q: How can I teach my children if they use mental arithmetic methods instead of the school methods to do the vertical form of math questions for school studies?
A: Before an exam, our teachers will teach students how to use the vertical form to perform calculation, such as how to round off and borrow digits.
Teachers will also teach students to perform calculations in the place-value of ones (4+8=?). Students who are equipped with mental arithmetic skills can derive the answer 12 immediately, and teachers will teach students how to round off as well.
3) Q: My child can perform calculations very fast, but when it comes to simple math questions in school, why do they tend to make mistakes?
A: This happens when students perform calculations too fast and went far beyond their capabilities, or they were overly eager to derive an answer. Hence, causing them to have an oversight. Advise them to slow down their pace, and this problem can be solved.
4) Q: My child complains that they don’t know how to do their homework, and I don’t know how to teach them too, what should I do? / My child cannot concentrate while doing their homework and give many excuses saying they don’t know how to do.
A:There are two possibilities:
1st : Children think they can get away without completing their homework when saying they don’t know how to do it.
2nd : Children may have forgotten the method taught in school because they spent too much time in between lessons without practicing.
Perhaps you can contact our teacher to find out whether your child knows how to do it? Our teachers usually make sure children are able to complete a task in class before giving them homework to practice at home. But if your child has really forgotten, feel free to send them in 30 minutes earlier. Our teachers can teach them without any extra charges.
5) Q: My child doesn’t have time to complete homework at home, how can this be solved?
A: Our teachers usually assign homework that can be completed in 30 minutes.
If 30 minutes cannot be incorporated into your child’s daily activities, contact our teachers so they can let your child finish their homework before going home; or you may also send your child to class 30 minutes before lessons begin to finish it.
The objective of assigning homework is not to give pressure to students, but with more practice on mental arithmetic, students will:
1 : Learn faster without wasting time
2 : Not forget what was taught in previous lessons and are able to catch up with the following lessons.
6) Q: Why does my child solve all questions correctly in your centre, but can’t do the same at home?
A:There are two possibilities:
1st: Your child is overly eager to complete their homework and have their mind on something else. Perhaps they have the mentality of “as long as I fill in all the answers, it means I’m done with today’s assignment regardless of whether they are the right or wrong answers.” If you noticed this problem, please do not erase their answer, and inform our teachers instead. Once our teachers see their work, they will be able to identify if the child has:
a. Turn addition to subtraction or vice versa
b. Applied the wrong formula
c. Randomly filled in the answer
d. Not been focusing or paying attention, etc.
2nd: There may be too many temptations/distractions at home, such as television, computer, phone etc. Performing mental arithmetic requires intense focusing. Once the attention is divided, answers derived will turn out wrong. This is why we would tell you mental arithmetic improves attention span. When our teachers are here, and all the other students are performing the same tasks, children tend to be more focused and attentive.
7) Q: My child tends to take in-between pauses when doing their homework and requires a long time to complete it. Are they the same in class?
A: This occurrence will not happen in class as teachers are present and will make sure students do not waste time in class.
Parents can try performing a time study method at home.
8) Q: When my child is having difficulties with homework at home, can I teach them with my own method?
A: It is advisable for parents to consult Wekie’s teachers first or send students in earlier so that our teachers can help them. If parents wish to help children at home, Wekie’s teacher can provide some useful steps for parents as well. This is to avoid causing confusion to students if they are exposed to too many different methods by different people.
9) Q: How would mental arithmetic help with my child’s homework in school?
A:Wekie Mental Arithmetic is a 3-in-1 course. We focus on honing a child’s calculation skills, memory, and concentration.
Calculation skills : Students tend to feel more relaxed when they work on regular mathematics in school. They gain more confidence as they are quicker than their peers.
Memory : When students practice spelling or dictation, you will notice that the time they need gets shorter and shorter. For example, from taking half an hour to memorise 10 new words, they will eventually need only 20 minutes and even progress to 10 minutes only.
Concentration : Students in advance mental arithmetic levels tend to have better concentration and longer attention span compared to their peers. This has been proven by experts.
10) Q: I was told that memory will improve after learning mental arithmetic, but why do my child still seem to have a poor memory despite having been learning for a period of time?
A: Give your child more time and you will see improvements over time as they take lesser and lesser time to memorise. The effect cannot be seen after a mere two or three months. As students progress to the advanced level, you will be able to see the results better and clearer. This is because at the advanced level, the training involves more numbers, and the place-values are increasing as well.
11) Q: Is my child able to catch up with the progress in class, will they be distracted?
A: Teachers pay close attention to every student. If they are unable to catch up, or are too tired to concentrate in class, teachers will request parents to send them to centre for extra class to strengthen their studies. Mental arithmetic lessons are buckled one after another, if one of the buckles is not fastened, students will not be able to catch up with the ensuing lessons. Therefore, fret not. Our teachers are more anxious than you.
12) Q: At which level can my child stop advancing?
A: We would recommend students to at least achieve Grand Level 5, so that they acquire this skill set and can apply it in their lives. The duration needed for students to achieve Grand Level 5 may range from 1 to 5 years depending on their individual ability.
13) Q: How can I help my child improve?
A: Parents can help students build discipline and let them practice their skills at home. Mental arithmetic takes a lot of practice to progress faster.
14) Q: My child is on a different level than others, will teachers be able to manage them in the same class?
A: Students of the same level study together, teachers provide guidance and instructions according to the students’ level of understanding with our own unique teaching methods. In ‘Level’ classes, students will learn together where those who are faster can help the ones who are slower and they themselves will gain better confidence, while the slower ones will have a goal they can aim for.
15) Q: Is it mandatory to participate in exams and competitions by Wekie?
A: Exams and competitions are platforms to allow students to progress and attest their abilities. Such exposure will also increase the students’ level, so it is highly recommended by teachers to participate in exams and competitions.
16) Q: How can my child advance in levels?
A: As long as the students keep practicing and can complete 15 questions (of their current level) within 3 minutes with 3 or less incorrect answers, then they will be able to advance to the next level. If you wish your child to advance faster, you may discuss and work with the teachers.
17) Q: What is the passing percentage of the international examinations and how is it calculated?
A: Teachers will ensure that students have the ability to take the exam before allowing them to participate. Our practice is for students to complete 15 questions in 3 minutes and withno more than 3 incorrect answers. However, there are only 10 questions for students to complete in the international exam, and the passing mark 70%.
Over the years, Wekie has maintained a passing percentage of 95-100% in the international examinations.
18) Q: My child is very careless, can it be improved by learning mental arithmetic? If so, how?
A: There are many reasons that would cause a child to be careless and identifying them would fix the problem. Mental arithmetic helps students to improve concentration, so they become more attentive when doing homework, hence reducing the probability of careless mistakes. There are many numbers in mental arithmetic, one careless mistake will definitely result in deriving the wrong answer. Therefore, long-term training and practice will help students to improve concentration and thus minimise the issue of carelessness.
19) Q: Children must be able to write 0~9 to learn mental arithmetic. What if they can’t write them properly?
A: It is advisable for Parents to request help from the kindergarten teachers or Parents can also try visual aid on numbers, for example Number 2 can be shown with the picture of a duck to guide children to recognise the correct writing.
20) Q: If my child has taken mental arithmetic lessons previously, would they need to start from the basic level when enrolling to Wekie Education?
A: Students will need to take a test first. If their foundation is good enough then it is not necessary for them to start from the basic level. They can then start from whichever level they belong to.
21) Q: Will children learning mental arithmetic face conflicts or gain assistance after entering secondary school? Because mathematics in secondary school are more difficult.
A: Mental arithmetic will help students with their calculation skills and allow them to answer simple math instantly, saving them more time during examinations.
If they have learnt Mental Arithmetic earlier, it has helped in their mind development in which will assist them in their focus and memory skills. There are a lot of memorising needed in secondary school such as history. Hence, having this skill will also make things easier for them.
22) Q: How does mental arithmetic help with the development of the left and right brain?
A: The left brain is responsible for logical thinking, calculation etc. The right brain is responsible for image memory, imagination space, creativity and etc.
Students learning mental arithmetic need to picture the abacus is in their mind which activates the right brain, while the calculation part activates the left brain.
Therefore, experts have proven that learning mental arithmetic has the capability of stimulating students’ left and right brain development.
23) Q: What is the difference between the teaching methods of Wekie Education and other mental arithmetic education centre?
A: There are various brands with different teaching methods in the market, but Wekie Education uses a storytelling teaching method to aid students in memorising formulas. Hence, we turned all 34 formulas into stories that students can understand and remember instead of blindly memorising without understanding.
Wekie Education uses a kid-friendly language to teach. Students are able to understand better with the language they are comfortable with, will not feel distant from the teacher.
What’s special at Wekie Education is our class model, where students take classes together within their level. As an example, for basic course, the entire class will learn basics together. Therefore, students will be able to absorb properly during the one-and-a-half-hour lesson taught by our teachers.
24) Q: Why can’t my child answer simple questions such as 5+6 at home?
A: When students are in the basic level, they have not finished learning all 34 formulas, so it is not advisable to test them yet. In retrospect, this will only undermine your child’s confidence.
If you come to this situation where students are able to answer “8+9=?” but couldn’t answer “5+9=?”, don’t worry. This is because there are two “+9” types of formulas in the 34 formulas mental arithmetic, and they have learned the first “+9”, but not the latter “+9”.
Thus, wait until your child has finished learning the basics before giving them a test.