Mental Arithmetic

In the Kid Genius school, the original HIKARI 光 program of Mental Aithmetic is used. Hikari in Japanese means light and symbolizes the process of learning and awakening (illumination) of our mental capacities. The program has a unique method originating from Japan, a cradle of mental arithmetic. It has been formed as the result of many years of work by psychologists, pedagogues and other experts in the field of education, and is based on the use of the ancient device abacus (算盤 jap Soroban).

  • TBDP (Total Brain Development Program) is a system of overall brain development that stimulates the activation of both cerebral hemispheres in the early stages of life. As a result of this activation, a series of mental abilities are enhanced, such as memory, intelligence, concentration, imagination…
  • VAK method (Visual – Audit – Kinesthetic) is a method developed on the basis of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and involves the inclusion of three senses (vision, hearing, touch) in the learning process. This technique could also be described as Visual – I see what you are telling me; Auditive – it sounds good to me; Kinesthetic (body) – show me how to do it. Scientific research has shown that the best results are achieved when in the learning process information is received through different senses because in this way the most of neuronal connections in the brain is activated. By such learning, the memory process reaches its maximum as the received information is transmitted from one brain to the other brain, thereby activating the whole brain potential.

The program is intended for children from the age of 4 to the age of 12 years (to finish school by the age of 14), because during this period the brain develops most dynamically. The program is flexible and carefully designed taking into account the individual needs of each child. Learning is practiced in small groups (6-12 participants), through fun activities, various games and competitions, with the most important relaxing and creative atmosphere and positive emotional relationships.

The goal of the program is that the child maximally awakens his mental capacities and becomes Kid Genius. Mental development is achieved in a fun and playful way, the classes are based on three key things: calculating with the help of abacus, mental arithmetic and didactic games. Using the abacus, both cerebral hemispheres are activated to achieve maximum intellectual potential. After mastering abacus work, students are able to perform complicated operations such as 235 + 64 + 361 – 97 + 196 – 98 = … without any tools, purely thought-through, giving the correct answer in just a few seconds! This ability Kid Genius keeps forever, possessing it throughout his life.

Preparation stage


The starting stage is used for the youngest students. The goal of this preparation stage is to introduce the youngest participants to the notion of number and learn the laws applicable to numbers 1 to 100 (number complementarity). In this period, children still do not use abacus, but a classical school calculating device that has 10 arrays and every array has 10 beads.


1. The use of soroban (abacus)

The abacus stage takes place at the initial levels, where the use of a special Japanese calculating device – Soroban (算盤, abacus) is taught. After mastering the display of numbers, children learn to perform computational operations by moving abacus beads (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

At this stage, the focus of learning is on fine motoring and sensory stimuli (touch, sight and hearing). Learning abacus, children activate their senses, because in time they begin to visualize beads that they see (visually), following the teacher’s words (listening) to take a concrete action and moving the beads of the abacus (touch) to the correct answer. During the described procedure, the intense brain process is performed. The children’s fingers are constantly on the move, touching the abacus beads, tactile stimuli acting in the brain are activating, actively increasing the number of neuronal connections (synapses). Computational operations are performed with both fingers, which activate both (left and right) brain hemisphere, which leads to an increase in the cognitive capacity of children. That’s why it can rightly be said that logical operations on the abacus represent true brain gymnastics, something like squats or push-ups for the brain!

2. Mental arithmetic and visualization

This stage of mental arithmetic  (暗算, japan. Anzan) begins at higher levels, on which children learn to count, imagining the abacus in their head. It ceases with the physical use of abacus, as the children visualize the beads and computational operations. With this calculating, children continue to move their fingers as if they are still working on the abacus. In this stage, special “computer skills” (multitasking)  are mastered, that is, the right hemisphere of the brain is being used, responsible for imagination, photographic memory and creativity. These complicated cerebral actions of children are performed through play, fun tasks and relaxation. Developing cognitive abilities in the earliest optimal period of life, the child provides for himself a better quality of life, and is efficiently prepared for the upcoming most demanding business and emotional challenges.