Internationally renowned franchise, ALOHA Mind Math, claims to improve the overall personality of a child through their unique approach to teaching mental arithmetic. The ALOHA (ABACUS Learning of Higher Arithmetic) franchise boasts over 3000 centers in countries such as India, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, China, Australia, New Zealand, Oman, UAE and USA.
Two local women of Indian origin, Sharda Dewal and Sonali Bhagde, teamed up earlier this year to bring the popular math enrichment franchise to the Andover area in Massachusetts. “We began in June with 5 students, and have grown to include 25 children in a span of 5 months,” says Sharda Dewal.
“What sets ALOHA apart is that, while it is a math program and enhances a child’s comfort with numbers, the core benefit is that it helps promote whole brain development,” says Dewal. “We teach children to become adept at doing math operations with a string of numbers at a time, instead of with just 2 or 3 numbers. This promotes attention and focus and has a direct impact on the overall academic achievements, as the child is then able to approach learning other subjects with improved focus as well,“ she says.
Taught by certified teachers, the methodology involves learning visually and kinesthetically through the use of the abacus. “As we do not employ a paper-and-pen methodology, the use of the abacus ensures that learning is hands-on and visual, making it easier for young children to relate to numbers. It is also much more fun and engaging than pen and paper and makes math seem much less scary to kids,” says Dewal. “Of course, the dependence on the abacus will reduce as the child progresses and is able to do complex math computations mentally.”
The two-hour long classes are offered once a week, at specific times during weekends and weekdays at the Chinmaya Mission premises in Andover. The program is structured for children between 5 and 12 years of age, considered to be the period of rapid brain development. Classes are divided into two groups: Junior, for ages 5 to 7.5 years and Senior, for ages 8 to 12 years. Class sizes are kept small to ensure that the children get individualized attention, with about 7 students in the Junior group and 10 in the Senior group. Homework will typically take about 10 to 15 minutes per day, about 4 times per week.
For those interested in learning more, ALOHA of Andover is offering free orientation sessions every Sunday. Call 617-957-1269 or 240-672-3553, or send email to Andover@aloha-usa.com to book a free lesson.