The cost of the Abacus Math program (5 to 12 year-olds) is $300 per Level, which consists of 10 classes offered twice a week. No classes . All new students will be required to purchase a Starter Kit for $50, which includes an abacus, a set of flash cards and a case.

The cost of the Abacus Math Club, AMC, is $250 for a total of 10 classes. AMC is designed for our students in Levels 3 through 10+ to maintain abacus math skills in a fun environment.

The History of the Abacus

The abacus, called Suan-Pan in Chinese, as it appears today, was first chronicled circa 1200 C.E. in China. The device was made of wood with metal re-inforcements. On each rod, the classic Chinese abacus has 2 beads on the upper deck and 5 on the lower deck; such an abacus is also referred to as a 2/5 abacus. The 2/5 style survived unchanged until circa 1850 at which time the 1/5 (one bead on the top deck and five beads on the bottom deck) abacus appeared.

Circa 1600 C.E., use and evolution of the Chinese 1/5 abacus was begun by the Japanese via Korea. In Japanese, the abacus is called Soroban. The 1/4 abacus, a style preferred and still manufactured in Japan today, appeared circa 1930. The 1/5 models are rare today and 2/5 models are rare outside of China (excepting Chinese communities in North America and elsewhere).

The Russian abacus is called a schoty (pronounced "SHAW-tee"). It was invented in the 17th century and is still in use today. 

The design of the schoty is based on a pair of human hands (each row has ten beads, corresponding to ten fingers). The abacus is operated by sliding the beads right-to-left.

If you hold out both hands in front of you, palms facing out, you will see that your two thumbs are beside each other and two sets of 4 fingers spread out from there. Similarily, on the schoty, each row has two sets of 4 beads of the same colour on the outside, representing the two sets of 4 fingers and the two inner-most beads of the same colour representing the two thumbs.

The "home" position for the beads is on the right hand side. The bottom-most row represents 1s, the next row up represents 10s, then 100s, and so on. So, counting is similar to counting on one's fingers, the beads move from right to left: 1 to 10, and then carrying upwards to the next row.

Careful observers will note that the metal rods, on which the beads slide, have a slight curvature to prevent the "counted" beads from accidently sliding back to the home-position.