According to an article on Today Online, a survey conducted showed that Singaporean parents spend twice the global average on their child’s local education because they perceive it as an important gateway towards his or her future success.
In order to excel academically, besides providing the necessary formal education opportunities for your child, it is also imperative to equip him or her with critical executive function skills – which are key towards achieving academic excellence.
What are executive function skills?
Executive function skills are higher-order cognitive processes that comprises of three main aspects:
- Working Memory – This refers to your child’s ability to store and retrieve information whenever appropriate. Academically, your child needs to have good working memory to be able to read a comprehension passage or to answer exam questions based on knowledge that he or she has acquired and retained in the brain.
- Cognitive Flexibility – Also known as flexible thinking, this skill enables your child to think about a problem from different perspectives, e.g. to solve a math problem using different approaches and identifying the inter-relationships between two different concepts.
- Inhibitory Control – This skill refers to self-regulation or self-control, which helps your child to focus and concentrate on task at hand from start to finish, without giving in to distractions and temptations. It also enables your child to manage his or her emotions without throwing tantrums unnecessarily or acting on impulse.
Studies have proven that people with matured executive function skills outperform those with poor executive function skills in academic results, job productivity, social relations and even marital harmony! Children are not born with these skills, but they are born with the potential to develop them when they are given the right opportunity.
As parents, how can you equip your children with proper development of the executive function skills required to excel in school and life?
According to another study titled “Abacus training affects math and task switching abilities and modulates their relationships in Chinese children”, it shows that abacus-based mental calculation can help children improve their math abilities and executive function skills, such as working memory and task switching ability (related to cognitive flexibility).
How does abacus training improve executive function skills?
As the left-brain is the dominant side for most people worldwide, the right brain is often underutilized or underdeveloped, which impairs healthy development of essential executive function skills.
With CMA’s unique dual-hands 4 fingers methodology to abacus mental training, your child’s left and right brain will be stimulated simultaneously. This ensures total brain development, which leads to better concentration, memory and creativity.
As your child is trained to listen and understand numbers while they do mental calculations, he or she will develop stronger working memory because of the enhanced ability to remember details and work with speed and accuracy even as the numbers get larger.
Performing mental calculations require a lot of focus and concentration. Thus, the more your child undergoes abacus training, the more self-regulated your child will become. This will be clearly reflected in his or her ability to focus better in class and be able to complete any given task at hand in a well-mannered fashion.
Also, as your child advances through more challenging stages of abacus training, he or she will be able to solve more complex math problems with ease. This requires the ability to break down huge amounts of data into useful information, which helps him or her to develop mental flexibility.
With consistent abacus mental arithmetic training, your child will not only excel in Math subject, he or she will also be equipped with critical executive function skills, which are instrumental in preparing him or her for academic success.
Learn more about CMA Mental Arithmetic training here.
Published on 13th December 2017