I have always been a lover of math. But, I have never enjoyed memorizing stuff just for the sake of memorization. Therefore, I am not very fast at math. Most who know me and know my fascination with playing with numbers and finding new ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide will probably be surprised to know that I don’t have the times table memorized. I know a few numbers by memory. I just work out the rest.
Recently I have been on a quest to renew my algebra skills. Though I used to be very good with algebra (I am quite skilled with thinking through things logically), I have forgotten many of the rules for how to work with algebraic notation.
One of the ones that caught my eye was about the benefits of “Mental Math.” Interestingly the article had nothing to do with the benefits of it, but did give 6* methods of learning and working out math. The blogger’s list included:
Learning by Heart–rote memorization
The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art–a Chinese method
Trachtenberg Speed System of Mathematics
Kumon Math Method
High Speed Vedic Mathematics
Hmm, makes me wonder. There are 6* methods listed. So does the blog poster’s method work when this is supposed to be a top 5 list? Their favorite is the Vedic system. Interestingly enough, it is a whole blog about that system. So, it seems a little skewed and understandable why they would say disparaging things about the other systems.
Nonetheless, it is the first time I have seen anything about it and I think I will pursue it a bit.
*Update: According to the original poster’s comments, he lumps the abacus and the other Chinese method together as 1 system.