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Mental Arithmetic

Author of the methodology - Gulzhan Berdibekova

The methodology trains a perception speed and information processing, develops both brain hemispheres simultaneously owing to mental visualization of calculations on abacus. High speed of oral counting is not the major, but an interesting “side effect”.

Look, how
your child can learn
to count

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Mental arithmetic will teach:

The methodology will help your child to develop his gifts, which you even did not suspect of.

Count in mind quickly

Be concentrated

Remember very quickly

Perceive new information
at once

Think analytically and
in a creative manner

About our methodology

Mental arithmetic is a unique methodology of developing intellectual abilities of children at the age from 4 to 16, based on the system of oral counting. Being trained by this methodology a child can work arithmetical problems for several seconds (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square rooting) in mind faster than by means of a calculator.

What is the difference of our methodology of teaching mental arithmetic from other methodologies?

1. Presence of study guides for instructors, containing plans described in detail for each lesson.

2. Every lesson children learn a new subject, therefore being of children with different levels of knowledge and mental arithmetic technics in one group is excluded.

3. Every subject is explained in 6 stages, and from the 3-rd level – in seven stages. All information perception channels of a child are trained. It means only one new subject is worked over for 45 minutes. Only after being convinced that every child 100% understood and trained a new material, he is given a home assignment in order to reinforce acquired knowledge and skills at home.  

4. The methodology is described in detail and in-depth. When working on a new subject, the material for repetition and reinforcing previously learnt subjects is included necessarily, thereby solid knowledge and skills are acquired. Therefore addition of new students to a group at any stage of learning and with any level of knowledge is excluded.

5. Thoroughly and in-detail developed books for study. Not less than 8 pages are provided for each new subject. Each page contains 4 lines, with 10 examples. This is 2-3 times more than usually proposed by other schools.

6. Taking into account our mentality, children start counting mentally already from the third lesson in our schools. A soon as a child trained acquired skills on abacus, he is proposed to do it mentally, using imagination, at first on easy examples without formulas, then gradually counting is becoming complicated. It strongly motivates children to study; since from the first steps in learning mental arithmetic they see results, well learnt material and trained skills make this process not complicated to the maximum. They try, they manage and children acquire sense of self confidence, in their abilities and knowledge. According to other methodologies, as a rule, all formulas are learnt on abacus at first for a year, and only after a year they start trying to calculate mentally.

7. A unique educational online portal created specifically for the ISMA methodology. Children train at the portal every day. The work of the portal is set up in such a way that an instructor controls how regular and correct home assignments are fulfilled, monitors statistics and analyzes child development. If a child does not train at the portal, it is seen at once, his rating falls down. This is a powerful self-control instrument and motivation for a child, control not only by the instructor, but also by parents, who may at any time, enter the portal and trace the dynamics of child development. Apart from arithmetical problems, there are also tasks for development of logics, attention, and photographic memory at the portal. These trainings are very important for skill training and reinforcing.

8. Children in parallel work problems with formulas for addition and subtraction. Usual foreign methodologies offer mainly problems for addition. They learn subtraction in separate formulas. The ISMA methodology also teaches children to count negative numbers, decimal fractions, square root, cube root, per cents. Keep counts in monetary terms, in terms of mass and other measures.  

9. Uniqueness of the methodology is that it is our Kazakhstan product, which is successfully working for 4 years not only on the market of Kazakhstan, but also in countries of near and far abroad. Besides the methodology is constantly improved and developed – this is its advantage before those acquired abroad, since legislatively it is impossible to make changes, improvements to a template of an acquired alien methodology, even if it does not suit out mentality. This is a very important aspect. Even on a small example: in many methodologies the number 5 250 is written like 5,250. Schools in this case cannot deviate from regulations of the acquired methodology. In our educational system comma after number five means that further hundredths go. And the number is read like five point two hundred fiftieth. Children experience some kind of a conflict of number perception, since school requires one system, and there is another system in the mental arithmetic school. Hence, discontent and negativity appear in school teachers regarding mental arithmetic.

Training of mental arithmetic by the ISMA methodology takes into account school requirements, peculiarities of mentality and psychology of our children, thus enables to achieve excellent results not only in training of mental arithmetic, but significantly increasing general academic progress at school.

Besides knowledge and skills of children, being trained mental arithmetic by the ISMA methodology, conform to the requirements of largest world associations on mental arithmetic. The number of rows is increased in our methodology; improvements are made in accordance with international requirements. This enables our children to participate at world Olympiads brilliantly.    

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How lessons in ISMA are organized

The learning process is set up in such a manner, so that not only to provide each student with knowledge, but also mold strive to develop continuously and apply it in life.

At initial stages children learn how to make arithmetic calculations using abacus

The program consists of 10 levels, the 1 level lasts approximately 3-4 months

A child fulfills home assignments through our unique online portal

During the next stages children learn to work arithmetical problems mentally, imagining abacus in mind

Three age groups:
- Kinder (4-6 years)
- Kids (6 years)
- Junior (7-16 years)

Language of study: Kazakh, Russian, English

The methodology is designed for 2,5-3 years

Experienced pedagogues psychologists, who were trained by the “Mental arithmetic”program run lessons

Unique author’s table games (one of the special feature of the methodology) are used at lessons

Lessons are run by 2 academic hours 1 time per week

Not more than 10 children study in groups

Fragments of lessons

Our students are the most talented and diligent ones!

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A little bit about us

Since 2013 “ISMA” International School is successfully working on the market of supplementary educational services. Today ISMAis one of the largest networks of mental arithmetic schools in CIS. Over 15 000 children study in our 150 centers in 8 countries. Our students successfully take part at international contests on mental arithmetic, held by the largest mental arithmetic associations in the world. And all this became possible owing to an efficient unique developed methodology, which is unrivaled throughout the world.


Satisfied parents and children – this is what allows us being proud of our work!

Frequently asked questions

Parents ask us different questions. Below are the most common.

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