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Questions - Answers
Who is Smart Brain ?
  Smart Brain is part of the global Smart Brain Franchise, which spans over 20 countries and teaches over 275,000 children every year. Smart Brain seeks to bring the internationally renowned Abacus Mental Arithmetic and Whole Brain Development Program to every child, thereby instilling a powerful learning tool that will aid the child in overall learning abilities such as reading comprehension, math, memory recall, concentration, etc.

  What is the Smart Brain Program ?
  The Smart Brain Program utilizes Advanced Abacus Mental Arithmetic techniques for proper Brain Development but more importantly overall brain development. Smart Brain students achieve Brain Development by being trained to solve mathematical problems utilizing the abacus. Mathematics is the chosen tool because it specifically stimulates and develops regions of the brain that are crucial to proper learning development. The abacus is a renowned Visio-Spatial tool that is utilized to form mathematical images in a child mind and helps in the development of a number of sensory pathways responsible for creativity, reading, reasoning, observation, conceptualization, and many other benefits associated with brain development. As the student progresses in each level, they are slowly weaned off the abacus and learn to perform mental calculations that are quick and accurate. The Smart Brain methods collectively ensure that the appropriate action, cognitive and conceptual connections are made.

  What is an abacus ?
  The abacus is an ancient counting tool that has been used for more than two millennia. The word abacus is derived from the Greek word "Abax" , meaning counting board. The ancient abacus eventually evolved into a slate with grooves into which counters such as rocks, would be placed to mark numbers.

  My child is already good in math, why should I send her to the program?
  This is not a Math Program. Although your child will become better in mathematics, this is an additional benefit. The main purpose of the program is Brain Development. The abacus is a key tool that is utilized in stimulating the both side of the Brain. Our educational goals is not constrained to mere subjects, rather to provide training that will affect overall learning abilities that lasts a lifetime. This way your child can benefit from addition to algebra to advanced quantum mechanics.

  How does Abacus Mental Arithmetic aide in Whole Brain Development and why is Right Side Brain Development so important to learning?
  The abacus is the chosen tool because it specifically stimulates and develops regions of the brain that are crucial to proper learning development. The left side of the brain serves as the logical portion of the brain. We learn how to solve problems in a sequential or logical fashion. One purpose that the Right Side of the Brain serves is Conceptualization. Conceptualization allows us to see the bigger picture. Using an analogy of putting together a jigsaw puzzle, the left side of the brain would help to fit individual piece of the puzzle together, while the Right Side of the Brain would try to view or conceptualize how the puzzle would look in its entirety. Conceptualization is key to problem solving and crucial in developing positive learning skills for the long term.

  Is the Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program a tutoring program ?
  No. The Smart Brain Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program is more than a tutoring program. Tutoring is used for one of two reasons: to either advance in a very specific subject or as a corrective measure to regain lost ground in class work. Most children attend tutoring sessions because they are missing something in the classroom. This is where the Smart Brain Program can play a pivotal role in your child’s learning process. Our program is more than an educational “band aid”, that is why we address learning problems directly at the source. By stimulating and encouraging Whole Brain Development through the Smart Brain Program, key learning facets such as memory, memory recall, concentration, reading comprehension and conceptualization are some of the benefits that can be seen. Improving these key learning abilities will increase their overall learning capabilities. Therefore we seek to provide our children with the tools they need to learn in the classroom.

  I have a 5 year old and a 14 year old, are they too old for the program ?
  The Smart Brain Program is specifically designed for children between the ages of 5-14. It is specifically designed for children between these age ranges because research show that these ages tend to benefit most from the Smart Brain Program. The human brain has an amazing capacity to grow and change throughout life. Without the opportunity to be used, neurons can actually wither away and die. Although the brain at any age can be altered or helped to compensate for problems, with the appropriate intensive intervention, for optimal development, timing is critical. There are periods of opportunity, "prime times" during which the brain is particularly efficient at specific types of learning. In the first decade of life, the brain's ability to grow, change and compensate is especially remarkable. The young brain is like a super sponge, absorbing every experience into its neural architecture. During these first few years the brain is storing information and memories that will be the foundation for a lifetime of skills and potential. If this foundation is flawed, it can affect the entire life span of the individual. Early care provides the experiences that have decisive and long lasting effects on the emotional, social, behavioral, intellectual and physical capabilities of the child for the rest of their life.

  Will my 14 year old be taught along side a 5 year old ?
  No, to provide the most conducive learning environment for our children we divide learning groups according to age. Age groups for the Smart Brain Levels are the following: 5-8 years, 9-12 years and 13-14 years of age, as well as a special 3-5 years age in our Pre-Smart Brain Program.

  How can the program help my child ?
  The Smart Brain Program has been created and used to give back control of learning to our children. This tool will advance your child’s learning ability for a lifetime. Whole Brain Development can aide in better absorption of class material which will make our children not only better students but give them the self confidence they need to become powerful and independent thinkers.

  Is this a new program, how has it helped others ?
  The Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program has been around for decades. The program is used in countries all over the world such as Japan , South Korea, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, etc. While there are many variations of the Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program, the Smart Brain Program is internationally renowned as an innovator in the field. We have carved a niche for ourselves in the Global Market for our ability to specifically cater the program to children between the ages of 5-14. So our strength is our innovation and our dedication to educating our children.

  How long is the Smart Brain Program ?
  The Smart Brain Program is taught over 10 levels. Each level represents a new array of concepts and techniques to children. Although each level is taught over the course of 3-4 months, some children are able to complete the program at a quicker pace while other students need a little more time. The Smart Brain Program from Initiation to Completion (from level 1-10) is approximately two and a half years in length. The first three levels are the most crucial stages of the program. During these stages the child is introduced to the Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program and are taught the concepts and techniques that are crucial to the more advanced latter levels.

  So my child must stay for the entire program for two and a half years to benefit from the program, How long before I see results in my child ?
  While the Smart Brain Program progressively trains the mind over the two years, conceptualization processes involved with right side brain development begins during the first month. Most parents notice increased memory, recall capabilities, concentration, reading and overall comprehension towards the end of Level one and beginning of Level two. The Smart Brain Program enhances many key learning behaviors that have a positive side benefits. Such additional benefits, besides the core Brain Development is Speed and Accuracy. Our children are gradually taught to think at a quickened pace while maintaining high accuracy. Speed and accuracy are critical to developing children that can problem solve under time restraints, especially under the present circumstances where local, state and federal testing is becoming a routine for our children. As the program progresses so does your child and when your child progresses so does the program.

  What is the cost of the program?
  There are two tuition rates: Personalized Instruction and Group Instruction rates. The rate for Personalized Instruction is …… per month, while Group Instruction is …..per month. Private Instruction is reserved for children that require additional attention. Private Instruction is reserved for a case by case basis only.

  How is the program taught?
  Our Smart Brain Certified Instructor teach the Smart Brain Program to the children once a week for a duration of two hours. Our children are taught in a friendly classroom environment in small groups of 8-10 children. In addition to the in-house Smart Brain Sessions, our children practice at home for an additional 15-20 minutes of Smart Brain exercises a day. These 15-20 minutes are crucial for the development of the brain.

  Is this program for gifted children only. Will it help the average child or child that needs a little extra help ?
 

The Smart Brain Program is for average, below average and above average children. The Smart Brain Program can help your child increase their learning abilities whether they are in any of these categories. Time would be the main variable. Our children are not constrained to uniform and discouraging time tables.
Rather, they develop at their own pace and progress as they master the concepts and techniques.

Therefore, some children will master a level in less time while others may need more time. Our children key learning attributes and behaviors are formed as they master the levels and their corresponding concepts and techniques. Remember, our goal is to provide our children with the learning tools and behaviors they need to become independent and creative thinkers for now as well as the future.


  So I bring my child for the program, once a week and I never have to worry about them again?
  The Smart Brain Abacus Mental Arithmetic Program is a powerful learning tool for children today. But as powerful and renowned a tool that it is, it is not a magic cure all pill. Learning behaviors and abilities are molded over time. Good learning habits as well as attentive, responsive parental guidance while they’re young can lead them in the right direction. The program requires a commitment of 15-20 minutes of Smart Brain Practice a day. If their schedule does not allow for these daily practice sessions, then you may want to wait until such a time becomes open. We know that the future of our children begins now.

  What is the current enrollment of Smart Brain?
 

Our current enrollment is 512 students in Singapore alone (the majority of our student are in childcare and about 20% are weekend student, this student continue after completing Kindergarten 2 and presently in P1).

Globally we have more then 200,000 students doing the Smart Brain programme at present in 14 countries (Thailand, Singapore, USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Scotland, India, China, Kuwait, Oman, UAE.


  Why was SB set up? What is its vision?
  SB is set up to help young children in their educational journey. Our vision is to help make learning easy and fun by developing their total ability while embarking on their educational journey.

  Does the curriculum at SB align itself with the math curriculum in Thai schools?
 

No, our curriculum is unique, we do not want to con fuse the general public that Smart Brain is imparting maths ability to a child.

Our programme is more of "total development of the Brain", so it does not only help a child with just a specific subject but more of anything a child learn and make it easy for them to achieve. Smart Brain develop a child - memory skill, concentration skill, listening skill, visual skill, motor skill as this are basic foundation in learning. Smart Brain develop both a child EQ & IQ. In Thailand the Smart Brain programme is endorse and recognize by the Royal Princess and we are also imparting our methodology to the public school as a enrichment programme.


  How old are the students at SB?
  Our students age ranges from 4 - 12 years old.

  Have there been any improvements in the students' math performance in school?
  Yes, children that embark on Smart Brain does not only excel in Math but all their other subjects too and we have been producing top students all over.

  How does it build a child's confidence?
  When a child is able to solve numbers mentally through our dictation method, through encouragement, through practicing the abacus, through interacting, through play ( this are the method we employ when putting a child through our programme).

  Is the curriculum at SB based on any scientific or academic study?
  It is scientifically and academically proven by professor in the University of Japan and many other various institution using MRI to test the brain on children that learn the abacus and children that do not learn, it does make a great different.

  What are the teaching methods at SB?
 

There are a total of 10 level, not including basic level in the Smart Brain programme.

When a child as young as 4 years first started, we develop their motor skill, visual skill and co-ordination skill.

a) finger counting to 99 through play and interacting
b) proper writing of numbers (0-9)
c) learning beads to number on the class abacus (large abacus), children will learn the physical movement of the abacus beads.
d) paper work ( identify the beads and writing of numbers)
e) learning of numbers to beads on class abacus
f) assessment if a child is able to proceed to the next level.


  What practical aids are used in the Mental Arithmetic classes?
  Children will need a student abacus ( this abacus is specially design for the safety of a child us - must not have sharp edges, non reflective, durable and easy movement of beads). Total complete course will cover 21 books plus 1 number dictation books, a class room/instructor abacus, white board or easer board, marker pen, magnetic marker.

  What games are played in class to help the students?
  We uses mind twister game, speed writing challenges among student, finger and mind coordination and many more.

  What is the student-teacher ratio in the school?
  Depending on the age group and level - 4 years (1:6), 5 years (1: 8), 6 years (1:10) & above 7 years (1:12).

  How much are the fees for SB courses? For how many lessons and how long is each session?
  We are not able to have a fix price structure because of so many countries involve, prices ranges from US$25.00 - US$300.00 per month are charge in different countries.

  What international association is SB affiliated to? How does this working relationship translate to the students' experience at SB?
  As there is no recognize association in our industries, we are not directly affiliated to any but we are acknowledged by - Chinese Utility Abacus Research society & Taiwan Mental Arithmetic Association

  SB also holds international competitions. Tell us more about these competitions. Who participates? How many participants? What are the prizes involved? What are they competing on?
 

All the individual countries can conduct their own competition but must seek approval from Thailand (HQ), they have to submit their competition plan and materials must be approve or provided by headquarters.

For the past 8 years Thailand conduct an annual international competition for all the countries that are teaching the Smart Brain programme this competition is like a funfair and family affair. Our largest competition, we had more then 3,000 students competing and the smallest turn out is about 1,200 students (this is due to space constraint). Competition venue are the zoo, seaside resort, indoor stadium, university hall and convention centers. Invitation is send out to all the various countries.

Student will compete within their level which we can quantify on our data base, the most sought after prize is the princess trophy (the Thai are very passionate with their royalties). Basically for the Thai they compete for image and also business opportunity.


  How many branches of Smart Brain do you have in Thailand and all over the world?
  In Thailand alone we have 160 private centers (this does not include schools), and all over the world we have more then 600 private centers (this does not include schools and charity organization in India).

  Do these all adhere to the same curriculum? Or do they modify it to suit each country's curriculum needs?
  Our methodology and teaching method is the same all over the world and we exchange, improve on our method every 2 years, with feedback from all our worldwide outlet and our in house Research & Development team, also advice from our professional partners from USA & UK (this comprises of doctors that are specialize in children & children with special needs).

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