C and I started our Abacus study this morning, when we went through the first few pages of the Math Mojo site:
We didn’t actually start learning the Abacus, but we did learn how to count with an Abex (an earlier type of counting board used by the Romans; I drew one on paper, and we counted using pennies). Tomorrow, we’ll learn how to add on the Abex – the site assures us that this is preparing us for working with the actual Abacus.
It was FUN! And C learned a lot – I don’t think anyone had ever explained to him before how our base ten/decimal system works, even with the numbers that he’s familiar with using. Oh! And we also learned how to write numbers using the ancient Egyptian system, which used a different symbol for each power of 10 (tally marks, arches, spirals, etc.). Since we’re studying Egypt in history right now, that fit in very nicely.
Oh, and the best thing about it? Today, when I gave him the options about what he wanted to do first (the options being read the next chapter in our history book, play a game of Scrabble – that’s spelling and vocabulary, you know – or do math with the Abacus), he chose MATH! does gigantic happy dance