Frequently Asked Questions


Why must I enrol my child at INNOVATE?

The purpose of education is not just to teach knowledge and skills but to create a happy, loved, well balanced child with multiple abilities, and is respected with achievements and higher goals. INNOVATE provides holistic learning platform for children of the 21st century.  IQ (intellectual) and EQ (emotional) when used in harmony, can enhance the chances of being successful exponentially.

Is sending my child to learn brain development programme an added advantage?

Brain development should be the focus of every parent as it is the most important phase of a child’s life.  When the brain goes through stimulation, a child’s strength and innate talent will be uncovered and then parents can select additional programmes according to the interest and capabilities.  Just like children who undergo our INNOVATE programme, they do well with ease because of their ability to use their whole brain better.

What is the best time for a child to start learning?

Children from 0 – 6 years old (refer below to the Stages of Development of the Brain) have the best learning and absorbing brain power.  It is the best time for nurturing the brain’s abilities and a critical stage when a child can start to grasp concepts.

The Stages of Development of the Brain:

  • 3 years old
    The brain has expected 60% growth, therefore a child has the strongest absorbing power.
  • 3 to 6 years old
    The brain has grown a further 20%.  The learning and absorbing power is not as strong in a 3-year-old.  However, the child will obtain astonishing results if he is provided with more foundations.
  • 6 to 8 years old
    The brain has grown a further 10%, the child must put in tremendous effort if he starts learning at this age.
  • After 8 years
    If a child starts learning at this age, it is rather difficult for the child to achieve good results.  He has to work harder with more discipline.

How does learning Mental arithmetic help in school mathematics?

For a child to do well in Mathematics, he needs to develop his abilities in calculation. Learning Abacus Mental arithmetic can quickly enhance his competency in calculation. Professor Huang Guo Rong, from National ChangHua University of Education. Taiwan, who studies the effect of Abacus Mental arithmetic education on the children’s academic performance in areas of mathematical abilities and comprehensibility and reports the starting discoveries.

  • Children who have undergone Mental arithmetic classes achieved far better results than other students (who have not taken part in such trainings) in the followings: comprehensibility, mathematical abilities (including recognising and understanding mathematical concepts, calculating abilities, mathematical problem solving skills), mathematical performance and IQ results.
  • Students who have had one to two years of training in Mental arithmetic are found to possess a better grasp of mathematical concepts, calculation and are more efficient in solving mathematical problems than those who have less than one year’s training. Students with more than two years’ training show even better results. Thus this indicates that the longer and the deeper a child is exposed to such training the better will be his mathematical abilities.

What is the best time for a child to start learning?

  • The best period to start our course is when a child knows how to grasp a pencil and write.  INNOVATE has preschool classes which start from 3 years old.  However, for some parents who opt to wait a little while, your child is absolutely ready when he starts writing and reading numbers 0 to 9. Children from 0 – 6 years old (refer below to the Stages of Development of the Brain) have the best learning and absorbing brain power, it is the best time for nurturing the brain’s abilities and a critical stage when a child can start to grasp mathematical concepts.
  • Mental arithmetic provides the fundamental training in mathematical and calculation concepts. It is also this stage when the child’s school work is lighter; parents should seize this opportunity to encourage the child to attend this program. This will in turn build a stronger foundation for their future education endeavours.

Why must one learn abacus when calculators and computers are available for computing numbers in the world today?

Although calculators and computers have replaced human brain in computing numbers, learning abacus is a must for every child because it is instrumental in developing whole brain and lifetime skills.

Using abacus requires co-ordination of the main nerves of the human body such as sight, sound and finger movement which will induce growth of brain cells. The mind undergoes three main stages of development namely physical contact, logical explanation and visualisation throughout the process and the abacus acts as a medium that connects the three stages. 

More than 80% of the world population is right-handed and right-handed people normally have more developed left brain with less developed right brain. While the creativity side of the right brain is more than a thousand times than that of the left brain, learning abacus will stimulate the development of the right brain at an early age.

Why is Mental arithmetic important?

Arithmetic is remarkably important for helping young children build up a solid academic foundation. Teachers who work with young children know that it is not easy to introduce the concept of numbers and their values. 

For young children comprehending the concepts of mathematics when presented only in the abstract form will take a long process. Abstract means using nothing but brainpower to solve problems.  It is difficult for children to comprehend numeric relationships without using concrete objects such as abacus beads to relate numeric values.

Learning how to compute numbers mentally is equally important, as it will effectively tap the unexploited parts of the brain and therefore promotes the overall intelligence.  The practice of Mental arithmetic will sharpen the focus, imaginative and memory power. 

According to a scientific research, a child who lacks good mental formation can experience a sharp decline in mental abilities even as early as the age of 20.  On the other hand, a child who receives this formation by the age of 12 will continue to remain brilliant even up to the age of 70.

What is the difference for abacus teaching between then and now?

First, conventional abacus lessons used only single hand teaching.  As a result, only the left hemisphere of the brain is stimulated and right half of the brain is ignored. 

Also, most of conventional abacus lessons used 2/5 abacus (2 beads on top and 5 beads at the bottom) while INNOVATE uses 1/4 abacus (1 bead on top and 4 beads at the bottom) in the training process.

Not just learning the abacus.  INNOVATE, as the name implies combine the use of this ancient tool with modern technology.  At INNOVATE, Multimedia (to keep up with technological advancement) and Music (to inspire and to increase EQ) are incorporated in the teaching.

What is mental calculation?

Nowadays, it is easy to automate anything and everything.  With the technology getting more advanced each day, we would always prefer to just do thing the “easy way” or take the easy road.

But if you are one of the more sensible people who know that the “old school” way of learning is always better, you should definitely consider mental calculations or Mental arithmetic.

If you have a child, it is highly recommended that they take these types of classes too. Mental calculations can help your child perform better academically and in the future, professionally.

The thing is, every day, we find ourselves doing some calculations. It may not be too complicated but nonetheless, we do math on a daily basis.

In a child’s eye, mathematics will always be the subject in school that gives them the most problems.  And introducing the concept of mental calculations to them would seem impossible to them!

But the unique thing about mental calculation for children is that they would actually have an easier time understanding, memorising and mastering the concepts of mental calculation while they are younger.

The younger a person is, the easier and faster it is for them to absorb new information. You do not even have to worry about your child getting confused about the mental calculations concept because they ability of the human brain to learn is at its peak while they are younger.

If you are considering applying your child into a mental calculations class, you should do so as early as possible. Early childhood (0-6 years old) is the best time for this.

You should also make sure that you find the best and most suitable mental calculations programme for your child. There are many programmes out there right now so you really need to find the best fit for your child to ensure the best results.

What are the advantages of learning INNOVATE abacus Mental arithmetic?

At INNOVATE, we help your child to:-

  • Improve the accuracy and the speed of computing skill or logical reasoning.
  • Build stronger memory power.
  • Promote longer concentration span.
  • Enhance imaging skills or photographic memory.
  • Create higher learning capability and self confidence.
  • Increase the level and speed of understanding (comprehension).
  • Have better sense of observation/visualisation power.
  • Sharpen sound judgment and hearing skill.
  • Learning without pressure.

My child hates mathematics. What can I do?

Mathematics is one of the most hated subjects in school.  Most children, especially those in preschools and primary schools encounter problems understanding the basics of mathematical concepts and numerals. 

Math is really hard to understand.  Even adults can get confused.  We, at INNOVATE know that.

And this is why we have a special INNOVATE programme to help your child get through their math classes easily.

What is speed counting for children?

Various theories and researches have emerged over the recent years that focus on how the human brain works. These studies are aimed at giving us all a more concrete understanding on how we think and how our mind functions - knowing these things would really open new doors for humanity.

One of the most ground-breaking discoveries about our human brain is that our brain grows the most (and actually peaks) during early childhood.

Depending on your own unique lifestyle and surrounding, the ability to learn effectively slows down - at a significant rate as we grow older. This means that we should do as much learning as we can as early as possible.

INNOVATE Mental arithmetic teaching emphasises on counting at lightning speed; Speed counting.  Anyway, mathematics is about speed and accuracy.  Speed counting is a very good way to help your children learn as much as they can and develop their brains to its utmost potential.

When we talk about speed counting, this involves a series of lessons and techniques that are designed to improve the way that your child processes information.  It also helps improve their memory, perception, concentration and creativity.

And with all the new information that is being published daily, being able to learn at lightning speed is a big must. With speed counting, your children will be able to do just that.

Speed counting also teaches your children how to create the conditions that would help them learn in the most effective way.  The brain functions the best in certain conditions or environments and speed counting can help your children understand that.

It is also so much easier to teach children rather than adults because their brains absorb new information like a sponge absorbs water!  Just by this fact alone, you don’t have to worry about the speed learning lessons to be too hard or refined for your kids.

My child is a slow learner. How can he follow your class teaching?

INNOVATE teachers are specially trained and are skilled in handling different types of learners.  Your child’s teacher will study and understand your child’s pace of learning.  We teach a child according to individual learning pace.  After all, every child is unique.

I understand the power of Right and Left brain learning using the 2-hand method. Is there any chance to switch to 2-hand method if the person has learnt one hand method earlier?

Absolutely.  2-hand method is more superior.  Just like typing, when a person is less skilled, he will use one hand first.  Over time, he will attempt to use 2 hands.  This way, he will feel more balanced physiologically and we are born with 2 hands!  Using the 2-hand method is proven to be faster and more accurate in Mental arithmetic calculations.

What to look for in Mental arithmetic books and learning materials?

Mental arithmetic books are one of the many ways for your child to learn about Mental arithmetic.

If you are considering buying a Mental arithmetic book, there are many factors that you need to consider first. You should make sure that you would pick the best book so your child will get the most out of it.

There are many Mental arithmetic books out in the market right now that are available. The urge to just pick one is very tempting. But you have to remember that Mental arithmetic is a serious process.  It will benefit your child in many ways.

Now, to make this an easier process for you, here’s a list of the 3 most important things that you need to look for in any Mental arithmetic book or learning materials.

a.   Tackling the Basics

Mental arithmetic is a step-by-step process. You cannot just skip a step or move on to the next step without fully understanding the last step.
When you choose a Mental arithmetic book, make sure that all the basic steps are covered. You should find a Mental arithmetic book that is going to teach your children how to build a strong foundation for his Mental arithmetic lessons.

b.   Make sure it matches your child’s mentality level (age)

As we have already mentioned, there are tonnes of Mental arithmetic books right now. These books are usually divided into different levels of Mental arithmetic knowledge. But some books are especially made by age.
You should do your research first as to what age the Mental arithmetic book caters for. Making sure that the Mental arithmetic book is appropriate for your child’s age would increase the chances for success.

c.   Easy to understand

Mental arithmetic books are usually for children. And some authors tend to forget that. You need to make sure that the Mental arithmetic book you will buy is not full of jargons or deep words that your child can’t really comprehend well yet.

Pick a Mental arithmetic book that with no jargons.

Mental Arithmetic. How can I help my children at home?

During mental arithmetic lessons, your child is bound to encounter some difficulties. Mental arithmetic is pretty easy to understand, especially for a child, but of course, you would want to do everything that you can to help your child in his mental arithmetic lessons.

I know that one of the questions you have in your mind is if there are some ways that you can do to help your kids in their mental arithmetic lessons. And the answer is a YES!

The first thing that you should do is to create a good study room or place for your child. It does not really have to be a room or something, just give your child a conducive area for learning.

As much as possible, ensure that your child has a special area of his own where he could focus on his mental arithmetic lessons. Keep the place as far away from distraction as possible and make sure it is quiet place too.

The next thing that you can do to help your child breeze through his mental arithmetic lessons is to keep their diet as healthy as possible. I am sure that you have introduced “brain foods” to your child and quite possibly forced these to them. Keep on doing that!

Some of the foods that you can try feeding your kids are foods rich in wholegrain (cereals, wholegrain bread, etc.). You can also give them some nuts to snack on during their mental arithmetic lessons. Nuts are rich in Vitamin E which helps prevent poor memory.

You can also try some fruits like blueberry and grapefruits. These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help improve your child’s memory.

Having enough sleep at night is essential too. Just make sure your child has at least 10 hours of sleep each night.

When we talk about mental arithmetic, your child can encounter a problem or two. Making sure that you do everything you can is a great way to show them that you care, love and support them.

How can INNOVATE Mind help to increase a child’s brainpower?

INNOVATE Mind is designed to improve not only on a child’s learning skills and his exposure to vast vocabularies, but also to increase the focus, memory power, flexibility and creativity, the concentration level and the stimulation of his senses, as well as the ability to analyse problems.

On top of loving to learn, our ultimate goal is to build the child’s confidence level in their school work and life.

By stimulating both the right brain and left brain during the training process, experts believe that INNOVATE Mind is the key to optimal learning capability.

What age range is INNOVATE Mind programme for?

INNOVATE Mind programme is for learners from 3 to 8 years old.  Lessons are divided into different levels.  Your child will be matched with the suitable level according to his or her progress, understanding and performance.  This innovative curriculum is comprehensive and unique to ensure learners receive the maximum learning.

Is my child too young to learn?

INNOVATE Mind programme starts at 3 years and you will find that children that begin with the method at this age will learn “how to learn”, a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. This is the period where a child’s brain is developing at the fastest rate in their lives. INNOVATE method helps children to:

  • Learn how to best absorb the information that they are presented with.
  • Improve their recalling and processing abilities.
  • Develop a strong foundation through our fully comprehensive and innovative method.

Is my child too old to learn?

INNOVATE Mind curriculum spans across 3 to 12 years of age. The programme is to prepare preschoolers and primary students who lack the learning skills for schooling success.  This is why it is so important to start the programme as early as possible to ensure academic achievements in the future.

When will I see benefits?

INNOVATE teaching is an enrichment which will provide skills before knowledge.  A child’s brain requires simultaneous stimulation on various elements. INNOVATE purposefully focus on the creation and expansion of activities to train them.  We recognise opportunities to allow the child to discover, explore and challenge oneself.

Every parent’s expectation is different. Different children have different styles.  Of course results vary with each child.  Some may take just a week whereas some may take a few months.  A child who learns the programme will be different compared to another who does not.  Good quality teaching ensure a child’s progress.

We are a full-time working couple and don’t have time to look after our child’s learning at home. Will it be all right?

All the more your child should learn at INNOVATE if you find it hard to educate him or her at home. Since the contents of our classes are very comprehensive, your child can produce good results without much guidance from you.  We understand parents’ busyness, therefore we do provide take-home materials to allow parents to guide their children at home in simple steps. The results produced can be more remarkable if parents can take the time to guide their children at home even if the time spent is very brief.

Can I start in the middle of the term?

Yes. INNOVATE Mind will focus on stimulations and skills according to a child’s individual pace.

So your child can start any time.  Most importantly is to start as soon as possible to take advantage of the child’s learning potential.  Also, due to high demand, seats are limited: so do not miss your chance to get started at INNOVATE today!

The standard of INNOVATE students are quite high. I am afraid my child cannot keep up with them.

It is normal for parents to feel this way. The only reason your child may be behind time in a class is because the others had an early head start.  Over time your child will catch up and will get used to the teaching. Children at INNOVATE will progress in a fun way without pressure.

I honestly don’t want to add pressure to my child. I don’t think it is necessary to let my child learn at INNOVATE

We understand early childhood education may seem too early for some parents, especially we start training them from 3 years old. Science has proven that early childhood enrichment education bridges the huge gap in learning skills when a child becomes older. The role of our holistic programme is to equip the child with mental and emotional development for academic success.  It is an investment that will benefit for life.