Abacus Math has many fans and it is a great program. However, it is important not to be impressed by videos of a few children who are doing amazing things because of Abacus. In other words, think hard before starting it. Here are the reasons why?
a) Abacus is not a substitute for fundamental or basic math (like fractions, percentages, word problems, numbers and operations)
b) It is a long program that requires serious time commitment.
So how should you decide? You can follow the simple guidelines below:
First establish that you do not have a basic math problem. A computer adaptive test can establish this in one hour. If your child has basic Math problems, you may be better advised to address these first. Because Math knowledge is gained vertically, gaps in prior knowledge make it difficult to learn more advance concepts.
That is why Math problems get worse over time. For many children, middle school is breaking point for Math. This is usually associated with Algebra. Children who are weak in foundational Math topics (first 4-6 years of Math have trouble coping with algebra because of the added complexity due to abstraction.