Soroban is a japanese abacus which is use to count large numbers faster than anybody on calculator!
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- This vintage style abacus comes with a beautiful leather surface wooden case in ancient Chinese beau
- “Size: L14″” x W6.5 x H2″””
The abacus was a calculator invented sometime between 1000 BC and 500 BC in China, often constructed as a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. It was in use centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu-Arabic numeral system and is still widely used by merchants and clerks in China, Japan, Africa and elsewhere.This vintage style abacus comes with a beautiful leather surface wooden case in ancient Chinese beauties design. A English instruction booklet for bead arithmetic is included.
Size: L14″ x W6.5 x H2″
Price: $ 29.99
I have heard about Leapfrog DVDs for some time but never really took a look at them until I stumbled across one at a DVD shop. After reading so many positive reviews about them on parenting forums, I decided to give it a go.
I bought Numbers Ahoy thinking it would make Math more fun for Gavin. Never having done any research on the DVDs, I didn’t realise that Numbers Ahoy was only about counting from numbers 1 to 10. I figured he would like Leapfrog since we have a few of their talking products (Counting Pal, Phonics Radio, Hug&Learn Globe, Learn Along Piano, Alphabet Pal) which Gavin used to play with when he was a baby so the characters would be familiar.
I put the DVD on for Gavin (against some resistance since Gavin never likes trying new things) only to find that he was scared of the Pirate Octopus and didn’t want to watch the rest of it. Although he was quite absorbed up until that moment so perhaps there is hope for the other Leapfrog DVDs?
Since he can already read, the Leapfrog phonics DVDs are probably more for entertainment and reinforcement. What I was hopeful about was getting him interested in Math.
These are the other Leapfrog DVDs available (with Youtube previews) for those interested:
Although our experience with Leapfrog DVDs have been quite limited but they do sound quite promising. All the comments I have read about these DVDs have been very positive so they must be pretty good.
I did take a look at Numbers Ahoy myself (yes, I watched it through from start to finish without Gavin) and I thought it was pretty entertaining although somewhat basic especially for parents who have done early childhood Math programs with their kids like Doman Math, Shichida Math, or BrillKids Math. It would be interesting to see what the teach in the other Leapfrog Math DVDs though.
- 17 stems (columns) of 1 & 4 soroban style abacus. High quality construction, competition grade. Plastic black frame, plastic brown pearls, pressure treated wood stem, and plastic center horizontal divider bar with black dots on every 3 stems. Also includes FREE protective plastic case.
- Join MathSecret VIP Membership for FREE and get up to bonus for fun math learning at MathSecret! (up to rebate for online learning and bonus in cash for MathSecret Affiliate.)
- Easiest way to teach children math starting at age 3 to 12+. Fun for adults to learn math too.
- No instruction is attached. MathSecret Online Learning is available via Internet. MathSecret Online Learning includes animation of correct finger movement, lessons, homework and tests are games designed to enhance understanding and motivate children or adults in math learning.
- Shipping warranty included. 7 day refund.
This traditional Japanese soroban abacus has 17 stems (columns). Soroban abacus is the most efficient and fun way to teach math to children of all ages, starting at 4 or younger.
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MathSecret Online Learning uses correct animation of finger movements, fun games, and game based homework, quizzes, and tests to enhance students’ math learning.
List Price: $ 29.99
Price: $ 24.99
KinderBach is a video program for teaching young children to play the piano. They have two music curriculums – one for schools and one for home. We recently signed up for a trial run of their online program and I tried it out on Gavin (Gareth at 16 months is still too young for this program). After my past attempts to teach him music, I wasn’t particularly hopeful for a positive response so I just played the video clips and let him watch as and when he wanted to. To my surprise, he was actually keen to proceed with the next video lesson.
We were doing quite well until Gavin got sick. Then after Gavin recovered, Gareth got sick. Although Gareth got better, he’s taken a turn again and has been cranky all day. All our home lessons have come to a stop with Gareth being exceptionally clingy. The only thing he could stand to give any amount of attention to without breaking down and crying after a couple of minutes was the TV.
I’m digressing… Here are the details for the KinderBach home curriculum:
- KinderBach teaches piano to children by using fun characters to teach them music vocabulary, note reading, rhythm, physical technique, “do re mi” singing, listening skills and music composition.
- The curriculum follows the MENC National Standards for Pre-K which means it can be translated to any instrument.
- To cater for the different styles of learning, KinderBach engages children through audio, visual and kinesthetic methods.
- The curriculum is available on DVD or through online video presentations.
- In addition to the video lessons, KinderBach includes games, puzzles and activity sheets on PDF that parents can download and print out.
Here’s a sample of one of the video lessons:
Online lessons start at $7.99 a month (if you pay for an annual membership) or $19.99 if you go month by month. DVD value packages cost $202.88 for Level 1 to 6 (there are various combinations you can purchase so do take a look at their other value bundles).
For a limited time, you can get 25% off all KinderBach products by using the following coupon code: KBonFB.
I also have one coupon for 35% off all KinderBach memberships and physical products that I will be giving away. For those interested to enter the draw, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.
Some what to my disappointment, Gavin hasn’t been very motivated to learn music so we have not made much progress. Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink…
After receiving a demo version of Soft Mozart (a computer program for learning how to play the piano that is very similar to the Piano Wizard), I decided to give it a go to see how Gavin took to it. Again, I received the same response from him, “I don’t feel like trying it now. Maybe later.” So I played the game in front of him and got him interested enough to give it a go, albeit a brief one.
The concepts behind Soft Mozart is pretty similar to Piano Wizard. Both teach children (or adults) how to play the piano through a game interface. Soft Mozart isn’t quite as polished as the Piano Wizard – it looks like a game developed from the days of the IBM 386 – but I think as far as the children are concerned, it’s program functionality that counts. The one main advantage Soft Mozart has over Piano Wizard is that the music pace moves according to your child’s pace. It gives your child a chance to figure out which key to press in his own time rather than forcing him to keep up with the music pace and feeling frustrated when he can’t get it right.
Unlike Piano Wizard, Soft Mozart has a variety of games that your child can play (some that don’t require a keyboard). You can download a trial version to try it out first. In case you are worried that your child won’t get to learn timing because the program moves according to his pace, there is a specific game on note duration – check it out below:
The other games include “Guess the Key”:
Treble Staff Puzzle and Bass Staff Puzzle:
and Fruit Lines:
The deluxe version of Soft Mozart costs $359 and comes with the following:
- CD with Soft Mozart software including
- Gentle Piano™ interactive software program to play and memorize songs with the electronic piano keyboard.
- 300+ popular classical and folk songs of all grades to practice.
- Computer games for learning piano and music reading: Note Alphabet, Treble Staff Puzzle, Base Staff Puzzle, Note Duration, Guess Key, Fruit Lines.
- Piano key stickers for Alphabetical and Do-Re-Mi note name systems.
- Alphabetical piano key guide, and Solfeggio piano key guide.
- Printed user manual.
Although it doesn’t come with teaching DVDs like the Piano Wizard does, they have plenty of lessons on Youtube you can watch. Soft Mozart doesn’t come with the hard copy music books either, but they do tell you where you can find them.
Personally, I feel that Piano Wizard is a more complete music package, but when it comes to suitability for young children, I think Soft Mozart is more appropriate just because it gives little kids time to think about which is the right key to press rather than forcing them to keep up with the pace set by the program. I think it is frustrating and demotivating for the kids if they are struggling to get it right.
Not having fully explored Soft Mozart, this is about all I can offer at the moment, however, if you would like a more in depth review of the program, I recommend reading the post at Learning with LM.
I should also add that one of the factors which tipped me towards Piano Wizard in the first place is no longer valid. When I first considered both programs, I noticed that the option to pay via Paypal was only available with Piano Wizard. I have since noticed that Soft Mozart also offers the option to pay via Paypal now. Unfortunately, it is a bit too late for us and since I’ve already spent the money on Piano Wizard, I’ll hang on to the program and wait until the kids are ready for it. Gareth is demonstrating a strong inclination for music and may take to the program a lot better than his brother. Unfortunately, he’s only 15 months right now and far too young for either program.