Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tally Ho! Abacus Education for Home Schools


Tally Ho! Abacus Education for Home Schools

Author: Dhaval Shrimankar

Enter a classroom in any abacus center in India and you will see children busy with something that looks like a toy — tiny brown beads compiled neatly in columns. On the wall is propped a similar toy, though bigger with large, shiny yellow beads.

The teacher calls out a complex calculation, almost like an open challenge. A little boy, barely seven, comes forward and recites a seemingly funny rhyme. He also moves the yellow beads up and down and gets the answer down pat. No furious adding, counting or subtracting! Amazed?

Welcome to the world of abacus education, where rigid arithmetic takes a backseat and visuals and imagination gain centre-stage. Here children learn to use the abacus, an ancient Chinese invention, to solve basic arithmetic sums with speed and accuracy. Institutes, which offer abacus education, claim that they use arithmetic as a tool to develop mind skills, memory and lateral thinking abilities.

Popular in Asian countries like Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, abacus education is relatively new in India. But several entrepreneurs have been quick to tap the business potential of this non-formal education tool.

Scientific theories associate the left hemisphere of the brain with numerical and academic abilities, and the right hemisphere with creativity and intelligence. Proponents of abacus education claim that while formal education focuses merely on left-brain development, the abacus brings about "whole brain development".

"If the brain is not developed at an early age, one's mental abilities can start declining by 20 years of age. That's why we must tap them young," says Dhaval Shrimankar, CEO, NurtureMinds.com.

The brain gyms — as these institutes are called — are not stand-alone entities, but, instead, operate through a network of local franchises in urban and semi-urban areas. The reach and popularity of abacus education can be gauged from the burgeoning franchisee network.

Today, the same innovative education is available in the US and Canada. The system has taken the home-school communities by the storm. Private centers just like Score or Kumon are springing up from west coast to the east coast.

As an alternative to investment for a franchise, books are directly sold to the interested customers. Many of the patrons take up on roles of tutors as well as franchise owners.

How does Abacus work?

The abacus consists of 13 vertical rods, separated into two sections by a horizontal bar. Each rod contains one bead in the upper section and four beads in the lower section.

When given a sum, the child recites a rhyme corresponding to the kind of calculation involved. This also makes learning fun and easy. Simultaneously, the child moves the required beads up and down. The position of each bead signifies a specific numerical value. At the end of the rhyme, the position of the beads touching the horizontal bar, gives the answer.

As the course advances, the abacus is taken away and the child is encouraged to picture the abacus mentally to come up with the answer. After sufficient training, the child becomes adept at moving the beads mentally and no longer needs to recite the rhyme aloud to arrive at the answer.

Dhaval Shrimankar believes in nurturing minds of young children using mental math techniques. You can find more information at the nurtureminds blog and http://www.nurtureminds.com/

Real Estate Investing Education


Real Estate Investing Education

Author: Alexander Gordon 

People like to invest in real estate as the return on the investment is usually high and if adequate precaution is taken, guaranteed to be highly profitable business. When investors take the time to enroll in real estate investing education classes they are sure to learn how to deal with problems better, learn innovative techniques to make profits and know about the various areas of real estate investing where the returns are high such as tax certificates and using notes to buy property etc.

Advantages of Real Estate Investing Education: The institutes that offer education in real estate investing help students who enroll learn what techniques to use to improve in their chosen area of real estate investing. These schools teach the students to recognize what they desire to achieve, help them plan and set goals, teach them what procedures to use in order to achieve their goals. These schools would teach the students to ensure all the deals they make are reviewed by experienced staff, who will point out the mistakes made and guide them as to what would have been the best strategy in the given situation. These courses are usually short term lasting for 3 to 6 months.

The student investor on successful completion of the course will have the confidence to meet any challenges that may come his way. The schools will also help the students get to know reliable bankers, attorneys, lenders, builders, etc. who will help the student investor build his investing career successfully.

Specialized Schools: There are specialized schools for different sectors of real estate such as schools for commercial real estate investing, making it possible for investors to attend and improve their skills in specific areas of real estate. The commercial real estate education institutes teach students how to make accurate financial, market and investment analysis etc. where by even experienced investors may learn the latest techniques.

Real Estate Investing Education Online: Some real estate investing educational institutes offer e-learning courses that make it even easier to learn. With simple examples, they teach the most complex subject matters such as tax sheltering, internal rate of return etc. in such a way that investors understand and implement the techniques taught.

It is useful to attend these classes yet experience is the best teacher ever. You gain a clear idea of how to start real estate investing as well as what strategies to use to achieve end results that you desire, if you opt for an education in real estate investing.

Getting an education in real estate investing will teach the investor what mistakes not to make as well as what steps he has to take to ensure successful investing. Setting target goals and learning how to plan carefully, studying the local market etc. will help an investor succeed as real estate investing educational institutes teach them, getting an education in real estate investing is recommended. There are firms that offer services as well as products to help a business to succeed.

Alexander Gordon is a writer for http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com - The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at $24.95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Continuing education does not just

There are so many things to be learned about the world. Take a library for example. Think about how many different subjects there are to be studied and learned through the books on the library shelves. You could start reading a book today and still be reading months or years from now. Or consider how much you could learn about something as simple as your favorite flower. Many books have been written and hundreds of websites have been created about that kind of flower alone. There is a complexity to your favorite flower that makes learning about it take longer than you'd first think. Whether you are eight or seventy-eight, continuing education is important for you.

Continuing education does not just mean that you move on to college after high school or that you pursue a graduate degree after completing college. Basically, continuing education means to continue learning. Continuing education happens as we become curious people who care about the ourselves, others, and the world. When we are curious about something it will inspire us to learn about it. Continuing education is simply about becoming a lifelong learner, it is about never being satisfied with the amount of knowledge we have but always pursuing something new.

Think about ways to make continuing education a consistent part of your life. What things are you curious about? Are there things you have always wondered about? Perhaps you would like to know more about the history of the automobile or about the person who invented blue jeans. Allow yourself to wonder things like this, but do not let yourself stop with just wondering. Continuing education means taking the time to study and learn about these and other things.

Continuing education can be as simple as committing to read one book per month for the rest of your life. Think about how much you could learn by reading books on different subjects for the rest of your life. Or, continuing education can be enrolling in a class at a local college just for fun. Have you always wanted to learn about European history? Enroll in a class about it just for your own benefit.

Whatever continuing education means for your life, just do it. You will be glad that you made it a priority to keep learning, and you will be surprised about how little you already know. Once you begin continuing education you will never be able to stop, and that is exactly the point.