First day of ALOHA Mental Arithmetic: Learning to use the Abacus

I took Lukas to his first session at ALOHA Mental Arithmetic center in Greenhills last Thursday afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since this would be the first time we will try an ”academic” supplementary program. But judging through the videos we’ve seen, it seems to make Math so much fun to do.

If you haven’t read my previous blog about ALOHA Mental Arithmetic, click this: Mental Math Fun with ALOHA Mental Arithmetic

I included a video of kids who demonstrated their Math Wizardry using the ALOHA method in that blog.



Math isn’t exactly Lukas’ favorite subject. In fact, he’s been telling me that he finds Math a little harder than his other subjects.

I’m not a fan of Math, myself. I’ve mentioned before that I had a traumatic experience with my Math teacher in my 4th grade from which I haven’t fully recovered since.

Make Math more fun!

One of the things I’m grateful for about my children is that they learned early on that they don’t have to like everything they need to do. Some things just have to get done, that’s all. But of course, if there is a way for something they don’t naturally enjoy be more fun that it is at the moment, we’d take it!

There weren’t too many students the time we arrived because most kids are still in school. But there was a bigger kid working on his equations and I think there were a few kids with their yayas in the hall way when we were about to leave.

We were told that Saturdays are much more fun for younger kids during the school year because they get to do the games together. Games are part of the process.

It’s really just Lukas who will do ALOHA Mental Arithmetic classes, but they invited Pablo and Judah to do the trial class with him. They were able to do some of the games and Judah even won the first one.


Introduction to the Abacus & Finger Math

Then they were introduced to the Abacus and were taught how to use it for Addition and Subtraction. As it turns out, the rows of the Abacus represents place values. So the kids learned to identify where the units, tens, thousands, etcetera are.

Did you know that the Abacus can help you calculate up to trillions? I’m amazed!

Teacher Kim also taught them how to calculate using their fingers the ALOHA way.


I know finger Math somehow, a classmate of mine taught me how to multiply from 6 to 9 using my fingers, but I never really learned past that. And I’m not sure if this is the same thing because Teacher Kim was teaching them to add up to 99.

Judah lost focus halfway through the first worksheet and was starting to distract the ”class,” but Pablo and Lukas were clearly enjoying the process.But once the trial set was done, Lukas was left to work with Teacher Kim and the two other boys were sent to the other room to wait it out.

Productivity clock

Lukas enjoyed the afternoon too much that he didn’t want his session to end. Teacher Kim obliged and worked with him a few more minutes before letting him go. She would have worked longer with him, but we had to bring Pablo to his rehearsals and couldn’t stay any more.

These are the things that Lukas learned on his first day:

  • Trial class (Games, Introduction to the Abacus, Calculating numbers up to 99 using his fingers).
  • Learning place values on the Abacus.
  • Using the Abacus for addition and subtraction (solving simple equations)

He wasn’t taught how to solve equations mentally yet, but he had to learn which fingers to use when using the Abacus. I think it’s crucial for when they finally introduce the mental concepts.

A timer was used during some of the activities. I think it’s part of training the kids to integrate accuracy with speed. I personally don’t like pressure, but I think that it’s what it’s for. To train the kids to handle pressure while solving some difficult equations. And that’s not a bad thing.

Pressure in the right place

Speaking of pressure, I like that ALOHA puts the pressure in the right spots. What I mean is, they don’t stress too much when a student makes mistakes or gets low scores. They focus more on the child’s progress with the process. I learned about this when Lukas, who has a tendency to be a perfectionist, started whining about a mistake he made and Teacher Kim assured him that they don’t dwell on failures, but on getting better at it.

Teacher Kim shows so much potential in homeschooling, don’t you think so?

ALOHA- Abacus

Lukas was excited about receiving ALOHA money. For every achievement, they get ALOHA money which they can use to purchase some of the educational toys they have available, like UNO cards and Jengga.

I used to think that learning is the reward itself, but as years go by, I realized that being able to apply the learning into something rewarding is more like it.


Beat your last score!

But what I loved the most about the training was that Teacher Kim’s challenge for the boys was to try to beat their last score. We teach our kids the same thing. We teach them to give it their all in anything they set out to do instead of gauging their successes based on the accomplishments of their friends or peers.


It was quite a productive afternoon. Here’s a quick video to give you an idea how Lukas’ first day went:

ALOHA fees

By the way, in case you’re wondering how much tuition fee is for ALOHA’s regular program, it’s PHP 2,500 for one month, which is equivalent to 8 sessions. (2 sessions a week)

Initial payment is PHP 5, 250. The breakdown is as follows:

  • PHP 1,500 Registration fee + ALOHA kit (ALOHA shirt and bag, lanyard and ID, Abacus, International Certificate and Report card, plus a chance to compete in the annual, regional, national, and international competitions)
  • PHP 1,500 for the workbooks
  • PHP 2,500 monthly tuition fee (8 sessions)

Lukas is so looking forward to his next session and I can’t wait to see him make magic with Math in the coming weeks.

I will definitely update you.

ALOHA Mental Arithmetic Center is located at 2/F Washington Gateway, 67 Washington St. Xavier Greenhills, San Juan City. 

To know more about them, you may visit their official website at or you may check out their Facebook page at @ALOHAMAPH.

You may also call them between 10 AM to 5 PM at 02-357-6800.

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  1. Kids are lucky nowadays kasi ang dami na mga ganyan, I think some of my son’s classmates are enrolled in Singaporean Math or Kumon Math so this is my first time to read about Aloha. My son doesn’t like Math but when I saw his school card, yun ang highest grade niya. 🙂

    1. Oh there are tons of Math supplementary programs out there, but I’ve only been familiar with Kumon and Singapore Math. I think those last two are more of methods than supplementaries.

  2. It’s great that there are programs like this dedicated to teaching math na mahirap ituro sa bata. I like how they made use of abacus and finger method which is rarely focused on sa school. Thank you for sharing your kid’s experience. It was a good insight 🙂

  3. Wow! We all know that most of the kids hate Math subject like my son who is 8 yrs old now but this program is really great. I didn’t know you can actually compute trillions in abacus. That’s amazing. Sana meron silang branch here in Antipolo.

  4. Woah! I’ve seen a lot of videos about mental arithmetic. I always wonder how it works. I’ll enroll my little sister just in case they open a branch here in Cavite.

  5. I’ve heard about this before and I am very eager to let my son join here as well. Maybe when he started to talk, I’ll enroll him to Aloha. Grabe andaming matututunan ng kids, super sulit! Thanks for sharing ate.

  6. I love this, I wish they have branch here in south. I’m not a MATHinic, not really into numbers so I want my daughter to enroll with this kind of supplementary Math programs.

  7. Yay! Sana meron here sa South. Nakakatuwa naman approach nila may Aloha Money pa 🙂 Reasonable na din yung rates parang nag-hire din ng tutor 🙂

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