Brainetics Review – What You Need to Know
Brainetics is a math and memory course aimed at both children and adults. It is the brainchild of Mike Byster, who has been called the human calculator for his mental math skills. It is designed to be a fun system that gradually increases in complexity to teach various types of math and memory techniques.
The bulk of the course is the set of 5 DVD’s, with a total of over 15 hours of material. There is a main guide explaining each of the lessons covered, which gives extra practice on concepts taught, as well as a parent’s guide, which helps you to explain and guide your children through the course. There is also a set of flash cards and a deck of playing cards which are used for some interesting math and memory games.
The creators of the product claim it helps develop certain skills not commonly taught at school or further education, such as focusing, improved concentration, creative thinking, solving problems, organizing your work better, and improved brain capacity and memory. So let’s look at more detail at the actual Brainetics system.
The first DVD is called “Warm Up – Number Fun”. It is mainly introducing the course, getting you to follow directions, improve concentration skills and detecting patterns in numbers. It includes lessons on Magic Squares, and various interesting math tricks, such as a card trick that uses addition to work out what cards have been selected from the deck of cards.
The second DVD is called “Stretch Your Mind”. This introduces interesting mathematical concepts such as the Fibonacci number sequence. Again there are some tricks such as working out the sum of the first ten numbers of a Fibonacci sequence by using a special formula. Although some of the stuff here is not essential for leaning math, such as adding doubled numbers and patterns involving square roots, it is fun and helps make math interesting, especially to young kids
The third DVD, “Cranium Crunching”, is where the course gets somewhat harder. There are various formulas for learning certain square roots, multiplying two-digit number and dividing two-digit numbers. Some might see this as just parlour tricks but it definitely engages younger children in some complex math and improves their mind set about tackling mathematical problems.
The fourth DVD, “Go the Distance – Mental Math” introduces a range of mental math shortcuts. This really can help you to do all sorts of mathematical calculations in your head.
The fifth DVD, “Peak Performance – Word Challenge” will really push you or your children. There are some excellent memory techniques which will benefit people of all ages. This includes mnemonics, which is about using something else to remember a fact you want to remember. This can involve creating your own stories to link various facts together so that you can recall them instantly.
So is the Brainetics system of use or just a collection of tricks? I can see that some people might find some of the course a bit gimmicky, but I think the main benefit of the course is that it encourages people, especially kids, to look at math as interesting and fun, and gives self-confidence to those who master these techniques. Seeing patterns in numbers, improving concentration and critical thinking are all skills that can be improved by this course, and I think these are relevant in today’s modern workplace, as they are used in many different careers such as computer programming.
However, if you expect this to make your or child a math genius you will be disappointed. I think that is probably something that you are born with. To really learn the concepts and formula taught will involve some repetition of the lessons, which your kids may not be motivated to do on their own. You will also need to have some basic multiplication skills, such as knowing your times tables, and the ability to add, subtract and divide simple numbers. If this is not where your child is at they may benefit from a simpler course explaining the basics, such as this 1st – 7th Grade Math Tutor Course. The recommended age is 9+ but if your child is younger but has a good grasp of the basic mathematics skills they will benefit from Brainetics. Another aspect that may put some people off is the price, as it is not particularly cheap. Read on if you want to look at a few cheaper alternatives.
If you are interested in the mental math and making math fun concepts of Brainetics then these course will probably also appeal. You can also download them instantly and start using them straight away. “Math Without a Calculator” is a course on mental math which makes it easy for everyone. It has useful sections on how to quickly check you have received the correct change when shopping and much more.
“Making Math More Fun and Easy for Your Children” contains various math games and card games which you can print from a supplied template. They will help your children to learn while they are enjoying the games.
If you are interested in memory improvement and brain training then the “Improve Your Memory” course is worth checking out. It has various “secret” strategies that can drastically expand your memory capacity and its duration. There is a free course you can try first as well that gives great tips on strengthening your memory.
If you want to improve your studying habits then “Speed Study Techniques” will teach you how to study smarter, using less time and effort. It details strategies to learn quickly and well so you have more time to spend on yourself.
Despite a few reservations, I think the Brainetics system offers something that will benefit everyone. Anything that can help you get interested and enthusiastic about education is worthwhile in my view. So check out Brainetics here to find out more.