Video + Article: Vedic math helping kids excel in problem solving

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A mental math system developed in the 1800’s is helping some local students ace standardized tests and win math competitions. But the method isn’t taught in most Houston schools. It’s called Vedic math, and some of your children’s classmates think it’s making their brains calculate faster than calculators.Shanaya Amernath is solving a worksheet of math problems. Some of the calculations involve several digits, exponents and conversions to metrics. She completes the worksheet using mental math faster than most of us could using a calculator — 1 minute.

“It helps me in school do problems faster and gives me more time on problems that I actually need to work out, that I don’t have formulas for,” Amernath said.

Established in India in the mid-1800s, there are 16 core vedic math formulas, or “sutras,” that makeup the system. But there is not a formula for every equation, and kids must know their multiplication table first.

Some western math educators criticize vedic math for being “math tricks.”

Amernath’s mother Anupama Amernath disagree.

“They call it math tricks. I’m not too sure it’s about patterns, it’s more like an aptitude,” she said.

Fourth grade student Amber Kaul thinks of math as a creative process. Her mom Shivani Tiku credits vedic math for escalating her curiosity.

“Actually what she does is — just one method — she’s just trying to reinvent math in her own ways, so math for her is not limited to the correct method, just one method,” Tiku said.

For these families, adding vedic math to their chidren’s classroom curriculum adds up to academic excellence.

Learn more about Vedic Mathematics here: