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<p>I'm shopping around for an abacus for my almost 7 year old.  She "gets" math, but I'd like to enhance her understanding.  We mainly unschool, 3 girls approx 2, 7 & 11.</p>
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<p>Here's what I've found - now I need help deciding!</p>
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<p>wooden abacus from Kid Energy - 3 different styles</p>
<p><a href="http://www.kidenergy.com/27-pacchi.html" target="_blank">http://www.kidenergy.com/27-pacchi.html</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.kidenergy.com/27-us100.html" target="_blank">http://www.kidenergy.com/27-us100.html</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.kidenergy.com/27-slavonic.html" target="_blank">http://www.kidenergy.com/27-slavonic.html</a></p>
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<p>or</p>
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<p>Al Abacus from Right Start</p>
<p><a href="http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacusstandard.aspx" target="_blank">http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacusstandard.aspx</a></p>
<p><a href="http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacuspacket.aspx" target="_blank">http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacuspacket.aspx</a></p>
 

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<p>I really like the RightStart abacus.  I love how each wire is bi-colored to help the child mentally group in 5s.  I also love the reverse side for working with larger numbers.  I really credit the RS abacus for helping my daughter really "get" advanced math concepts.  If your unschooler is interested, they also have a book of games/activities to do with their abacus:</p>
<p><a href="http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacuspacket.aspx" target="_blank">http://activitiesforlearning.com/alabacuspacket.aspx</a><span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
 

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<p>I would prefer either the Right Start Abacus, or else the 3rd link you posted from Kid Energy. I like having each number represented by a bead instead of the seperated upper and lower sections. I feel like it is more concrete, at least for starting out.</p>
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<p>We are using Math-U-See and my son uses the abacus I picked up from Ikea to help him figure things out. I put a thick stripe on 5 of the beads in each row and it works the same way as the RS Abacus does IMO. I totally prefer the abacus to the base-10 blocks. I actually wish I had known about RS math before I invested in MUS, but I think that's just because it's MY preference, not necessarily ds' preference.</p>
 
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