Question for Richelle–Beginning math

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• Betty Dickerson
Participant

I just started some simple math with my youngest because she is begging for it. Math is her favorite. I’ve watched the SCM video and admit that if I had started my 4 other older (3 of which are in college now) children this way in math, I think they would not have struggled so much later.

I am using a few old, online math books similar to Ray’s. It is mostly counting using manipulatives. We have done 3 lessons. One lesson had three cards with dots on it (1,2, and 3 dots respectively). She can count them without a problem and recognize the formation of the dots, but when asked “how many more is 2 than 1?” Even with manipulatives, she doesn’t understand what I am asking. Also, which number or card comes “before” 2 or “after” 1, she doesn’t understand. I tried to use 3 different colored markers and asked which one comes before the pink and which one comes after. She can do that but not translate it to the numbers. Is this a developmental thing?  She is 4 and very bright and I don’t want to rush anything. She loves math and I’m not sure what to do with her in this stage of development. She loves her pennies and buttons and beads and can count pretty well. But she begs for math everyday.

Richele Baburina
Participant

Hi Anabetica,

Your daughter sounds sweet and I love her determination.  The work you describe really is still a bit too abstract at the moment.

I’m currently on the road, typing on my phone -not while driving.  I will try to think through and answer when I’m back tomorrow but I know Charlotte wrote that we wouldn’t want a child to tire of lessons by the time she is 6.  This is really a time for unstudied games -things like “Snails Pace Race” or Peaceable Kingdom games are  some that come to mind (any, really) where the children are moving pieces a certain number of places.

Until tomorrow,

Richele

Betty Dickerson
Participant

Thanks Richelle!  Right!  I just want to do fun things with her but needed some ideas. I’m a bit rusty. I have never heard of those games and will look them up!

Richele Baburina
Participant

Hi anabetica,

I remember my sister encouraging me to enjoy these early years with my children while helping instill some of the habits (neatness and order, to name a few) that will make days smoother when those formal lessons begin.

Best,

Richele

Richele Baburina
Participant

And, anabetica, if you find that formal math lessons is truly what she wants then let me know.  She may be craving more play though and just expressing it as ‘math lessons’ -imaginative play such as pretend shopping with a cash register for checkout, sorting m&m’s into colors and seeing which heaps have more,  dividing an apple or orange between you, these are all fun things which won’t cause her to lose enthusiasm or hamper her interest.

Betty Dickerson
Participant

Thank you Richelle!  Just wanted to share how the Lord helped me today. I decided to get our unifix cubed and take them all apart. We rolled a polyhedral dice and she would pick a color and build that number. Then we made a staircase out of the towers. So we were able to talk about should 4 go before or after 5 to build our stair, how many more is 5 than 4, and what color is before the orange, and after?  She had fun throwing the dice across the room and chasing it ? And then we put all the towers together and we talked about how many more cubes does the blue 8 tower need to make 10. Of course she’s not really getting it all but it was a fun way to play with numbers and talk about them. I’m going to make a list of how we can play with numbers and illustrate a lot of these concepts informally. I don’t know if this is really CM but it’s what the Lord gave me for today.

Betty Dickerson
Participant

I love those ideas!!  She asks for a cash register each time she’s sees on at Target!  Those are fun ideas. I think you are right, she is wanting to more “play” with numbers. She really isn’t developmentally ready for some of the concepts of formal math as our little time has shown me.

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