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10042010, 06:41 PM

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I'm struggling with DS(5). We are homeschooling. I realized last week that he can read, though I've been saying (to DH) & thinking that he could not. When we sit down to work on reading, it's like I've unleashed some terrible punishment on him.
OTOH, the kid would do math day & night if you let him. Though DH & I both enjoy math, I've found it difficult to keep pace with where DS is going. I know the trend in the subforum tends to be toward early & voracious readers, but who else has kids whose abilities are skewed toward math?
It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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DS I would say skews towards reading, but he is also strong in math skills. Sometimes he enjoys playing the games on this website.
http://macmillanmh.com/math/mathconnects/
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My big girl seems to be math (and science) oriented. And she sounds just like your DS right down to the "terrible punishment" and the difficult math pace!
Since the reading interest isn't as strong, I just let her work on websites herself. She is reading but I'm not sure how well.
ETA: My dad is the math and science nerd...that's where she must get it from because I'm certainly not!
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My youngest is very strong in math. Actually she's very strong in most things, but math was a favourite area of hers for several years. She's 7 now and is taking a bit of a break from formal math study. Last spring she finished up Singapore Math 4B which is probably at a midtolate 5th grade level.
She enjoys games that involve logic and patterns  Mastermind has been a longtime favourite. She also has fun with visualspatial puzzles like Rush Hour. Chess has never really grabbed her, though she went through a phase at age 5 where she enjoyed it.
She loves mathematical guessing games. "I'm thinking of a twodigit number that is divisible by 9, and the first digit is twice the second digit." That sort of thing. When she was younger we played a lot of twentyquestions guessing games with numbers where the questions were things like "Is it bigger than 50? .... Smaller than 20? .... Smaller than 0?" and so on.
She did a lot of play with Cuisenaire rods. I had intended to use them with her to do Miquon Math but she didn't really warm to Miquon and we moved right into Singapore. However, we did do a fair bit of number play with Cuisenaire rods. I have a little booklet that we used back when she was 3 and 4. I made it up for my middle dd, but it was a bigger hit with my youngest. It's not really about arithmetic as much as it is about mathematics and number sense, so she continued to enjoy playing some of the games at age 5 and beyond. If you're interested you can download and print a copy here:
Booklet
Cards to go with booklet:
For colour printing or for
B&W outline printing and colouring by hand
Fiona also enjoyed HandsOn Equations. I believe we started that around her 6th birthday. It's a great intro to algebra using a boardgamelike set of rules and manipulatives. To use it successfully I think a child needs to have some understanding of arithmetic with negative numbers, and to be able to mentally multiply and divide up to 30 or so.
I really enjoy watching mathematical learning occur in my kids. I find it fascinating how they make connections and see patterns. Not always the way I would, but often even more successfully than I would have imagined.
Miranda
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Old
10042010, 11:41 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma
She loves mathematical guessing games. "I'm thinking of a twodigit number that is divisible by 9, and the first digit is twice the second digit." That sort of thing. When she was younger we played a lot of twentyquestions guessing games with numbers where the questions were things like "Is it bigger than 50? .... Smaller than 20? .... Smaller than 0?" and so on.

I may try this to keep him happy in the car!
He devours math but also gets bored quickly  a difficult balance. About a year ago, I bought
Kanoodle, which I thought would be a great (and easily portable) game. He sat down and started with the beginning (toddler?) challenges and worked through the adult ones (the 3D ones) in an afternoon. He played with the game for about a week making up his own designs, but he hasn't touched it since. He's been playing Sudoku with me at night, though okay, I try to guard my Sudoku time for ME!!!
We've never used Cuisenaire rods. I've seen them but always hesitate to buy them, but I may. We have Blockus, and he likes to play that be himself (with some rules he invented) or with us. I was just looking at MasterMind and might try that.
I haven't introduced any concepts that he hasn't gotten right away. We are at the end of the Singapore 2nd grade curriculum, and my guess is that we'll be done with 4th grade by the end of the year. That's faster than a previous estimate I made, but it's kind of how it's heading.
We do have lots of tangrams and just shapes that he can do whatever for. He actually got a sternly wording warning from the children's librarian because we have a really cool touchpad computer that kids play. It's set up for multiple kids to work, but they're all solving the same thing. DS loves one that's an outline and a bank of shapes, but when he's playing, none of the other kids can do it as quickly. His frustration with other people definitely shows then.
It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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DS is a math guy. His idea of reading is a Calvin and Hobbes book
, but he can sit and work on complex math problems for hours. I'll have to check out some of these games and ideas for him. Thanks!
~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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ooh mastermind! I should get that. I love that game!
I haven't thought of my almost6yo DS as a math nerd b/c he just doesn't come off very "academic". But he LOVES these games people are mentioning like rush hour (he is doing the more advanced puzzles of the regular version rush hour jr was too easy), tangrams and blokus. He loves connect4 and othello as well. Someone else told me that the thinkfun company makes more games have people tried them?
We have base 10 blocks (though he's only used them a few times, I find that a much easier way for him to discuss numbers is to have him visualize how many 10 rods, etc, as he is not very confident with just the written digits). He also loves pattern blocks, unit blocks, etc. All of that stuff of ours is currently in storage but we'll be into our own apartment in 23 weeks so we'll get it back out.
He started K this year and they are doing Singapore Math. I don't really want to "supplement" at home unless he asks for it, since I think full day school is plenty for a little kid. He told me, "right now in math we are waking up our brains". I have no idea what that means, but it sounds good! They are starting chess at his school this week I don't really know how to play and have contemplated trying to learn together.
We just talk about number ideas if they come up a lot of times when we walk to school we talk about it its 20 blocks, which is exactly a mile, and that ends up as fodder for conversation. He sometimes does informal little calculations in his head (simple multiplication/division/fractions, not that he calls it that, but just solving problems).
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Yes, this is how my second son is. He is very skilled at visual spatial things, and loves these games.
Observing my kids, though, I don't think of reading and mathematics as really that different. I think that they way they are taught can alienate some kids/put them off.
But really calculus and Latin have more in common then we allow, sometimes.
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10052010, 11:08 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23
Observing my kids, though, I don't think of reading and mathematics as really that different. I think that they way they are taught can alienate some kids/put them off.
But really calculus and Latin have more in common then we allow, sometimes.

I'll have to think about this some. In many ways watching DS has made me more aware of many things mathematical. For starters, I've really thought a good bit about the difference between arithmetic and math itself. DS has an amazing grasp of concepts but balks at being asked to do repeated addition (a la mastery theory of math ed). He intuits much about math because of the logic, but I'm not sure that rolls over to reading.
I've always felt math & music, both of which were huge parts of my childhood, have many similarities, though people are often grouped as "math" or "creative." I've found DS to enjoy math & history while DD is more language/science, though I know that's not a typical grouping.
I know DS can read more than we've previously assumed, but he gets very hung up on exceptions to standard rules. DD(3) has been reading some things aloud the past few days, and I didn't know she could read. She's not likely to tell us when she learns something, whereas DS is yelling, "look at me!!!" constantly.
DS really doesn't have any independent desire to read things, though. I'll let him stay up with a book to read or with a book of puzzles, and he chooses the puzzles every time.
Both DH & I have more balanced abilities. I know that my subset scores always showed higher aptitude in math, but language skills weren't far behind. DS feels very unbalanced, though, but maybe it's more an interest issue with him, rather than ability.
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DS (5) can't get to sleep at night due to "My brain just keeps thinking about negative numbers". When it comes to reading, he's told me that as he's homeschooled, he really doesn't care about 'stuff like spelling' so I was to stop worrying and to stop trying to teach him!
Go figure....
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My oldest was one of the early, voracious readers, and I always thought that's where he was strongest. However, in the last couple of years, he's really blossomed into a, well, a math nerd
. He's 9 and working on prealgebra. Looking back, though, I realize that he always had a mathematical mind, but just didn't have the technical skills to work with numbers. I remember his kindergarten teacher telling me that he explained how the 20 Questions hand held game worked as something like "It starts out with a set of everything in the whole world, and then you answer questions and it makes smaller and smaller and smaller sets until there's only one thing left and then it knows the answer." He also got out of bed one morning with dark circles under his eyes, saying he'd been up all night, thinking about how zero was the center of all numbers (he'd just learned about negative numbers) and he'd been imagining the numbers going on forever, and then going diagonally at all different angles away from zero, and then zero in the middle of a sphere with numbers going out in all directions and finally decided that zero was the center of the universe. Interestingly, though, if he takes standardized tests, he scores higher in reading/language arts. He tends to over think math questions (see above explanation of the meaning of zero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum
DS (5) can't get to sleep at night due to "My brain just keeps thinking about negative numbers". When it comes to reading, he's told me that as he's homeschooled, he really doesn't care about 'stuff like spelling' so I was to stop worrying and to stop trying to teach him!
Go figure....

Heh, I cross posted with you, but it cracks me up that that's the same thing that happened with my then 5 year old
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom
I'll have to think about this some. In many ways watching DS has made me more aware of many things mathematical. For starters, I've really thought a good bit about the difference between arithmetic and math itself. DS has an amazing grasp of concepts but balks at being asked to do repeated addition (a la mastery theory of math ed). He intuits much about math because of the logic, but I'm not sure that rolls over to reading.
I've always felt math & music, both of which were huge parts of my childhood, have many similarities, though people are often grouped as "math" or "creative." I've found DS to enjoy math & history while DD is more language/science, though I know that's not a typical grouping.
I know DS can read more than we've previously assumed, but he gets very hung up on exceptions to standard rules. DD(3) has been reading some things aloud the past few days, and I didn't know she could read. She's not likely to tell us when she learns something, whereas DS is yelling, "look at me!!!" constantly.
DS really doesn't have any independent desire to read things, though. I'll let him stay up with a book to read or with a book of puzzles, and he chooses the puzzles every time.
Both DH & I have more balanced abilities. I know that my subset scores always showed higher aptitude in math, but language skills weren't far behind. DS feels very unbalanced, though, but maybe it's more an interest issue with him, rather than ability.

yes, to so much of this. my 6 yo son who is the most vsmathematical doesn't like to do math books, but intuits mathematical ideas. He looked at a sunflower and basically explained the fibonacci sequence.
He's read for a long time, but says he couldn't read because he doesn't do it for hours and hours like his big brother.
I think most people who said they are not good at math most likely suffered from poor math teachers. I was very luck to have a few very good math teachers, which made a huge difference.
My 3.5 year old is another child with amazing puzzle skills, building skills, etc. and is a closet reader as well. She doesn't understand that what she is doing is reading, because it isn't like what her big brothers or mom and dad do.
And my oldest, who is a self taught very early reader, has lovely, really lovely drawing skills. He tolerates math instruction, but thinks about roller coasters and such all day.
Really, with many of these kids, (and the kids I read about on this forum) it boils down to how they view practice. If practice is something they embrace they can do anything.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23
He's read for a long time, but says he couldn't read because he doesn't do it for hours and hours like his big brother.
I think most people who said they are not good at math most likely suffered from poor math teachers. I was very luck to have a few very good math teachers, which made a huge difference.

first part sounds similar to my DS who has been ABLE to read for a while but somehow doesn't think that he is.
And as for the second point, ITA! I had some really wonderful math teachers in elementary school and they awakened a real joy in math and problem solving. (didn't last past high school unfortunately. maybe when I am an old lady I'll go back and pick up where I left off...)
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If you want something he can do more independently on the computer, you can get EPGY, Stanford's K12 Math program, online through education.com for $45 for 3 months. That's MUCH cheaper than EPGY directly through Stanford and DD finds it fun.
She also got on an acronym kick, because she wanted to know why it was called EPGY. I showed her that each letter stands for a word, then she said "But they forgot the F for the word for!" And ever since, she finds things that are written in all caps and asks if they're acronyms, guesses at what they might stand for, etc.
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Mine! I can relate... He goes to sleep mumbling. I asked him what he was talking about. "I'm trying to get the numbers to stop so I can sleep." Wow, dude.
I haven't read all the replies, so pardon me if I am repeating but...
1.) Mine is very visualspatial. The idea of reading, which is essentially linear the way most of it is learned/taught is SO not his brain. So, he was not an early reader, and just now (just turned 6) he has really clicked with reading. But he will read holding the book vertically and sometimes upside down. Basically, he has to find a way to read that worked for him and it is more like a picture than a step by step progression of word to word. And since he is in no way a linear guy, his brain had to puzzle it out himself. Math (to him) is a whole "at once" type creative activity. He moves things about in his brain, he devises ways to use objects for representational math, he can visualize math in parts, wholes, comparisons, layers, and directions. To him, reading doesn't come close to all that excitement!
2.) Mine also has vision issues and we manage far sightedness and a lazy eye. Part of reading is being able to see and your eyes doing things like tracking and working together. Unless there is a reason not to, you might just think of scheduling a yearly vision exam with an optometrist (the pediatrician's general exam is not sensitive enough to really catch the fine tuning of vision issues).
But, we did get him reading and writing more... about math! He wrote his friend a note about googol yesterday. He will read about space and things because of the geometry. So, you maybe could start there?
And, I totally relate. I am NOT a math person. Dh is way better at that stuff (thank goodness). But I have a feeling that soon I'm going to be outmathed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23
I think most people who said they are not good at math most likely suffered from poor math teachers.

There are also lots of mathematicians who are not good at arithmetic. Without an opportunity to see the big picture, kids who are poor at the mindnumbing arithmetic drills I see DS1 struggling with at school often don't realize that they are good at math just not so good with rote memorization.
I see this with DS1 all the time. He loves mathematical thinking and problem solving, but he doesn't really think that it is math because when he "does math" at school, it is only arithmetic. The fact that he is really advanced for his age in logic puzzles and geometry activities didn't register as math to him until I starting showing him math games on the computer that didn't involve arithmetic. But it needed an external authority to say "yes, this is math," for him to get it.
Kate
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