I gather that a lot of you have had to deal with this type of problem, so can hopefully give some good advice.
DC are 9 and very nearly 7yo. The almost-7yo loves me to ask him maths questions. Not astoundingly clever stuff, but pretty good for his age. Sometimes the 9yo joins so I end up firing off Qs to them in turn for a spell like
"What's two thirds of 240?"
"What's 12 - 20?
"What's 5.6 + 8.9?"
Our latest game is DS (the nearly 7yo) answers the Q with another math problem, so I would ask "What's one third of 60?" and he answers "Double-ten". This was all happening whilst I had my veruccas treated today, of all places.
DS nags me to ask him such questions, especially if he's over-excited or upset about something. I've not had any negative comments from eavesdroppers, but I'm afraid that it could look coached, or like I'm trying to show off. I'm not good at taking praise, but of course I don't deserve praise, except for being willing to go along with DS (it gets pretty dull to always be drilling the numbers). Any experience, what types of comments might I get, and how best to deal with them?
Thanks in Advance.
I think instead of worrying about something that doesn't happen, instead it might be better to think about helping the kids find better ways to cope with upset. Ultimately anxiety controls work best if the person with the anxiety is in control of it. So, I'd encourage him to find stuff he can do on his own so he doesn't have to depend on you to generate math problems. This will avoid the social problem and will help better prepare him for situations where you aren't able or willing to quiz him.
If it's obvious that he is the one driving the interaction, no one will think YOU are showing off. If you are egging him on, asking him to do "just one more," you might get a different reaction.
I think most people just like it when our kids are behaving decently. They don't mind if they like math or carry around books, so long as they aren't disruptive to others.
You also might try getting him a math workbook to take places when he has to wait. It might keep him happy!
but everything has pros and cons
Thanks Linda :).
I do try to teach him to calm down in other ways... but mostly unsuccessfully, lol. So it is nice that sometimes the maths thing settles him.
I'm not a parent of a gifted child so I hope you don't mind my answering, but I think if anyone compliments your child's math skills you could just say "Yes, he really likes math". I'm sure as long as you aren't constantly looking around the room to see who is listening in on you or talking really loudly, no one will secretly accuse you of publicly quizzing your children for attention.
We've actually had these sorts of problems with ds. Hang in there if it happens, it's not the easiest thing in the world to deal with. To give an example I remember we got some odd looks and snotty comments when ds was barely 3 and was spending his time at these playgroups we used to do just quietly sitting and reading. Nothing too advanced but still...yeah, books were really his thing then.
One mom in the playgroup actually got really upset with me because she said I was allowing my son to make others feel bad! No, I was just letting him do his thing!! As a consensual living radically unschooling fam, that's just what we do! The comments upset me. I try to accept them gracefully and take them as a compliment of sorts, but a couple of times I have really blown up at the person making the comments; no one gets to make my son feel bad about being who he is!!
Good luck to you mama.
Ha! My kid also enjoys math problems and can sometimes use them to calm himself. I don't enjoy them and I don't really find them calming, and when he was your son's age, he used to ask me the kinds of questions he liked. (He still does, sometimes.)
In my experience, most spectators enjoy it, because for now, the math he's doing isn't over their heads, and they can see the utility of it. Some other evidence of giftedness doesn't have that level of social approval, but you know, it could be worse. He could be a gifted tuba player who needs to practice his instrument in order to calm himself, and empties his spit valves in public.
If you don't want to carry around a whole math workbook, just put a small notebook and a writing implement in your pocket or purse. Then you can have cool arithmetic, dots games, möbius strips, origami--a whole shameless catalog of math enrichment.
Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
Both DS(11) and DD(9) love doing this, and even DS(7) has been joining in. I got them to drill each other so as to get a little break, although they still ask me sometimes. Most of the time, if someone happens to overhear they seem to get a kick out of it. Doing math for fun is really no different than liking to read or knit. Lots of people read or knit waiting for appointments or in line-ups, so why not math? Also, if your kids like math, maybe they would like learning Sudoku or Kakuro and bringing along a book of Sudoku or other logic puzzles. They could learn something new and it would be plenty quiet (all three of my kids do easy level Sudoku puzzles, and just love them!)
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
Been there, doing that too! We haven't had problems with that, but with our kids physical aptitudes. But as a friend of mine once said, "What other's think of me isn't any of my business." Unless they get in your face about it, but again, it hasn't happened to us.
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!