For the thousandth time: It's not pushing if they're begging for it, right? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

OK, coming out of a long MDC hiatus because my mind has just been blown and I need some BTDT reassurance.

 

DS1, who will be 4 in a few weeks, has been on a math kick. I learned today about a fun new math tool that lets you build custom online quizzes, and over the course of figuring out how to use it in my classroom, I created a few for him. Things I know he can do... adding, subtracting, shape names, etc. I took my computer home and logged him on, and he breezed through them (as I kind of guessed he would). His interest didn't wane, though, and he begged for more. We did basic fractions, basic inequalities (a simple addition problem on either side of a missing <, >, or = sign, and started on perimeter before he got bored. All told, he sat there for well over an hour (after a full day of preschool), getting little mini-lessons from me in crayon on the back of some old bills and junk mail, then begging for "more math problems" (I tried not to use the word test) on the computer. If I had to bet money I'd guess that tomorrow he'll retain his understanding of fractions and inequalities and not remember much about perimeter due to waning interest and focus at the end. 

 

So... now I have a three year-old (OK, an old three year-old, but still technically three) who has a basic understanding of fractions and inequalities. Not spectacular by some measures, to be sure, but also enough to raise eyebrows. I'm not as worried about what other people think as I am about "EEEEEEK, WHAT IF THEY'RE RIGHT?!"

 

I mean, as soon as he was clearly not interested or having fun, we stopped. In fact, I tried to get him to stop sooner, but he wanted to keep going.

 

So, back to my post title: It's not pushing if they're begging for it, right?

 

Also: Good math resources for a mathematically inclined/interested four year-old? Again, I'm not wanting to push, but as long as he loves it so, and as long as we've likely got at least the next year with me or the husband as a SAHP (moving back to WI! Taking leave of absence from teaching! Exclamation points!), we'll have the time and energy to do this kind of thing. He can read, but isn't fluent just yet. He, with a few exceptions, enjoys being read to far too much to bother with the whole "reading on his own" thing. His reading is more at the "Go, Dog, Go" level, though he successfully sounds out more difficult words and sentences. Many of the math curricula and resources I can think of require a lot more reading.


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#2 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 05:28 AM
 
captain optimism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Good Ship Lollipop
Posts: 7,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

My kid was a math enthusiast but not an early reader, and maybe not quite as gifted as yours. On the other hand, I have no insight at all into math education and I could never have provided him with quizzes! He sought out the PBS show Cyberchase on Youtube when he was four, and watched every episode in the summer before kindergarten--that was how he learned to manipulate fractions. He also did a lot of things with the clocks in the house, but that wasn't anything I showed him how to do. I'm actually not totally sure how he picked up some of the things he did, though I tried to learn by observation how he was doing it. 

 

I think I built a little on his interest in fractions by having him help me measure when I was cooking, had him add up prices when we went to the market, taught him to figure a tip, and did some birthdate math. Oh, and we did origami and read books about math, too. I mean, he just wasn't quite as far ahead of the curve as your child, he hit the stuff you're describing a year later--but that made me less shy about teaching him anything he might like. 

 

Which I think you should do. The advantage to teaching him things at this age is, he doesn't really need to know them now, so you can just have fun. If he wants to learn something you think is just outrageous for a kid his age, let him. It's not like it's going to hurt him. You aren't putting him in toe shoes or making him sing opera, it's just a little math. (I also think that teaching things in a particular order is overrated, and you should just offer what you think he might find interesting.) My experience was that my son would have those bursts of passion and learn a lot about something and then put it aside for some time and come back to it later.  

 

I really liked the Mitsumasa Anno books, because they are beautiful and teach whatever the child is ready to learn. I think my son was four or five when I first read him The Number Devil, and that was a gas--we reread it many times. Since your kid is actually reading (wow, what a blessing that is!) you can leave books out for him to discover. If they are at too high a level, he might still be able to figure out what they are to ask you to read them to him. If you let him use the computer (and I can see with a child pushing four that you might not yet!) there are a lot of great math enrichment videos and resources out there. 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
captain optimism is online now  
#3 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:13 AM
 
Geofizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Running with the dingos!
Posts: 8,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

There is a huge distance between hot housing and feeding the monster.

 

We've done:

Lots of games with dice and strategy

Lots of cooking, including doubling and halving recipes

Reading math books of a variety of quality (513 in the library)

 

And just plain work books.  My sitter had been printing DS worksheets when he was begging for math homework to do while his sister was doing hers.  I finally decided that math books were a lot cheaper than paper & ink, so I bought Singapore books.  We would do the reading and scribing for him, but also slowly encouraged him to learn to write the numbers. 

Geofizz is offline  
#4 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:26 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

Personally, I found there are ways to maybe not "push" but to "lead" a child without meaning to. That's not to say that YOU are doing this... only that I found myself doing that in the early years and know it's possible. When my eldest was a toddler, I'd drop anything if she wanted to write, be read to or do anything "intellectual." I felt it was my duty to support this interest. I didn't always do this for a tea party or to build a race track. Before long, DD only came to me with academic pursuits and began to do so almost constantly. When I realized this, I did a little experiment. I changed my behavior. When presented academics, sometimes I would say "let me finish this project and I'll be right there" as I'd been doing sometimes with play. Sometimes I'd say "would you like to write a letter to grandma or would you like to kick the ball together outside?" Sure enough, once play and academics had more equal footing in the home... once play could offer her as much attention and parental time as academics, play started to win out. She still loved learning but it turned more into wanting to read stories of ancient cultures, go to the art museum to look and discuss paintings... not so much with letters and numbers. She still started school very advanced and continues to be years ahead even in high school but I like to think I helped her develop her strong sense of balance by making that change early on.

 

Obviously, I can't say this is your situation. I'm just answering yout questions that you can lead a child and develop a home where they may feel academics are the priority without actually requiring they do academic work. It's a far cry from a hot-houser certainly but something to experiment with just to make sure your kids aren't shaping their childhood solely on what gets them the most attention.

Juvysen likes this.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#5 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:33 AM
 
pranava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Pushing implies there is resistance.  If you introduce a new topic and the kid takes off with it, that is not pushing.  If they seem frustrated, but stick with it anyway, I still don't think that's pushing.  Where I struggle with pushing or not is when I get a "I can't do it"  On one hand I want to encourage working through a challenging situation, on the other hand, I don't want to push and have DS lose interest.  An "I can't do it" usually get a response from me of "some things take practice"  or "I can help if you want to try", or "Do you want to watch me do it?"

 

I actually have to push when it comes to physical things, or DS just won't try.  Like feeding himself and walking up stairs instead of crawling up them at the age of 3.  Pushing is not always a bad thing.


Life is strange and wonderful.  Me read.gif, DP lady.gif, DS (3/09) blahblah.gif , 3 dog2.gif  and 4 cat.gif

pranava is offline  
#6 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:37 AM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do agree with whatsnextmom and actually went through a simialr kind of "experiment" myself with fairly similar results. That said, nothing you're doing sounds like a problem, but I would just be sure not to invest more positivity, excitement and energy in these games than in others, YKWIM?

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
#7 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Geofizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Running with the dingos!
Posts: 8,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Interesting points, whatnextmom & loraxc.  We have been in the opposite position, where we jump on requests to play outside, but we tend to resist the math work, particularly when we were doing the scribing.  That's why why we call facilitating math for DS feeding the monster.

 

I will say that while parents are encouraged to keep a house rich in literature and words, we keep a house rich in mathematics.  It's just part of our conversation; part of our family culture, and a result of how DH and I think.  I remember when we were potty training DS shortly after he was two, I made a graph for him to see his progress (# pees / day).  A friend came over to our house while we were in the midst of this and asked why on earth we were trying to teach graphing to our 2 year old.  For me, it was just simply the way I think about things, that it was natural for me to set it up that way.  So a lot of the mathematics have just been in the fabric of how our household is run.

 

Did we create the monster because of how we run things?  Or did the way we run things simply allow the monster to come out?

 

Blizzardbabe, a few other points:  Fractions aren't taught in school until late in the second grade.  I think that's because some kids just aren't ready for those concepts before then, but my observations last year in pre-K was that most kids did have a sense of 1/2 and 1/3, etc.  Your child may have an extraordinary talent, and may not.  The computer quiz thing is also novel, so it could have been the computer quiz bit that was enticing more than the math.  Or it could have been the other way around.  Play it by ear -- it sounds like you already are. 
 

Geofizz is offline  
#8 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, everyone. I'll try the same experiment. I'm interested to see the results. Yesterday really just started out as "Hey, DS1, I made something for my students on the computer, you want to try it out for me to see if it works?" and grew from there. Guess that's what I get for making the three year-old my assistant. ;-)

 

I mean, I don't want him to feel pressured to be "academic" all the time, but I also don't want to push him in the OTHER direction.

 

Parenting, Y U NO BE EASY?


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#9 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 08:29 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

I mean, I don't want him to feel pressured to be "academic" all the time, but I also don't want to push him in the OTHER direction.

 

I actually have pushed my kids in the "other" direction, with what I think has been a fair degree of success. We are a pretty intellectual couple of parents. We saw our eldest two children becoming drawn into "living in their heads" very young. So we tried to lead them into more creative, active pursuits by putting more of our energy into active, outdoor, artistic and musical things, responding with more enthusiasm and immediacy if they expressed interests in these directions. I think they've grown up very balanced as a result. My 15yo geek is also into mountain-biking and choral music, my 18yo hyper-literate intellectual is passionate about the violin and is a distance runner.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#10 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 08:58 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

I actually have to push when it comes to physical things, or DS just won't try.  Like feeding himself and walking up stairs instead of crawling up them at the age of 3.  Pushing is not always a bad thing.

 

I had to push my son to learn to swim. He was furious with me for it but we live in an area where many people have pools and live at the beach. Not being able to swim wasn't keeping him OUT of the water and so, he had to learn. I fully admit to pushing him in that regard but I don't regret it!


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#11 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

 

I actually have pushed my kids in the "other" direction, with what I think has been a fair degree of success. We are a pretty intellectual couple of parents. We saw our eldest two children becoming drawn into "living in their heads" very young. So we tried to lead them into more creative, active pursuits by putting more of our energy into active, outdoor, artistic and musical things, responding with more enthusiasm and immediacy if they expressed interests in these directions. I think they've grown up very balanced as a result. My 15yo geek is also into mountain-biking and choral music, my 18yo hyper-literate intellectual is passionate about the violin and is a distance runner.

 

Miranda

 

We're a pretty mixed bag, as a family. FIL is probably one of the most intelligent people I know, and he makes his living as a metal machinist. A really, really talented metal machinist. You talk to him about what you need, he thinks about it and comes back to you with three different options and detailed explanations of the pros and cons of each one. He has no shortage of intellectual challenge... and I think he's a great role model in that sense, not to mention a darn useful person to have around. He has found something he's great at, nas worked hard to become really, really good at it (without the assistance of some professor/teacher telling him the right answers). Down the road, If DS1 wanted to follow in his footsteps and pursue a trade/craft, or if he wanted to pursue a doctorate in Choose-Your-Esoteric-Academic-Field, we'd be completely supportive.Finding the balance NOW, when he's still very much at the age where, like it or not, we make most of his decisions, is more difficult. And, really, (and this is I think where my stress all rests) to what degree are the things we're doing now (OK, maybe not now, but in his elementary school-aged years) prescribing what path he takes as a young adult?

 

Maybe this speaks to the bigger issue/conflict in my brain. I want to provide my kids with opportunities that I didn't have (not "YOU MUST DO XYZ BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET TO! LIVE MY LIFE FOR ME!" but more like "I now know what's out there; the world is a buffet of awesome things to learn and do... and you've got some pretty awesome skills with which to learn and do them").

 

OK, I'm over-thinking up here. My students are taking their computerized MAP tests and it leaves me with nothing to do but stare at them over the top of my computer... and apparently type out long, navel-gazing parenting posts. blahblah.gif


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#12 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 10:54 AM
 
pranava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe 

 

Maybe this speaks to the bigger issue/conflict in my brain. I want to provide my kids with opportunities that I didn't have (not "YOU MUST DO XYZ BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET TO! LIVE MY LIFE FOR ME!" but more like "I now know what's out there; the world is a buffet of awesome things to learn and do... and you've got some pretty awesome skills with which to learn and do them").

 

 

I feel this same way.  I was quite sheltered and naive.  There are so many life directions and things out there that I wish I knew about before I finished college. 


Life is strange and wonderful.  Me read.gif, DP lady.gif, DS (3/09) blahblah.gif , 3 dog2.gif  and 4 cat.gif

pranava is offline  
#13 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava View Post

 

 

I feel this same way.  I was quite sheltered and naive.  There are so many life directions and things out there that I wish I knew about before I finished college. 

 

This is a good way of putting it. I kept taking choir because... I just never quit. Even when I got seriously jacked in an audition process and had to spend a year in the "developmental" choir (while also in the equivalent of honors small-group choir; it was very awkward), it never occurred to me to quit and try something new. I went to a huge high school with a ton of options. Things I wish I had tried:

 

  • Auto shop
  • horticulture
  • AP economics
  • More advanced English classes, possibly a PSEO class at the local college.

 

And thats just school. There's an even longer list of non-school and co-curricular activities I wish I'd tried.

 

I don't want to push, but my parents never presented options to me, never mind pushed me. They were just kind of clueless; it wasn't any failing or malevolence on their part.


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#14 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 11:40 AM
 
captain optimism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Good Ship Lollipop
Posts: 7,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

You have to believe that things will work out or you will lose your mind. That applies as much to good things, like your child's abilities and interests and potential, as it does to difficult things. 

 

This is going to be fun. It is a blast to hang out with a math-oriented kid. I have learned so much! I can't even believe how my world has been opened by his interests. Don't worry that you're pushing. You know what you're doing. Trust yourself. 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
captain optimism is online now  
#15 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 11:41 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post

And, really, (and this is I think where my stress all rests) to what degree are the things we're doing now (OK, maybe not now, but in his elementary school-aged years) prescribing what path he takes as a young adult?

 

My ds is 15 and at this point neither he nor I could say with any certainty what general trajectory he'll end up taking in the future. I love that there are so many possibilities still open to him ... because he is only really beginning to firm up his adult sense of who he is and what he believes in and what his passions really are. He is good at many things, and enjoys many things, and I see no rush to narrow things down. He is beginning to think about how to shape his future, how he might narrow down ... and this is the time, IMO, in the mid-teens. Certainly during the elementary-school-aged years my main aim was to give him opportunities to learn and grow in a balanced range of areas so that he didn't develop a self-concept that was narrow ("I'm the kid who is good at computers," vs. "I'm the musician" vs. "I'm an athlete"). I wanted him to see all those things as possibilities, as part of what makes him up. 

 

I really think our job as parents is to give our kids opportunities to grow and excel in areas where they have natural aptitudes, but also to "round them out" so that their precocity in specific areas doesn't end up defining them as people -- so that they have the chance to excel in areas that they weren't necessarily naturally drawn to at age 3, or 6, or 10. Part of that is just modelled for them. Dh and I both have post-graduate degrees and are quite cerebral by nature. Yet his main at-home activity is blacksmithing, and I put a dozen hours or more a week into music and endurance running. We do these things partly to show our kids that we value physical and creative pursuits, and partly to show them that it is possible to excel at and enjoy things you come to later in life and which didn't necessarily come easily.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#16 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

We do these things partly to show our kids that we value physical and creative pursuits, and partly to show them that it is possible to excel at and enjoy things you come to later in life and which didn't necessarily come easily.

 

Kind of off-topic, but I'm just getting started playing roller derby, so he'll have PLENTY of chances to watch me do something that comes about as far from naturally to me as possible, which is to say I'm pretty anti-gifted at the whole thing. eyesroll.gif


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#17 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 07:28 PM
 
KaliShanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lindale,TX
Posts: 2,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I started Math U See homeschooling curriculum with my four year old last August. He is turning five this wee and is breezing through it and he loves it. But I have no issues with teaching him what he wants to learn. *shrug*


Jesus-loving Doula/Birth Photographer Mama to Tor 4/2007, Zion 11/2009, Enoch 11/2011, and Zephyr due 12/13/2013

KaliShanti is offline  
#18 of 26 Old 04-24-2012, 11:38 PM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

 

I had to push my son to learn to swim. He was furious with me for it but we live in an area where many people have pools and live at the beach. Not being able to swim wasn't keeping him OUT of the water and so, he had to learn. I fully admit to pushing him in that regard but I don't regret it!

 

same here, only it is lots of rivers and lakes around. I told DS that he was free to choose any sport or exercise once he was older (just not NO sport or exercise) but swimming was non-negotiable and had to happen now. he occasionally resists but has mostly submitted. He's the kind of kid who has to be pushed to go anywhere but usually enjoys himself once he is there. It is sometimes hard to know how much pushing is right but at least with swimming, other than with math, you know it can be a life-and-death-issue.

 

For me, the balance atm is with feeding the monster as far as his obsessions (non-fiction, building, drawing, dinosaurs...) go, but with pushing other stuff he'd otherwise neglect (outdoor stuff, exercise, music, fiction). I do keep wondering whether this will end up ina well-rounded person or whether this will backfire on us, but some stuff you can't just pick up once you happen to develop an interest without parents facilitating early exposure.


Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#19 of 26 Old 04-25-2012, 01:55 AM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,705
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

As a side note when my kiddo was younger he LOVED anything by 'Greg Tang'. 

http://www.amazon.com/Greg-Tang/e/B001ILFO4W/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1335343985&sr=8-1

 

 


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
#20 of 26 Old 04-25-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
blizzard_babe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Land of Beer and Cheese, baby.
Posts: 4,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

As a side note when my kiddo was younger he LOVED anything by 'Greg Tang'. 

http://www.amazon.com/Greg-Tang/e/B001ILFO4W/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1335343985&sr=8-1

 

 

 

Ooh. His birthday is May 6. Hello, mathybooks. I will order you now.


Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
blizzard_babe is offline  
#21 of 26 Old 04-25-2012, 02:58 PM
 
kathydavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Absolutely not pushing. If they love it then give them more! That kind of self-motivation is exactly what you want to nurture.

 

I'm not sure what's out there now, but I know there were some great computer games for kids that were math focused in the late 90's. If you see any at thrift stores or a half price book they're generally pretty good. Everything is read out loud so there's no big problem with kids that don't read as well as they compute.


Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.  -Hellen Keller 

kathydavid is offline  
#22 of 26 Old 04-28-2012, 10:18 AM
 
ellemenope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think it is pushing if they are begging for it. You will have raised eyebrows for sure, perhaps implying that play is so important at this age and warning of burnout. But, a three-year-old who can read can also get lost in fantastic and elaborate imaginative play for hours at a time. A three-year-old can learn to read without formal instruction or curriculums. Math is everywhere, not just in textbooks. And, a three-year-old can pursue some academic interests without neglecting other areas of life. I sometimes think people don't want to believe this. 

 

I also think you are allowed to have a vision for the way your family lives and how life in your home is conducted. For me, one of the most exciting things about having DD is exploring the world through her eyes. I feel like we are not so much teaching her as much as we are learning things all over again from a different angle.

 

Personally, I try to pay attention to how my DD is learning during these preschool years. I want learning to be a 100% joyful experience. I want her to learn a lot through play and exploration. I want her to be inquisitive and ask questions, test hypotheses.  We steer clear of learning toys, videos, and flashcards. I want to put off workbooks and drilling for as long as possible.

 

But, I think this is me just being conscious of her unique individual needs right now. She wants to read and listen to stories, have conversations and play number games.  Specifically, we've had qualms about her wanting to talk about things like the Greeks and Romans, presidents, and major wars. For other children it might not be gentle and appropriate, but for her it is. And, while I do not think it is appropriate for her to be taught how to print yet, for other children it may be.

 

As far as math, there was an old video I watched when I was little about math. It is called something like Donald Duck in Mathmagicland. It was one of my favorite movies when I was young. Math is not my area at all, but I think it helps to put more emphasis on number relationships and principles and less on computation and facts. If I remember correctly this movie is in that vein.

 

 

 

 

 

ellemenope is offline  
#23 of 26 Old 06-13-2012, 09:58 PM
jdg
 
jdg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In the original post, there was a question about possible curriculum. I'd suggest you look into RightStart Math. It's very teacher/parent intensive, but that's because it basically requires no reading and is all done interactively. And most of it is done like a series of small instructions with games to reinforce the concepts. It's a very child-friendly curriculum, with lots of hands-on manipulatives.


Jackie
jdg is offline  
#24 of 26 Old 06-13-2012, 10:54 PM
 
Governess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi,

 

I'm new here. I raised my son solo for most of his childhood and also homeschooled him most of that time because there were no formal educational resources challenging enough in the area.

 

Regarding the question, you know the answer. If he's begging for it or simply going along happily, you're on track. We only worry that we are pushing because people around us assume that we must be pushing our our child wouldn't be so far along. That is just lack of knowledge on their part, and our job is to ignore that or if they are persistent have a nonoffensive comment that will immediately stun them into silence so that we can go on with our jobs as parents.

 

So, despite the ongoing unsolicited evaluations and conflicting, ignorant and sometimes harmful advice I was "blessed with," I homeschooled my son in a completely custom manner, not using any prepared materials the vast majority of the time unless you consider classic literature, science books (not text books), museums, plays, concerts, astronomical society meetings, nature, etc. to be somehow prepared. I winged it and it turned out beautifully. He got ten admissions offers, most with full rides, to the very top universities in the world. He's studying to be a computational neuroscientist, is very well adjusted socially (despite the myths about lack of socialization among homeschooled students), has a steady (and brilliant) girlfriend he very well may end up marrying based on the maturity of their relationship, and still insists he will care for me once he gets his Ph.D.

 

I don't say any of that to brag, though I know it can come across that way. I say it to encourage you to just go about your business providing all the rich educational opportunities you can for your son without regard to social approval. You are not responsible for pleasing others. If you try, you will fail, in part because "others" conflict with each other typically.

 

As for what materials to use for him, I just taught mathematical concepts out of my head in the context of real life. For example, when my son was five, we were making biscuits. I told him that we only needed 2/3 of a recipe. I asked him to convert the quantities for me. He needed my help to walk through the process in his head. He was able to do it that way. Eventually, he didn't need my help, and it didn't take that long. That is how he learned to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions, multiply fractions, and convert the answer into a mixed number. That was not at all planned. I just thought of it as we were making biscuits. I didn't make him sit down and do math on paper till he was seven and I needed something for his files so I could produce it if the state asked. He hated that. I made him do fourth grade math out of a workbook. Took him six weeks though he could do the work in his head. Now, when he took AP Calculus in high school, did he get marked down for not showing his work? Once or twice, until the teacher realized that he was the very top student in the class of older students and would have to stop and think about how he did that in order to put it on paper. The school he attends now is extremely rigorous in math, requiring freshmen to cover in ten weeks what juniors at other challenging schools cover in a semester while carrying a lighter load. Having a very solid and deep grasp on mathematical solutions in math or any science or engineering course is critical. My son learned that by learning math based on its uses in real life. Textbooks, on the other hand, are designed to make it as easy as possible for school kids to get the right answers without really understanding the concepts behind them. This makes their textbooks more likely to be purchased en masse by large state school systems. I paid our living expenses while homeschooling by charging premium rates to homeschool the children of wealthy people, children who didn't understand the math they got A's in in previous years.

 

You don't have to use some gimmicky method to teach math or to teach anything. Those methods can be useful if you are not intuitive as a private teacher/mentor in that topic, and they are fine to use so far as they work for your child. I don't put them down. But, I use none of them and succeeded. My son got perfect scores on all his standardized tests before college, on the first try without studying. He didn't have to study because he learned the topics deeply from a young age. For example, he had a basic physics book when he was four. It was about simple machines such as the lever, the pulley, etc. I didn't get a recommendation for that book or seek it out specifically. I simply found it at a library book sale and nabbed it. He had over 1200 of his own books before we were burglarized badly a couple of years ago, and he'd read many more. I provided him with many college textbooks throughout his adolescence and a few before that. I paid nothing for most and a low price for many. For a few I paid full price, but he put them to use. My biggest discipline problem in his adolescent years was that he would stay up all night and read these textbooks, making it nearly impossible to get him up for school. I had a very rigorous, many step method to get him out of bed, fed, showered, dressed and to school on time. Sound ridiculous? Yeah, it was, but I was his enabler, and I knew it. I also knew that when he was away in summer for weeks at a time at summer science programs, he got himself up and to class or breakfast with no problem. So, I simply considered it "not the worst problem a mother could have with a six foot tall teenager."

 

There are also tons of things you can expose your child to to give him a much deeper and broader context for his pure academic learning. The things my son did helped him get into the summer programs, and each summer program helped him get into a more academically exclusive one. So, start now and keep general records of what he is doing so you can build on it. I kept almost no records except for the grades he made when he was in public school for a few years. But, I remembered what I did with him very well and was able to consolidate some of that into enrichment courses I put in appropriate sections of his transcript.

 

So, I've gone way beyond your question. My basic answer is to run with it and follow your intuition. Your job is to remove barriers to his learning.

 

Okay, one more thing. Kids do not need to use the computer when they are young. There can be advantages, but there can be huge disadvantages too. Not saying not to do it. But, I didn't get my son a computer until he was sixteen and a junior in high school. We also didn't have a working TV, which he preferred since he made noticeably higher grades without one. If he were going to be a computer programmer, that may have been a disadvantage. It was challenging for him at times when teachers expected work to be done on the computer. But, my son like many kids would get distracted. It wasn't perfect, but delaying him getting a laptop gave him that much more time to pore over graduate school classic math and physics textbooks, college biology and chemistry books, college history books, etc. and that is part of why he didn't have to study for the SAT I, SAT II Physics, SAT II Molecular Biology, SAT II Math 2, or ACT to get those scores. I suppose it's less realistic even today for kids not to use computers for schoolwork. My son is still a teenager, but things change quickly. I just want you to know that there is much you can do with zero electronic assistance. Our former neighbor, a wealthy international medical research consultant, used to stop by our cottage to give me a message from his wife sitting over there in the humongous waterfront mansion. He would stand over my son as he played with constrution toys on our big porch or look up at my son as he read an old book sitting up in the cherry tree. He could never understood how my child knew so much, and he would quiz him, even at social functions, asking him to define words, solve riddles, do math problems, explain physics problems, etc. He always was astonished that my son could answer correctly, while his own, much older daughter attended exclusive and pricey schools and needed tutoring (by me). What the Harvard educated doctor didn't understand was that knowledge is free. It is not owned by teachers, schools, textbook manufacturers, computer based training developers, or PBS. You don't have to have a computer or a book to teach math. You graduated from high school and probably college, perhaps graduate school. You know enough to teach your young child for years to come.

 

So, carry on in confidence and enjoy it. My son told me when he was a junior attending an IB school, "I never realized until now how idyllic my childhood was." He was referring to his days of reading books in the cherry tree, learning science from nature, and doing "spearmints" at the kitchen table. Go on and create an idyllic childhood for your son.

Governess is offline  
#25 of 26 Old 06-20-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Bekka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think that in the process of learning, it can be painfully important for them to learn that  it can be HARD to learn.  You fall when you ride a bike.  You get hit on the head when you play baseball and it hurts.  Some of us really puzzle over math, or do just fine until we reach integral calculus.  Providing the wide breadth of things to learn while also following his/her cues means that some things will be easy, some will not.

Bekka is offline  
#26 of 26 Old 07-10-2012, 09:38 AM
 
mokey4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think as long as we're following our children's cues and interests, and making sure that we're not only following the ones that excite or interest us, then we're doing ok. It's natural to be more excited about our kids' interest in math when we want them to be good at math, but we just have to be aware of this and temper it by recognizing other things they are interested in, like coloring or reading or playing ball.

 

If we encourage the more "useful" talents like math, we might prevent them from discovering something they would get a lot of joy from. I think my husband feels that this happened to him- he's a mathemetician/physicist who was talented at math from an early age, and he wishes he had developed more as an artist and a writer, and had played more sports. He's cursed to be well above average at everything, but not quite the best in anything. He thinks his parents discouraged him from anything non-academic and that hurt him. Plus he was 2 grades ahead in school and he was socially not adapted enough to be with the older kids- I think that contributed to a lot of the problems he faces now (though, at 50, he's finally doing pretty well).

mokey4 is offline  
Reply

Tags
Gifted Child

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off