I have been reading back through the archives and it is such a relief to find you all, discussing the things I have been thinking about! There can be so much anxiety and fear of judgement when you're trying to find information about helping your kids...are you doing enough...or too much...are they gifted...will people think you're bragging when you're just trying to talk about your children or get advice...? It's nice to find a place to feel at home. Where you won't be told you're either crazy or pushy.
I have two general topics I am wondering about...
The first is my 3.5 yr old, L. She is currently interested (ok, obsessed) with anything and everything space, time (especially as it pertains to the Earth's orbit/changing of seasons/lunar cycle), calendars, fossils, puzzles, bones and anatomy, rocks, geography (maps, maps, maps!) and MATH!!!! Oh my, the math.
I would LOVE some fresh ideas...especially your favourite atlas, apps, books...has anyone gotten a set of lenses and prisms they would recommend? I think she would enjoy those if I could find a nice set
Does anyone know where to find a great poster of tree/leaf identification?
Math: She gets very obsessive and wants me to provide her with endless verbal math problems, wants to verbally count on and on and on and on...I want to move away from that if we can and give her some manipulatives to work with, both together and that she can play with independently. Does anyone use Montessori math materials? I think I am going to order a hundred board and some of the bead materials to start with. Other ideas? I'm thinking maybe also tangrams...parquetry blocks...a set of geometric shapes.
Good books? I saw Mitsumasa Anno's books referenced in another thread and they look beautiful,has anyone used them? She is just on the verge of reading herself, so I would be reading with her.
She truly is a delight. I love learning with her. She has the most amazing thirst for knowledge and intense NEED to know what she wants to know. We haven't had her tested and I doubt she falls into the higher levels of gifted but she is unlike any other child I know and has been since the day she was born.
And then there is her little sister, C. Where L has always been very calm, emotionally mature, focused, independent...C is an emotional whirlwind. I see many other traits they have in common...very early with physical milestones and when C isn't raging she has that quick sharp mind, amazing focus,independent play, long attention span, problem solving, sense of humour, etc that we saw in her sister. C is not a talker but neither was her sister. L was basically silent until she was 2 and then started spouting out complicated sentences far beyond her peers who had been talking for ages.
The problem is that C is just so.....SO!! SO angry...SO intense...SO needy...SUCH big tantrums SO often....SO attached to me... SO little sleep....It is just draining the life out of me. Her latest thing thing is to wake up at least once every. single. night and throw a massive tantrum in the middle of the night. Why? NO IDEA. Her head is black and blue from banging it on the floor/walls/everything.
Our doctor has just referred us to a ped to look into some different ideas of what it might be....current thought are migraines (I have them), food sensitivities (I feel this is a stretch) or, maybe she is just....highly sensitive? "spirited"? The flip side of her sister's calm and mature "advanced" "gifted", whatever?
I am ordering "Raising your spirited child" to read.....and would love thoughts or commiseration. I'm tired, dudes.
So...hello...thank you in advance...nice to meet you!
Beth . wife to DH and Mama to DD1 (May 1-09) and DD2 (Nov 2-11)
Hi and Welcome Katico!
I really like the book "The Explosive Child" It may be a little early to apply all of it to your younger child, but I found it very helpful in creating understanding and compassion in me for my child's outbursts. And my DS has been an emotional tornado too. He is never happy or sad, but rather ecstatic or devastated :)
I found these wooden number dominoes - http://www.tmart.com/Mathematical-Computation-Dominoes-from-1-To-100-Toddler-Educational-Toy_p141876.html
They have been great fun to line up down the hallway from 1 to 100, or set up like dominoes with odd numbers on the left and even on the right and have them race, or line up so many and build a lego tower of the corresponding color and number of blocks to show quantity. Lots of different uses for these.
We also have the Montessori number cards 1 to 90000 http://www.bing.com/shopping/montessori-large-wooden-number-cards-with-box/p/AA21C47C434603835020?q=montessori+number+box&lpq=montessori%20number%20box&FORM=HURE By using these, DS has learned 1's 10's hundreds, thousands place. I think we will get the beads and bead cubes next so he can visualize the quantities associated with these numbers.
Also, mazes and dot to dots have been a big hit. We also spend lots of time playing a homemade "number O" game. one egg carton per player. Numbers 1 to 12 written in each egg spot. Roll two dice and add the numbers. Then place a cheerio in your egg carton on the correct number. The first player to get cheerios in all 12 spots wins and then everybody eats their cheerios(or, Ok we sometimes play with m&m's )
I can't wait to hear the other math ideas people have. We're always looking for something fresh and fun!
Life is strange and wonderful. Me , DP , DS (3/09) , 3 and 4
I love the cheerios game idea! She would be into that, especially with the m&m's I would love more suggestions anyone has for little games like that....L definitely has a perfectionist streak that I see coming out more and more in the past few months...she gets VERY upset if she gets something wrong and then needs to drill that question over and over again until she is sure she will never get it wrong again Stresses me out. So I would really like to keep math light and fun. eep.
She always wants me to make up questions like "I have 12 apples and you have 7 apples...who has more? How many apples all together? If daddy came and ate 6 apples, how many would we have left? And then Gramma made a pie with 4 apples, how many are left now?" But really, that gets really, realy, really exhausting after awhile......apples! gah!
She is also very into shapes, wants to cut out shapes, talk about angles, group them...I'm wondering about the montessori constructive triangles...or some other tool that would let her build shapes and explore angles?
I was thinking of getting her this, but for the price...I think it's way too simple and she will tire of it quickly. http://www.amazon.com/Plan-Education-Mathematics-Wooden-Fraction/dp/B0056KN66E/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1E4N6TXSOHXWB&coliid=I17BOVTQGQZZQB I maybe will make her a set of cardstock shapes cut into fractions instead ? Not sure
I love the Montessori materials but don't want to spend a huge amount of money...on the other hand, I don't consider it money wasted...this child NEEDS new information, ykwim? And *I* need her need for math to be filled in a way that is less demanding way on me. For now, I am thinking a hundred board, the tens and teens materials and I really do like the look of the number cards you have Pranava. I like the Montessori materials because they are so simple but can be used in so many different ways, from very simple to much more complex. I might try to DIY some of them
Space: She had a hugely intense day talking about space. We got a new book from the library that dealt with the life cycle of and the different categories of stars in more depth and she really spun off in whole new directions of thought. Honestly.....we are so used to her being who she is that we get a little blase about it, you know? I usually think "oh well, MAYBE she's some form of gifted..." But, today, I read her that book once and then she sat and talked my ear off for two hours about the process of stars being formed in nebulae and then started theorizing about what happens in star clusters when stars are so relatively close to one another...Their heat and light energy reaches the other stars in the cluster, does that energy affect those other stars? What happens if a new star and an old star are very close? Could the energy from the new star be absorbed by the old star? On and on and on. Then at supper she starts comparing her straw to a black hole... "my straw is like a black hole! My mouth makes a vacuum like a black hole does....but my straw has TWO ends....does a black hole have two ends? where does everything GO when it gets pulled into a black hole?" .......I.......uh........Mommy needs a cold compress, hahaha. You know what I mean? sometimes, I realize that we just aren't "normal" around here
I CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT A RELIEF IT IS, THE MORE OF THE ARCHIVE I READ! Seriously...I feel so much less alone....you guys have these sort of conversations with your 3.5 year olds too!
And thank you for the book recc Pranava! I am reading anything I can get my hands on!
Beth . wife to DH and Mama to DD1 (May 1-09) and DD2 (Nov 2-11)
they are free in my state via the DCNR (dept of conservation and natural resources) and my local state rep can get them for me (I don't pay for shipping and don't need to worry about having them bent- I can pick them up)- my state offers all types of free thing (animals, insects, etc) and booklets too- it's a start for free info stuff- your state may offer other depts that have other info items
Ahh, excellent idea! I'm in Canada but I bet I can get them from our local Natural Resources!
Old math thread with some good ideas:
Beth . wife to DH and Mama to DD1 (May 1-09) and DD2 (Nov 2-11)
Welcome, Katico! There's lots of good information in past threads, so it's great that you are spending some time reading through them.
Hm, math. My 2 dc both attended Montessori pre-schools. They enjoyed working with the math manipulatives like the bead strings, which may be some of the more recognized Montessori math materials. Montessori math actually starts for preschoolers with manipulatives in the Sensorial area with the Pink Tower and Cylinder Blocks and other materials that develop a recognition of graduated sizes, base 10 and the decimal system, etc. The geometric solids also help provide an important foundation for later work. There are a lot of Montessori blogs out there with inspiration and tutorials for creating Montessori materials at home. My kids are grown, so I don't have links anymore, but you might look through old threads in the Montessori subforum (in Learning at School).
The wooden fraction set that you linked looks very nice. I made a fraction set using coloured cardboard but after some use, the pieces wore out. I think a wooden set would be useful.
The easiest and most enjoyable math activities for my kids were board games like Monopoly Jr. They loved being the banker and counting out the cash. Card games are another fun avenue to exploring math.
The living math website has an extensive list of mathy books, from lovely picture books to history of math. One of our family favorites is Blockhead, a picture biography of Fibonacci. There are also some neat math blogs out there.
I think I found an old thread that might be helpful...http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1268523/now-for-the-math-nerds
Check out Miranda's post!
MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
I don't have any ideas right now as I am sitting here trying to wake up with my second cup of coffee...typing as quietly as my fingers will allow, lest the super hearing of my three munchkins be activated and my time on the computer be cut short.
I just wanted to say YES! WONDERFUL, BRAVO! Good for you. Feed her as much as she needs...
I dropped the ball when my second came along and now a third dc is here and the first is 6...he craved knowledge...I fed him until morning sickness and babies took over...my heart breaks when I see what I have missed.
I am inspired by you and your post to start anew...I took him out of school almost 6 months ago and he is finally back to his 2/3 year old self...crazy for white blood cells, ancient Rome and Egypt..I can't believe that he still hungers for the same topics he did back then....
my 3 1/2 year old is my middle dc and she gets lost in the shuffle often...I need some time to figure out what she is interested in because she only shows interest in what her brother does.
For Christmas I bought his a bunch of Usborne books on ancient Egypt, Rome and Medieval times...as well as a body book. one of the books is a replacement for the exact one he cherished as a 3 year old.
I look forward to following along and picking up tips and resources.