## Wednesday, February 16, 2011

### Mental sums

We've doing some mental sums lately. I wanted to teach N how to add in 2s, since he knows the 2 timestable but i was too tardy in preparing the learning materials (hence no pictures). So instead, i just gave him a verbal 'lesson' over meals- so it has became mental sums.

I asked N what is '2+2' (this he knows previously) which he promptly answers '4!'. I went on to the next sum '4+2'?. He gave me the 'i don't know look' so i told him to count in 2s and asked him what number is after 4? He said '6!' so i repeated the question and said '4+2 is equals to 6'. He caught on and was able to answer the subsequent sums, we went up all the way to 22 or more (cannot remember).

After some practice over a few days and explaining to him how to skip count in 2, he spotted the pattern. So i tested him by randomly picking a few sums we hadn't attempted, something like '56+2 or 104+2'. It was amusing seeing him count in his head and his face light up when he got the answers. Because he understood the concept of skip counting in 2s, he can also now add by 2s with odd numbers mentally.

I have to repeat here that i never intended for N to learn sums this early. In fact, i thought he would be ready only by 4 or 5 years old. THe only reason why we've come this far is because he has been showing very strong interest in this area. I feel it will be unfair to him if i insist on slowing down the pace. Also, if i remain at a slower pace, he might get bored and loose interest in learning. My purpose is to spur on his interest and love for learning. And it's been nothing but fun (yes Maths can be quite enjoyable) so far!

1. Impressive! I used to teach my girl quite advance too, like the solar system and characteristic of clouds, but ended up her teacher complaint she has lost interest at school and also not keen to answer any question even prompted by teachers(scratch head)!

2. Yes that's what alot of pple been telling me. That the boy may be bored in school and create trouble instead. I'm still figuring this one out! I wonder how other moms manage this? I know for sure tho, I can't possibly teach everything, so I guess he'll still have something new to learn in school? I hope!!

3. cho cho inspiring! :)

4. This is our daily activity too.

Yvette has the same problem too. Sometimes she will lose focus and didn't much attention in class. But luckily, the teachers know how to engage her.

5. Wow, that's advanced! :) I'm not sure if its applicable for toddlers, but I know that when I get kids that learn much faster than their peers, I sit them next to their "slower" classmates and get them to help, so they don't get restless. But might be tougher for younger kids!

You're really doing a great job teaching him!

6. Sunflower: So far, ive not heard from the teachers that N looses focus easily. But they did say he always show more excitement in learning new things than revising. hahaa.

Just me: CHO CHO!! (whats that?! HAHAA)

Mamaj: thats SOOOO FUNNNY & clever!

7. hmmm, i get feedback from J's school teachers that she would spend her time in class helping and encouraging her other friends who have difficulty in their work. so i guess that's ok. for chinese enrichmt, i noticed and her teacher feedback that she has started to "stone" when she realise she knows the words. hence i know its time to stop the enrichmt and take over the learning from home as i'm confident of it now. n that's alright - the money spent on the enrichment is well worth every cent cos it helped me spark that interest in J to learn and speak mandarin!

to me, the "don't teach the kid so much that they lose interest in learning in sch" does not make sense. i dun teach with the objective to cover everything before the school teacher covers it. my aim is to spark that interest to learn so that they can connect the things they learn in school to the things they learn elsewhere, not necessarily at home, but to things they learn in the park, at the museum, in the library etc. in fact, there are so many things to learn about the world around us, no one person in this world can say he knows everything there is to know! our job is to help our kids keep that interest to learn about their world. so keep up the good work of nurturing your children! :)