Saturday, March 29, 2008

Teaching a Toddler Addition

Our math program has been horribly inconsistent since we began back in December. But today Hunter took his first addition "test" (the candy game) and amazingly understood the concept just fine.

The Doman math program (How to Teach Your Baby Math) uses a very simple, straightforward way of teaching babies and toddlers the realities of numbers and equations. You simply show them the facts, and they discover the rules.

For teaching a toddler addition, this translates into gathering three cards and showing them: "One" (hold up a card with one dot on it) "plus two" (show the card with two dots on it) "equals three" (show the card with three dots on it).

No explanation, just show the facts. Since they can actually see the true number of dots, they understand what "plus" means because they can see what is happening. Therefore, tiny children who have been taught true quantity (see blogs under "Teach Your Child ... Math" to learn more) can learn what plus, minus, times, and divided by mean in the same way that they learn "mine" - which is, by seeing these words used in action.

Hunter has probably seen about fifty or so addition equations such as this at scattered times, and he understands. Today I "tested" him for the first time, placing a fourteen and a twelve card on the floor and asking, "Hunter, what is eight plus four?"

He knew.

Later I asked him two more problems. Bingo. Once again, he understood.

It is such an exciting thing to see that this program is really working. When I first read the book, I laughed, then stood in suspicious awe, then dove into the program in faith, thinking, "But what if it DOES work..." But, as I am here to tell the world, you really CAN teach babies and toddlers the reality of math. And it's fun. And easy. And a very noble thing to do.

"The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips."
Proverbs 16:23

Hunter is 3 years, 0 months old

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