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Author Topic: 2 year old lose ability?  (Read 7927 times)
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« on: October 02, 2008, 08:33:41 AM »

hi all,
i am wondering if you can confirm what i recently heard/read on another site -- that by the age of 2, children lose the ability to recognize quantities and so if you haven't started the Doman dot method by then, i will perhaps hae better luck iwth another type of math learning method.   Is this true? i have searched the forums and couldn't find this addressed directly.  I mean i know that a 6 month old learns faster than a 1 yr old, and a 1 yr old better than a 2 yr old... and all that... but can anyone speak directly to this 'recognizing quantities" ability?

and if it is true, what other programs are best for teaching a 24 month old math?

thanks in advance

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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 03:18:26 PM »

From what I understand the cutoff age is about 30 months for the dot method. So I guess you still have some time  smile I know Domanmom has had great success with her son and he was right at the cut off when he started. Perhaps she will get on and share her experience.

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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 03:29:32 PM »

Yes, like sb1201 said, the cut-off age (according to Doman's book) for the ability to perceive quantity is actually strongest between the ages of 0 and 30 months. And yes, my son started at age 2 1/2 (at 29.5 months, practically ON the "cut-off" age) and succeeded superbly.

I do not know why this is, exactly, so I can't give any definitive answers. Perhaps by then most children are becoming so accustomed to counting, or have been introduced to numerals (abstract symbols for quantities, such as 1,2,3 or IV, V, VI), and discontinue to simply look at numbers as wholes and start trying to figure out the individual parts, one by one (counting). Like I said, I can't give any definitive answers on this.

My best speculation is that by the time they're 3 most children are counting so much, they fail to see the numbers as wholes and, the area of the brain that is responsible for instantly deciphering quantity (don't know what part, just know it exists because I have seen it done!) is about gone by lack of use.

It's a shame the window isn't open longer, like for reading you can be taught really at any age (although the younger, the easier, but nonetheless even adults can still be taught).

I don't have much of an authoritative point on the exact age, only what Doman has said in his books, because I've never tried it with a 36-month-old, or 40-month-old, or whatever, so I don't know exactly how long the window may last, but like I said, my son started at 2.5 and did very well. Doman also recommends that with slightly older children, they may learn the numbers 1-20.

As for math methods for teaching older kids who missed this window, I don't have any personal recommendations, but as the old rule goes is any way you can teach a child in an honest, factual, and joyous way. I know it is possible to still attain superb mathematical results with older children, even beginning as late as four and five years old, at the Institutes kids starting this late are often enjoying trigonometry at the ages of 11 and 12. This was discussed a little bit in other posts.

I have heard that working with an abacus, with practice, can enable calculator-speed calculation, even kids who don't have the abacus with them manipulate imaginary abacuses and can calculate huge sums instantly, no more of that "subtract the five and carry the seven" sort of slow procedures.

Here is a youtube video of kids doing these sort of calculations:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/EueFhYZ4HxI&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/EueFhYZ4HxI&rel=1</a>

I personally think that the way we traditionally (at least in the USA) teach kids mathematics gives them a handicap in ever mastering it throughout their lives: we begin by teaching them to count, which has about as much mathematical value as reciting the ABC's or do-re-me. Then once they're doing simple arithmetic, then begins the long, slow process of weaning them off of their fingers and getting them to do arithmetic in their heads. Then we spend from pre-K to 5th grade teaching them not a whole lot more than basic arithmetic, most kids don't graduate from long-division until 5th grade (that's 7 years to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide!). And, most high school graduates are not very confident adding up their grocery lists in their head. It seems to me that their must be a better way, perhaps people with older children can share their experiences in teaching their preschoolers math and let us know what worked.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 03:41:09 PM by DomanMom » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 04:57:15 PM »

thanks to sb1201 and Domanmom!  i will start right away then.  glad to hear of your successes and that i still have a window of opportunity! that youtube video is amazing! thanks for sharing, both of you.
cheers!



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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 09:17:43 PM »

Wow that video was amazing!  It is interesting that they start at age 4.  Maybe there is still a chance to teach math to my 5 y/o  dd rather than how they do in school.  I will have to look in to it.  Can anyone reccomend any sites?

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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 08:57:58 PM »

Ilike to give my opion on this video clip .I did not like it at all. the kid are acting like robots.Do you like the idea of making our future kids like them .I always encoureged my kids to learn but there  must be a limite I think for everything in life .Did you like the expressions of their faces???

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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 10:01:45 PM »

Quote
Ilike to give my opion on this video clip .I did not like it at all. the kid are acting like robots.Do you like the idea of making our future kids like them .I always encoureged my kids to learn but there  must be a limite I think for everything in life .Did you like the expressions of their faces???

I had mixed feeling about posting this video, because, like you mentioned, those 12-year-olds certainly don't look like they're having "fun". And personally, I believe that teaching should always be joyful, because learning is a privilege, not a chore.

But, the reason I posted it was to demonstrate that the human brain is capable of lightening-speed calculation, even if you begin at a later age. What those particular kids are in is like a club, and what they're doing is practicing for speed, it's not that all abacus calculation is like that. They are thoroughly concentrated because they're trying to go as fast as they possibly can, which doesn't exactly elicit smiles in this setting. Have you ever seen a timed chess match? They don't have smiles on their face, because they are intensely focused. But that doesn't prove that playing chess is not fun and is somehow a tedious exercise! Also keep in mind that anyone doing anything as fast as they possibly can, with skill, looks "robotic". We could certainly say the same about someone playing the piano with extreme skill, or dealing cards or busing tables. When people practice enough to be able to perform physical tasks with such skill and speed, they can often look "non-human".

I just posted this video to demonstrate the capabilities of the human brain, and the potential of the abacus. Where American children are taught to count on their fingers, and then with bigger numbers they're taught algorithms of "add the 3 and carry the 7" sort of stuff, it makes for very slow calculation, and in the end people who aren't very confident in adding up a grocery list in their heads.

I think working with the abacus can be a fun and useful way to learn mathematics for kids who start when they're older, and this video demonstrated that using that tool can be a spring-board into very good mental calculation, instead of US math which is basically a spring-board to a permanent handicap with a calculator. And even though these kids were very intense, that does not mean that all use of the abacus is that intense - it just means that they were competing through a timed exercise.

Learning should always be a joy, and we should always remember that learning is a privilege, not a chore. A child can learn to use an abacus in a fun, joyful, and pleasant way, and no, they don't have to join clubs to be the national abacus champ (as these kids were) anymore than learning how to play chess means you have to join the chess club and practice two hours a day to become the national champ! The abacus is just simply one way to become proficient in math, and it does not have to be intensely focused in order to do so.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 10:48:18 PM by DomanMom » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 11:15:01 PM »

I love to see all these posts!  I am a kindergarten teacher and I am always trying to teach my students to other things outside of what I am required by my district.  I am trying the dot idea, but the way I was taught was to do it on a base ten.  I need to add my cards to 20 and see  if they benefit.  I am going to try the program you posted Domanmom.  My other issue is that all the abacus I have do not look anything like the ones on that clip.  I also know that there is a certain way to use the abacus. 
Any ideas?

On your you also suggested teaching older kids.  Do you know any website that can direct me how to teach older students?  My son is"gifted" in math.  I feel like a loser because I didn't know how to teach him to achieve his potential.  He is eight and his school skipped him a grade in math.  He has always amazed me in his ability but I never knew all this research and knowledge was out there.  When his 12yr. sister has homework he tries to do it.  I just do not know what or how to teach him.  Any ideas for me?

Sorry for the rambling!  I am just excited about the possibilities! yes

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