Fact families on a whiteboard

I just found this picture that I took of the fact families my 4-year old wrote on the whiteboard - totally on her own.

fact families

There was a time she loved writing fact families like this every day. Being able to choose different color markers plus it being on the whiteboard seemed to be the main motivating factors, because she didn't want to write them on blank paper... Kids are funny.

Then again, it allows us teachers to use colorful markers as a "motivational tool" : )

Anyway, I was really happy that she had grasped the concept.


paul.hindess said…
I wonder if my son would enjoy doing this. (-:

I can't help feeling some might look at this and think: "Is it really necessary to be able to do all this so young?!? Let your children play...". I'm curious what your response would be...

Also, I understand how much small children can enjoy doing abstract things like this, but I wonder myself how much the enjoyment is purely personal satisfaction and how much it is geared towards gaining approval...

Do not think I'm being critical incidentally. I'm just airing questions that have arisen in my mind about my own approaches to learning with my own 4 and 2 year olds...
Maria Miller said…
I agree to let children play. This my child definitely gets to play a lot! Even her math time is often just games. And she perceived the fact families on whiteboard as sort of "play" because it was fun for her.
KhĂ©pani said…
I remember a guy (from highschool), he wrote in a sheet the formulas requiered for the exam:

F=ma; m=F/a; a=F/m

Anonymous said…
Sorry, I can't help chiming in.

My then 5yo did a similar scrawl when I tried to get him to trace numbers. My purpose was to familiarize him with basic writing, but he had other ideas. He loved it! And trust me, he isn't approval seeking. He's + 6 now and bugging me to teach him algebra, which is how I chanced upon this site. His handwriting is still weak though, :P.

Sometimes, a kid's idea of fun can be different from an an adults.
Anonymous said…
There is a difference between pumping a kid with information and teaching at his pace.Children are more than capable to learn math facts at four. He learned to reconize upper and lowercase letters at two. He learned the sounds the letters made almost entirely on his own with the leapfrog fridge phonics. My own child was reading at three (sight words & phonics). He was learning to add and subtract at four. I believe children are capable of learning at much younger ages than we give them credit for. Children who are homeschooled have the advantage of having their teacher or tutor 24/7. Parents who teach their children also grow with their childrens abilities. So it's not like we wake up in the morning and say "I think I'll make my 4 year old a mathematician". The sooner you get your children to fall in love with learning the better. A child wanting to do these things means they have been turned onto whatever the subject may be. All children are capable of this even the slow learners. It's takes time, time, and patience. Currently we do traditional school with daily practice workbooks, with short lessons. Then we back that up with games, cd-roms, and dvds. 2-3 hours a day for "official school", then the rest of the day is about developing to higher levels, beyond just 1st grade or 2nd grade. The summer time is all about unschooling and allowing him to explorer the subjects of his choosing. We buy children's books, games, cd-roms, and even toys that are educational. I will do anything to get an interest started in a certain subject. Last summer I painted a solar system that glows in the dark on canvas for him. He likes to learn about the planets now. I'm entirely about giving my own kids the advantage in everything. I've overheard people saying they wouldn't buy this or that because of the cost, but if you examine all the stupid things we spend money on it seems irrational to me. I love the blog Maria! I want to do one too, but I am short of time. We have a little 12 month old driving us all nuts with teething and the usual baby things. *L*

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