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Mathematics in Early Childhood

  1. Jul 8, 2009 #1


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    National Academies Press has published a monograph on early childhood math.
    Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood:
    Paths Toward Excellence and Equity


    It can be viewed online for free, but one has to purchase the document.

    It would provide information for an interesting discussion.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2009 #2


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    nice find

    i'll start reading right away
  4. Jul 8, 2009 #3

    Thanks for pointing out that you CAN read this online for free. I was frustrated the other day when I found out the pdf was free-downloadable.

    I'm mostly just reading about this to help me to think of fun activities and ways to make sure our soon-to-arrive baby girl develops good math/analysis skills... so in that sense Part II is most pertinent. I've already been thinking a lot about language... and a bit about colors but I hadn't been thinking so much about math, I'll confess.

    One thing I'm planning on doing is keeping some small notebook on her growth, etc... to get my 10-yr old stepson involved in plotting out some things (to compare to some standard charts, etc)... and maybe even get him doing some calculations about percentages etc (maybe even using some data about himself too, when he can get it -- I guess I at least have a tape measure in the house, though we don't have a scale!).

    The boys take after their Dad for sure (I guess I only started to have influence over them about 2 years ago)... so that's why I'd really like the new baby-girl to have better math/science/engineering skills... so that even if she decides to take a different path she'll still know how to fix things! It's fun in our house -- our youngest always tells ME (not Dad) when something is wrong on our oldest's wheelchair; he knows who owns the tool box in our house (and who makes the pie charts for Dad's presentations at work). :biggrin:

    One cute story from my sister: her husband (an engineer) likes to tease their little boy (age 5) by often saying the WRONG number word or color. So sometimes their little guy gets in this mood a bit too. He caused quite the stir at his preschool with this: the preschool instructors weren't always sure if he knew the right color... or if he was teasing. Oy. :bugeye:
  5. Jul 28, 2009 #4


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    Has anyone thought about how to teach your own kids stuff? I have basically thought that the best way to teach a kid to think is to buy all kinds of jigsaw puzzles, play memory games etc. But I'm sure you could do something even with very small children who aren't capable of doing these things yet. I just don't have any ideas what to do.

    My dad used to read to me a few illustrated encyclopedias designed for kids (before I could read myself) that described things like planets, gravity, proportions in space, tectonic plates and volcanoes, weather phenomena etc. and he started doing it when I was only a few years old and I used to love it. There was also this nice series of book written in Swedish that explained how simple machines work and things like levers and propellers. It also explained things like heat, work etc. and was written in such a way that I could understand it to some level as a 4-5 year-old and even apply some of those ideas when playing with Lego technic parts.

    I just happened to notice that almost all chemistry sets that I could find online are really watered down and contains almost no interesting chemicals. Does anyone have any idea where you could get some of those things that you could buy at the end of the 80s or are they all banned in the spirit of anti-terrorism? I remember how I used to play with them together with my dad, sometimes producing all kinds of interesting smoke that, to the delight of my mother, colored parts of our kitchen. We also made gunpowder and burned it in our backyard which was really cool. :)

    I'm also tempted to think that there should be some books with really easy IQ test type questions (i.e. what's in the missing box) that even a two-year-old could solve. I just haven't really found anything. There seems to be a million "turn your baby into a genius" -type books, but they all seem to be written with the sole intent of making money by exploiting obsessed parents.

    I'll have to read this book, because it looks quite promising.
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