DH wants to teach our DS set theory. DS is 17mo.

(95 Posts)
Herrena Sun 18-Nov-12 17:18:22

His exact message:
"Should I teach DS about sets or jump straight in to counting?"

Personally I don't understand why DH isn't happy with teaching DS to count like everybody else, but then my grasp of mathematics is - as he cheerfully informs me - minimal.

I think he's mad. He thinks I don't understand.

Any advice out there?!

piprabbit Sun 18-Nov-12 17:42:40

Tell your DH to do some research into play schema. Schema often involve sorting and grouping objects, seeking out shared characteristics. If you and your DH can tailor the learning opportunities you give your child, so that they build on and develop your DS's current schema of choice then your DS will think you are fabulous (and you'll be working with his interests instead of against them IYSWIM).

My DS went through a phase of lining things up - lines and rows appeared everywhere. I followed his lead and also started to line things up by colour, or size etc. Hours of fun wink.

Blatherskite Sun 18-Nov-12 17:43:59

What is set theory?

CecilyP Sun 18-Nov-12 17:47:46

Basic set theory is very simple, and fundamental to the understanding of many areas of mathematics, great thing to start off with.

Do you think a 17 month old would have the language skills and logical thought processes to be able to cope though? I think he may even have trouble drawing a Venn diagram.

CecilyP Sun 18-Nov-12 17:51:04

I would just agree and just let your DH get on with it. Then you can either stand back and be impressed or amused - whichever is most appropriate.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 18-Nov-12 17:55:58

piprabbit has got it spot on imo

that is what I tried to do with my DS

Herrena Sun 18-Nov-12 17:57:20

CecilyP - I probably will grin I'm not averse to it, it's just that since I am not a mathematician myself I find the whole idea a bit incomprehensible!

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 18-Nov-12 17:59:37

Personally I favour geometry. smile Parallel lines and perpendicular lines and shapes are everywhere.

Children can pick up all sorts of "complicated" things - let your DH have a go, so long as he's a reasonably patient person who isn't going to lose his temper if DS doesn't "get it".

CecilyP Sun 18-Nov-12 18:09:03

Herrena; if your DH is able to present it in a way that is understandable to a baby, you might as well sit in as it shouldn't be incomprehensible to an adult.

KittiesInsane Sun 18-Nov-12 18:17:01

Wonder what your DH would have made of DS1? His version of counting, say, five cars in a row was to point at each one and say, very earnestly 'One... one... one... one... one'.

Which was true enough. Each car was indeed one car. Had me a bit stumped for a while!

MMMarmite Sun 18-Nov-12 18:17:01

Alternatively you could teach him practical calculus and parabolic trajectories (throwing his toys across the room).

EBDTeacher Sun 18-Nov-12 18:26:23

Isn't set theory at toddler level just 'put all the red things together'?

Not that tricky- probably easier than 1-1 correspondance (sp?).

DeWe Sun 18-Nov-12 18:52:54

He's setting his sights a bit low. I expect him to be going for solving Navier-Stokes wave equations.

Or maybe if he starts early enough they can work out the reasoning behind Fermat's last theorem.

They can be very interesting to discuss with a child whose speech is at the "daddy, boo" stage wink

RugBugs Sun 18-Nov-12 18:53:14

We started DD on sets/numbers at about that age, mostly just playing and repetition but it did work. ELC have some coloured blocks with numbers/letters on them that are well used, when she stopped gnawing everything in sight we got a few pairs/matching games too which are very popular.

pointythings Netherlands Sun 18-Nov-12 19:34:23

Actually I think your DH has a point - counting and understanding sets can really go hand in hand and Venn diagrams are a good place to start, They can also be explained in terms a very young child will understand. As long as your DS is enjoying it, it doesn't really matter that he is getting a head start on mathematical concepts and theory - it just has to be fun.

Herrena Sun 18-Nov-12 20:29:08

DH is pretty patient, so I don't think he will get frustrated. I don't see any reason not to give it a go; I will be doing all the generic '5 little ducks' songs and stuff like that, so I assume he'll at least pick up the names of the numbers from me.

RugBugs - nice to hear that someone else has already tried this!

I will keep you all posted - if DH is successful with DS1 there will undoubtedly be some crowing grin

bitsofmeworkjustfine Sun 18-Nov-12 20:31:46

i think that you are all being 'up yourselves'

You all talk about sharing it with a child 17 months old, but none of you will expalin it to me!

I'm totally not an expert, but basically set theory is about how things can be grouped together. The example of that most people have seen at school would be Venn diagrams - like this - but there's a lot of complicated maths involved too in how you can study all the possibilities.

nlondondad Sun 18-Nov-12 21:12:10

The participants in this discussion are divided into two sets: those who know what set theory is, and those who do not.

Does that help? (it also provides a rigourous enough to be getting on with definition of "two" "one" and "addition")

UniS Sun 18-Nov-12 22:26:07

nowt wrong with learning about sets. DH can call it what he likes, the skill is fundamentally useful and a mathematical skill that your/ any DC will use for life.

Your DC won;t pick it all up at once and may frustrate your DH by going freestyle on him. The set "things I can chew" is possibly not what your DH has in mind when he starts splitting toys into sets.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Sun 18-Nov-12 22:34:01

Fuck counting, we're sorting tomorrow! will not be beaten in pfbness

It's "Set theory", yeah? so I can boast

He's 19mo already, how did we get so behind? <wails and runs out to buy/make numbered blocks etc>

MordionAgenos Sun 18-Nov-12 22:36:36

Set theory is definitey the way to go.

Durab Sun 18-Nov-12 22:39:40

I used to get DSs to sort the socks out for me - I thought it was slave labour, now I realise I was teaching set theory! Surely parents have been doing this for ever, don't all children have to put the smarties in sets before they're allowed to eat them? blush

MordionAgenos Sun 18-Nov-12 22:40:58

In fact, casting my mind back to the learning type books we got DD1 when she was a toddler, there was a lot of basic set theory in them (in fact it was all pretty much set theory, at a basic level obviously).

beanandspud Sun 18-Nov-12 22:41:06

See, I love set theory and sorting. Even when he was little DS liked sorting stuff and still does. If DH wants to call it 'set theory for babies' I would suggest that he gets on with it, absolutely no harm done.

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