Maths curriculum for an able 4 year old(9 Posts)
Just looking for some advice in relation to my little boy. He's just turned 4. From being tiny he's shown a great interest in how things work, which has been slightly scary at times to be honest ! However, over the last year or so he's become VERY interested in everything number/ shape/ maths related. A large proportion of the conversations we have, seem to be maths orientated. He's constantly counting, estimating, measuring etc and he even wakes up in the middle of the night asking me questions like
" how many ways are there of making 100" ! As someone who excelled in art but was crap at maths, this is all a little full on for my liking, ha ha. Oh how I long for a discussion on colour schemes ! I'm not sure he's gifted in maths but certainly very able. He can very accurately recognise and write numbers into the 1000's, enjoys learning X tables and asks to do it for fun! He can break down numbers into hundreds, tens and units, likes making up simple equations ( I.e 7+2 = 5+4). He often seems to just know the correct answer without any working out and is very quick. My question is his sister is in year one at school and although very good at maths ( I think one of two or three more able pupils in her class of 30) DS is already head and shoulders ahead of her in some respects and has taught himself the majority of the year 1 curriculum, I think by playing his sisters maths apps on the iPad and through his number jacks obsession . She can work things out but he just seems to know, almost intuitively. It's hard to explain. Although none of this is an issue in itself, my daughter's teacher told me that they can no longer teach beyond the curriculum for each year group and that the aim is to master the curriculum rather than go beyond it. This probably isn't a problem for my daughter but I'm a bit concerned that Ds is already mastering a y1 curriculum and yet he's got two years to go before he gets there. Also, he hasn't been taught maths yet as it's not something we usually do with him other than answering his questions. He's a very sociable and outgoing little chap but very strong willed. When bored he gets a bit wild, goes looking for fun and can be a bit of a bugger tbh! Has anyone had a similar problem and how has it worked out ? How have school been able to accommodate your child in their stronger subjects? Also, should I tell the school or just let them find out for themselves? I don't want to sound like a tit !
I think my ds was similar, just interested in numbers. His nursery manager realised it and done a lot of 1-2-1 work with him.
We didn't do anything with him until end of YR1, when we realised there was knowledge gap in him, simply because I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know MN back then. He has shown interest in maths posters (times tables, fraction and decimals, conversion charts, 2d and 3d shapes) at library, so we bought them. Also he loved work books, so we also bought them from library. He worked through them on his own, not much help from me.
If I had known all these good free websites back then. I would have let him play on it.
gws.ala.org/category/mathematics-computers this website has a list of all great free websites in different categories.
tree frog treasure on centerforgamescience
Your main concern seems to be your ds getting bored in maths lessons at school. As he will not start reception until next year, I would cross that bridge when you come to it. Have a word with the school when he starts and tell them he can do much of the early years curriculum. If he is disruptive in maths lessons you can then inform the teachers that you think it is because he needs more challenging work and take it from there.
Khan academy is designed to teach children maths, no matter what their background, so you could use this to teach him if you cannot and you want him to stay ahead. However, it seems that whoever wrote his sister's maths apps is dong an equally good job of teaching him.
he is obviously very bright but it isn't unusual for some children to find up to the end of KS1 maths extremely easy and to have learned it all so to speak at the age of 4 or 5. My kids found Reception and most of Yr1 a bit of a waste of time academically so they just ignored that side of it, did what they were asked to do and enjoyed the other stuff on offer in other lessons.
you will need to make sure the school do challenge him with perhaps word problems using maths to challenge his application.
Playing up because he is bored shouldn't be an issue by then as he will be older and this is one of the skills they have to learn in reception.
as for telling school - well if they know your other child is bright and you know the teachers then it is probably fine to mention it but to be honest I would ask the preschool to note somewhere on the transfer form/in their meeting with the school to hand over notes which I think most preschools do that he is particularly advanced in his maths as that sounds less like a mother believing a child is bright (and school possibly not seeing it because they see a child playing up which could be for many reasons other than boredom).
In reception I wouldn't worry. Because it's play based it doesn't cause the issues of boredom/ working behind actual understanding etc. And for y1 I'd cross that bridge when you come to it. The teacher could be the sort who is into what amounts as mindless busy work, or the kind who will actually provide suitable work.
wow, your son sounds amazing. Have a look at beast academy (http://beastacademy.com) as well... then when he is older brilliant.org and the Art of Problem Solving.
These are some great websites to utilize. I think you have to also consider what the learning style is and how you would like to approach keeping him interested in learning. Are you looking for just worksheets or something that keeps him excited about learning? Aside from the workbooks you usually find in bookstores I like to try out different websites online. So far my favorite is Beestar. My students love this website too. I can track their progress and they love the worksheets. They're consistently engaged and excited when I assign them the math worksheets. The best part is the GT program has really given my students that extra work they need to not be bored by their current school curriculum.
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