# Mumsnet Talk

## Nothing special.

(62 Posts)
learnandsay Sat 09-Feb-13 22:12:19

My 4yo daughter seems to have grasped the fact that half of ten is five. And she seems to have grasped the fact that twice ten is twenty. And now appears to be chucking facts around like this means I have five, mum has five, dad has five and the baby has five. I'm fairly sure this is coincidence and is just because we've talked about fives and tens before. But I'm also pretty sure that I didn't chuck around mental arithmetic like it was confetti when I was four. I'd like to encourage her to do this but it's spontaneous. And I can't quite see how one extends spontaneity. Can one? Or does one just let it be?

learnandsay Sun 10-Feb-13 19:41:20

I'm pretty sure that I think of it as two separate steps. We've always talked of five and five making ten and half of ten being five. It may be that she was just talking about numbers that she was familiar with (I didn't know she knew that 10+10=20) in close proximity to one another. And it just looked like she was doing a two step sum in one go. I doubt she could do it with fours and eights.

Haberdashery Sun 10-Feb-13 19:44:08

This thread is unusually bonkers, even for you, lands.

Floggingmolly Sun 10-Feb-13 19:49:04

She knows half of 10 is 5???? I don't think Mensa will be beating your door down anytime soon.

learnandsay Sun 10-Feb-13 19:53:42

OK, OK. I think she was just talking about familiar numbers. But she had me wondering for a moment.

numbum Sun 10-Feb-13 19:55:43

She had you wondering what exactly?

Sun 10-Feb-13 19:58:38

There is a boy in DD's reception class who can add any 2 digit number to another 2 digit number in his head and the class teacher thinks that is very good (but not exceptional).

DD on the other hand struggles with 15 + 3

cory Sun 10-Feb-13 19:59:42

Do I get the impression that you are worried because there is something going on in your dd's head that you haven't planned out and are not in control of?

And do you want the bad news?

This is what it's going to be like from now on!

She will use that brain of hers for thinking out things of her own, she will use other adults to get information from, she will work things through in whatever way suits her particular style, not yours.

Purpleprickles Sun 10-Feb-13 20:00:20

If you have been using maths vocab like 'take away' in a practical sense and doing calculations with wooden numbers and symbols since she was 2 then it's not so far fetched that your dd has gained a good understanding of maths and is able to do calculations that are considered more complex for her age. Is it?

numbum Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:02

cory that's how I'm reading it too. But to be fair, I remember feeling the same when DS (who's now 8) came home from nursery and recited the days of the week to me. Was quite a shock that he'd learnt something from somebody other than me or his dad

I soon recovered though!

learnandsay Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:42

I wasn't too worried about how exceptional it might have been but how odd. I wouldn't think of 7+7 /4 = 3 1/2 I don't know if other people think like that but I don't.

cory Sun 10-Feb-13 20:05:14

People think in different ways, learnandsay; there is no reason why your dd's mind has to work in the same way as yours.

My brother and I are academics in the same field and sometimes tackle very similar problems, but in totally different ways; I am convinced the same thing is not happening inside our brains even when we do arrive at very similar results.

My other brother has a totally different mindset again.

Haberdashery Sun 10-Feb-13 20:23:22

How could it possibly be odd? What's odd about it? And what were you wondering?

sittinginthesun Sun 10-Feb-13 21:15:38

What Cory said.

Both my dcs enjoy maths, but their brains work in very different ways. Ds2 is more logical, and I can usually follow his train of thought (although he is sharper than me ). Ds1 just seems to grasp whole concepts in one go.

She's probably just thinking it through a different way.

SolomanDaisy Mon 11-Feb-13 08:09:41

I saw this thread in active convos yesterday and came back to it this morning to see if I could make more sense of it. OP's child does something she has learnt at school, everyone says 'yeah, she'll have learnt that at school'. Calculations of OP's child get more complex with every post. Everyone says 'she'll have learnt that at school'. OP worries that her child is remembering things she herself has taught in the past and using them (rather than having, umm, learnt something at school) and for some reason is concerned about this. Is that right? This is quite strange.

cory Mon 11-Feb-13 08:27:35

My other db at a very early age started mending my parents' electrical goods. The rest of the family have zero mechanical skills. Later he saved up for a computer and taught himself programming. Then he taught the teachers at his school. Then he set up a successful computer business. My parents have barely learnt to use the email function.

This is the joy of children- they surprise you!

Mon 11-Feb-13 20:32:22

With reading I had a clear idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve. With maths/arithmetic I had no idea.

Why are you trying to control what you/your DD achieves? To be honest, that is where your problem lies; you are so inextricably entwined in your DD's learning that you struggle to differentiate her actual ability from your joint efforts. Now that she is at school, she is learning independently of you and, as such, you're beginning to realise you have very little control over what/how she is learning - I think that scares you, tbh.

Your DD sounds like she is doing fine for a reception aged child. Support and encourage her, and support the school.

learnandsay Mon 11-Feb-13 20:37:18

Maybe. But I took simpson's advice and asked her what was 15 +3 and she had no idea. It looks more and more like a coincidence. She now seems to just have been talking about numbers that she is familiar with. I don't think she really knows how to divide by four.

mrz Mon 11-Feb-13 20:40:41

or perhaps she's learnt how to when using 2s, 5s and 10s in reception and not other numbers

Mon 11-Feb-13 21:06:27

As I said DD can add 15 + 3 but counts from 1 as she cannot hold 15 in her head to start from.

I don't have a clue what numeracy DD does in reception

But she is going to start using a number line soon (for numbers 1-10).

Wellthen Mon 11-Feb-13 21:20:19

Ok I think I'm there.
You're not sure whether her ability to say 20 is the same as Mum, Dad, Me and Baby having 5 each is to do with dividing by 4 or whether she has connected 10 x 2= 20 and 2 x 5 =10. Therefore, you're unsure what her next step is?

If I correct then you're not quite as bonkers as people are making out (I admit my main feeling was 'What?' on first reading) but you do seem to be quite controling.

I'm sure a numeracy expert would explain this better but a child who connects number facts first will later find dividing much easier. So you should be encouraging this. As mrz says they will have looked at 2s, 10s and 5s so try with multiples of these.

But honestly, like everyone else says, they aren't your achievements and it isn't your job. Leave the poor child alone. I'm sorry but the phrase 'I got quite upset when she counted from 1' makes me really quite concerned for your child.

learnandsay Mon 11-Feb-13 21:23:53

To be fair to my daughter I think whether or not she can do the task depends on how I ask her the question. But I know that she can add together any two single digit numbers. So she's perfectly well aware of what addition is and can do some simple addition and subtraction in her head. She can also understand the questions asked in a mathematical format. So that's not the problem either, re: 15 +3. I suspect if she had more fingers she could do it easily.

If I wanted her to succeed I'd give her objects, fifteen in one group and three in another and ask her to add them together. We haven't really covered understanding what adding double digit numbers actually means in terms of place value. We've added lots of such numbers to smaller numbers. But simply for the sake of doing it. Not to understand "how to do it." I wanted her to know that people do it. I didn't want to teach her how to do it. I think now I will.

learnandsay Mon 11-Feb-13 21:27:57

Everything to do with the education of my child is my job.

Mon 11-Feb-13 21:33:19

DD has a very good understanding of place value etc to 10 (I have been told by her teacher) a bit shaky on 10-20.

TBH I don't do a lot with her numeracy wise as she would not really want to.

She does like playing with her abacus though.

I do think that everything to do with education of your child is your job is fine, but it also means accepting that there are other people whose job it is too (ie her teacher).

learnandsay Mon 11-Feb-13 21:34:03

Scrub that. She can add any combination of two single digit numbers which have a product of no more than ten. I don't know what happens if I ask her to add five and six. But I suspect that she can't.

numbum Mon 11-Feb-13 21:38:06

No, everything to do with the education of your child is your BUSINESS not your JOB. Do you honestly believe everything she's learnt has come from you?

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