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Counting/numbers - normal or advanced?

(19 Posts)
JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:08:09

Forewarning: This is not a stealth boast, just something that i'm now curious about due to others commenting...

DS has just turned 21 months. For the past couple of weeks, he has been counting to 10, I guess mainly from copying DP and I i.e. when we walk DS up the stairs we might sometimes count the steps as we go up. I thought that's pretty normal as any child can copy what they hear around them and repeat (a bit like nursery rhymes).

However, this week DS has been going round the house actually counting objects eg 6 pine cones on our hall shelf, bits of a jigsaw puzzle, how many dusters are hanging on the airer. I was and am quite surprised at this as he's obviously got the concept of counting. At the two play groups we go to every week, this week at each of them has been counting things, and some parents have commented that this is unusual at his age. Today we were playing with his blocks and we lined up four side by side and I asked how many there were- DS response "4". I then said "what happened if 1 goes away, how many are left?" and took one away, and DS paused and then replied "3 mummy".

I really, really don't want to come across as pushy (he's not even 2 FFS!) and it won't change what we do together but just curious. I've always thought DS was fairly bright but nothing exceptional (language has always been pretty good but nothing to write home about, and has always been very interested in books and generally learning what things are and picking up words), but this number/counting thing has surprised me. I also want to know if it's an exception from the norm as I have a 6 month old DD as well, and if it is an exception then I won't be worried if she's not doing the same thing at a similar age!


JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:09:41

Also, I am pretty crap at maths so people who 'get' numbers have always mystified me! grin

kilmuir Fri 09-Nov-12 13:11:41

not that unusual, but keep encouraging him

JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:26:45

Will do, I'm a SAHM at the moment so I guess he picks up stuff from me anyway all the time- will continue to count steps etc! smile

TheSkiingGardener Fri 09-Nov-12 13:29:37

It's advanced, but not hugely.

So well done to him and root around for some maths type puzzles and see if he's interested! If he's going through a phase of loving numbers then the more opportunities are around him the better

BlueChampagne Fri 09-Nov-12 13:30:48

Seems on the advanced side to me (based on a sample size of 2!), but remember others will catch up so he may not be a maths whizz in the end!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 13:36:19

My dd (just started nursery) has done nothing but what cbeebies all day and she seems to have more advanced general knowledge as well as phonics and numbers than children that went to preschool.

To answer your question OP. That's great. Yes it is impressive. Not shockingly so, but lovely that you and your ds have a shared enthusiasm for academics. Keep it up! grin

JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:36:55

theskiinggardener what sort of maths puzzles are you thinking? Can you get ones for tinies?

bluechampagne Definitely not holding my breath that he'll stay ahead- I was deemed gifted at reading and general knowledge from very young i.e. knew countries/flags and started school a year early, then leveled out by the time I was 13 and ended up getting above average but not exceptional exam results as a teen. Maybe our family starts too fast and burns out quickly! grin

JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:40:18

StarlightMcKenzie God I make us sound like right nerds! grin Def nothing wrong with cbeebies here!

arista Fri 09-Nov-12 13:41:23

hi there, my daughter who has just turned 5 couple months ago did the same at 2 she could not only count,but knew all her colours as well as recognising all the alphabets. before starting reception just days after turning 4 being the youngest as she was born on 28th aug she could count and recognised numbers upto 100 and could wrote any number between 1 to 100 if asked. children like this can get bored easily though but encourage without being pushy is the way i think. I have to agree that other will catch up it is just children do things at different time.

JerryLeadbetter Fri 09-Nov-12 13:48:21

I think that's the key then, to encourage without being pushy. He's still so tiny, I just want him to have fun and learn through having fun. Tbh I talk to him CONSTANTLY as he's so demanding and often have to chatter allsorts to him so I can feed his sister/do housework without him kicking off, so he probably just picks up stuff from me rather than being overly clever then. Surprised he hasn't zoned out yet. That day will come I suppose!

Goldmandra Fri 09-Nov-12 13:48:55

Counting at his age is pretty normal, as is spelling words learned by rote.

What is unusual is his level of understanding. To be able to manipulate nubers before he is wonderful.

He might level out later on but he might have a deep and persistent interest in Mathematics which endures. Maths is fun! I know lots of people don't believe that but it is and, if my dad is to be believed, it can be really beautiful too.

Enjoy learning about the Mathematical world with him smile

legalalien Fri 09-Nov-12 14:22:57

Ds was like this. He is still pretty keen on maths, but not any kind of prodigy. At that age he loved reading out house numbers as we walked up the street. Added side effect of teaching about odd and even numbers! What I love about maths is that it has so many everyday applications....

cornflakegirl Fri 09-Nov-12 15:37:46

legal my DS1 loved house numbers too - really used to slow down walks! He still loves maths and is good at it. DS2 is 3 and also keen on numbers - he likes spotting them in supermarket aisles.

Jerry whether or not your DS turns out to be a maths whizz, confidence with numbers is a fundamental life skill, so definitely to be encouraged. If you want some number toys or games, Galt do a lovely number puzzle which my two have both loved, and an abacus is fun for counting and learning about addition and subtraction. Spotty Dogs or similar Orchard Toys games are also great for number recognition and counting.

cornflakegirl Fri 09-Nov-12 15:40:24

Oh, the other thing my boys love is They Might Be Giants "Here Come the 123s. The whole family loves the songs - I bought it after a recommendation on here because there is a song about nonagons! They do a similar album on the alphabet and one on science too - they're brilliant.

TheSkiingGardener Fri 09-Nov-12 15:51:50

The sort of things cornflakegirl suggested. You can get all sorts, some of which involve adding and things. Or games like dominos.

DS has several games on my iPad. Due to current morning sickness he gets about half an hour on it each morning as then I know he's sat still. He has games on there involving drawing, puzzles, phonics and maths and chooses what he wants. At the moment he's obsessed with the maths games, 3 months ago it was the phonics app. He has learnt so much from just being able to choose to play with whatever he's fascinated with it the time.

Morph2 Fri 09-Nov-12 16:50:29

my DS is 2.5 and was about the same as your DS at the same age. He's still really into his numbers. He can count up to about 80 now although not always that accurately. and also recognises higher numbers written down when he sees them on doors for example.

Compared to other children of the same age he seems to be ahead on numbers and letters as well.

however he clueless at ride on toys and scooters (i see much younger kids whizzing round), he can't take his own clothes off (ask him to try to take his vest off and he'll do a weak tug at it and say its too difficult) and he's still in nappies.

JustPondering Fri 09-Nov-12 17:33:49

Sounds advanced to me, none of the children under 2 at DS's playgroup can count, neither can any of my nieces or nephews of the same age.

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Nov-12 19:24:58

My DS was very similar at the same age, although hardly surprising as me, DH, FIL and MIL are all engineers of some sort or another. He certainly has an aptitude for numbers, but now, at 4.2, hasn't a clue about letters whereas most of his nursery group are quite competently writing their names.

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