I really don’t know why Anna developed a notion that her math skills are lacking. I heard that some kids have the same problem with reading – they don’t believe that they are making progress even when they do. I am happy to say that playing math on the computer has helped her confidence dramatically. In her words, I was missing math skills. They were wiggling and jiggling in my head. Computer helps me out with math, and now they (the skills) wiggled in. I think working on math skills in simple games helps her forget her doubts and focus on the activity itself. It cracks me up that she thinks that computer teaches her math, since we only play games that reinforce what she already knows. Still she comes up with the statements like this: Mama, stop talking about math. I want to learn math from the computer, not from humans. Despite these protestations, she does quite a lot of math activities of her own choosing that have nothing to do with computer – playing with counting blocks, with her digital and analog clocks, measuring length with a ruler and a measuring tape, rearranging magnetic numbers on the fridge, fiddling with her tangrams. I wrote about our Miniluk before, and I credit this game in reinforcing Anna’s knowledge of numbers and her ability to arrange them into a number line when nobody is looking. I admit that usually she avoids playing with it since my husband threw a few of harder challenges at her, but lately she has been returning to it on her own. She also plays other board games that involve dice and traversing a number board.
We also cook and bake together when opportunity presents itself. Anna loves baking and is always anxious to help. We read the recipe together and discuss teaspoons and tablespoons, how to make two tsp of vanilla extract using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, etc. She still uses those terms every which way when she is busy with her pretend cooking, but I am positive that she is learning more from cooking together than from her precious computer even though she might not be thinking so.
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