Next step in Doman’s maths programme – numerals (Maja is 17,5 months old)

THE EARLIER, THE BETTER

The maths set with dot cards contains a small manual. It says there that after we complete the part of the maths programme based on dot cards, we can wait with introducing numerals until nursery school. We can, of course, but we don’t have to. We have already started numerals as Doman doesn’t say anything like that in his book: “How to Teach Your Baby Math.”

Moreover, he repeats over and over again that the earlier we start the better and I have always had this on my mind. My experience concerning the early reading programme confirms this. When we start with a baby it is much easier for a parent as it looks at the cards and it is maximally focused. We don’t need to invent more attractive ways of presenting the cards. The older a child is, the more creative we must be. 

When it comes to English we were doing really well with plain word cards without any illustrations. Maja was 9- 10 months old when we started. I can’t imagine similar cards in Polish now. She is a 17-month old baby. The programme and the cards must be more appealing than ever and they are because we have a completely different set of cards for the whole-word reading programme in Polish. 

Coming back to the maths programme by Glenn Doman, the time during which we can introduce dot cards is limited. When a child is around 30 months old it starts to lose the ability to do recognize greater quantities at a glance if this ability is not stimulated in any way. There aren’t many parents who are aware of this. Therefore, it seems logical that we should start teaching our babies maths as early as possible especially in view of the fact that most parents are able to cover only one set of cards daily like my husband. I have already said here that we don’t have to follow Doman’s suggestions as far as quantity of cards presented daily is concerned. Everything depends on a child and on a parent. Even Doman himself points that out. He presents a detailed programme but throughout his book he implies that we should modify it according to our and our baby’s needs.

NUMERALS 1-20

We introduce the cards with numerals in exactly the same way as dot cards. Doman suggests starting with 2 sets: 1-5 and 6-10. After 5 days we take away one card daily replacing it with a new one. Each set is presented 3 times daily. During the first session on a given day the new card is presented as the last one. The procedure is exactly the same as when presenting the cards for whole-word reading programme. Before the following sessions we should mix the cards within one set. We can even mix the cards from two sets and create different two ones. 

I started introducing dots with 2 sets of cards. I added the third one after a while and I stuck to that. I presented each set three times daily. Then, I added equations, whole-word reading and picture cards. With all that we had had an extremely large amount of sessions for a while. I already mentioned this writing about our first steps in maths and reading programmes.

It is different now. I am back at work and I can manage only one set of 5 cards with numerals daily. I still read books to Maja, I do flashcards with her and so on. I started presenting numerals during our summer holiday and I would have been able to have three sets then but I had decided to stick to one only because we were going on our three-day journey to Mazury (a region in central Poland famous for its lakes and nature) and I had this on mind as well as my return to work in September. 

I remember that at the end of our reading programme with ready-made set of cards in English, I desperately needed to have less and less sets because Maja was learning to walk. However, I couldn’t just limit the number of cards from one day to another. It took some time. You can read here how difficult it was to diminish the number of sets.

Because of this I do not go crazy in terms of a number of sessions per day. We have slowed down significantly but we are still making progress. I am completely relaxed about it as there is no pressure of time. After all, we have already completed the most important step which should be completed before the child is 30 months old- dots.

On my return to work, I was really worried about having 9 sessions of learning and playing with our baby every day. I decided maths was the priority and in case I didn’t manage 9 lessons I would leave out the picture flashcards with verbs. I have so many of them.  I think we probably started in June because I mentioned them here in July and we have only finished half of them although I introduce one new card on daily basis. Despite my apprehensions, it seems I am organized enough and I manage everything quite well. After all, there is no need to leave anything out. 

COMPARISONS

After I have presented numerals 1-20, we continue with other number cards in the same way I described above. We additionally show them in relation with dots, which means mixed comparisons, i.e. comparing numbers with quantities. We choose one number card from those which have already appeared 15 times (3 times daily x 5 days) and three dot cards together with three comparison signs.

In each session we compare a chosen numeral with dot cards in three different ways. We show that a given number is greater than, less than or equal to the number of dots on the other card. You can see the exemplary “lesson” in the photos below. I do not present all comparisons at the same time but one after another. 

How to teach your baby maths
Comparing numerals and quantities
Introducing numbers
Comparing numerals and quantities
Maths for kids
Comparing numerals and quantities

We have already had similar comparisons with dots. You will find the details here

HIGH AND LOWS 

Soon after I presented the card with number 20, I noticed that Maja began to lose her interest in the cards. Doman says that if we present the cards too slowly or if we introduce new material too slowly, a child is just bored. I thought it may had been the case with my daughter. Following Doman’s suggestions, I started retiring 2 cards and adding 2 new cards daily to speed up the introduction of new material. It worked magic. 

Now, I am sure my baby loves maths. I already mentioned in May and June blog entries that I had the impression that Maja prefers maths to reading. I am not the only person who noticed that. For a few recent days she she has been asking for more and more comparisons. When I present  numerals only she just looks at them, jumps on them or takes the card and runs away with it. Unlike with comparisons, after I present all five cards with numbers it is the end. I already mentioned our games with cards here but I think I have to write a follow-up because it gets much more interesting with a child who can run. 

I left comparing numbers with dot cards for the end of the day after everything else is completed. Since I work, I usually manage to present only three comparisons daily. However, depending on the day, I sometimes manage two or three sessions with three comparisons. Maybe I have become even more organized and better at managing my time, because, especially lately, I have managed to do more than one session. 

A few days ago, Maja was sitting in her high chair. She had just finished her supper. She looked a bit sleepy. Anyway, I decided to show her one quantity-number comparison thinking that in case she demonstrated no interest, I would stop immediately. I placed a numeral card and a dot card with an equals sign in the middle. I said the whole comparison pointing at the cards and then I took them away. Maja said: “more.” I was really surprised because she looked really sleepy before. I presented the second comparison and immediately after I took the cards away, I heard “more.” Amazing! And again…and again… As you can see it is easy to fall in love with maths when we have contact with it outside the school system. 

I finally decided we had to finish. Doman advises to stop before your child wants to stop and not provide him or her with more even if he or she asks for it. A child should be left with a craving for more and not fully satisfied. 

How to teach maths
A baby and maths

NEW SET OF NUMERAL CARDS

Our original set of maths cards included only digits 1-30. Immediately after we completed it, I ordered numerals 1-100 from WczesnaEdukacja (a Polish publishing company). New digits are enormous when compared with the old ones as you can see in the main picture for this blog entry. They attract Maja’s attention although they are black and not red like those in the previous set. We have a real mix now and you can see it in the pictures. I think I will stick to the big cards even with numbers 1-30 for which I have the smaller versions. At present, we are doing number 43 and it is still hard to believe I am doing this with a 17-month-old baby 🙂 

Quantities
Comparisons
Numerals
Comparisons
Quantities
Comparisons

 

Have you found my experience useful? If yes, share with others.  What about you? Have your little ones had their first contact with maths yet or are you waiting for school to provide that? I would be really delighted if you leave a comment and share your experience. 

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I have created a Facebook group for parents doing Doman as I haven’t found any. This is just the beginning but I hope there will be more and more of us soon and that we will share our experience with one another.

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