PERCENTAGES WITH A BABY
I have completed all Doman’s suggestions as far as teaching maths to a baby is concerned. But don’t worry – this is not the end. Doman encourages parents to be creative and to follow their imagination when it comes to all sorts of ideas related to dot flashcards. I have assumed that if fractions can be taught using dot cards we can use them to teach lots of other mathematical stuff like percentages, roots and exponents or powers …. and maybe I will come up with something else.
Although I could be introducing digits now because this is the next step I think I have enough time for that. I have decided I will do whatever possible with the dot cards because the time for them is limited. As I have mentioned in the previous post a baby is able to recognize even large quantities at a glance up to the age of 30 months if it is not stimulated in any way to retain this ability.
Our adventure with percentages lasted 2 weeks. We followed our usual plan: 3 “lessons” with 3 operations daily. We sometimes had all three operations like this:
50% of 100 = 50
50% of 50 = 25
50% of 6 =3.
On other occasions I mixed different percentages in one session.
It happened that I had to attend a course abroad the day before we were supposed to complete this step so Maja had that last day with percentages after a longer, 2-week break. Some of our last moments with percentages were captured in the following pictures. The garden is not our usual place for playing with cards but it just happened to be so on that last day.
I have completely quit offering problem-solving opportunities. Maja doesn’t want to choose the correct solution anymore. It is the same even in the case of cards with pictures only.
I remember the joy she used to demonstrate when choosing the correct card. Now she is just looking indifferently at it and not taking any action. I assume this is just a temporary period in her life and I have to respect this. I do not put any pressure on her but I am waiting patiently until it passes. Maybe we will return to problem-solving opportunities in the future.
There were few situations when she decided to make a choice. However, I noticed that once she chose the wrong card on purpose because I was sure she knew the answer. I showed her two picture cards: “mouth” and “toes”. She was supposed to choose “toes” but she chose the other card. If I don’t have any cards but I just ask: “Where are your toes?” or “Where is your mouth?” she always shows her own toes or her own mouth.
This was a sign for me to stop testing her and I did it. You will find more on checking your baby’s knowledge soon.
After completing percentages it is time for all possible operations using dot cards and different realia e.g. with bottle caps. This time we concentrate on exploring one particular number e.g. 12. We have already exhausted all the possibilities with number 1 which I mentioned here. I used colourful bottle caps then. Now, I have bigger and different ones just for a change. Maja seems to be having fun when I put them down to present her an equation or when I just put them down in a pattern that comes to my mind at that particular moment. I often need to hurry and finish before she comes near because she often tries to steal some of the caps and runs away laughing. We both laugh if I don’t manage to finish. In the pictures you can see bottle caps but today we played with pasta for a change.
SPEECH DEVELOPMENT IN MY 15-MONTH-OLD BABY
BABY’S MEMORY IS AMAZING
I was going to analyze Maja’s speech earlier but I postponed it until now because I was afraid that she wouldn’t remember a lot after a 2-week break with almost no contact with the English language. During this period I had to attend a course for teachers in Greece. As far as I know she sometimes watched Peppa Pig in English but I know that watching TV is not enough to learn a language.
And she has surprised me! She remembers everything! And she can do even more. Before my departure she wasn’t able to shake hands with anybody. On my return my husband proudly said she had learnt to do this. I was curious to check so I immediately said: “Maja, shake hands with mummy” and Maja did what she was supposed to do although daddy taught her about this gesture in the Polish language only.
The following words entered her vocabulary list:
– in the English language:
Peppa- the name of the character in her favourite cartoon. If she sees a laptop she immediately asks for Peppa saying “Peppa.” If I want to feed her and I say she is going to watch Peppa she sits down in her high chair without any objections. Normally, there are problems with this.
She understands the word “bellybutton” and she can say the beginning.
– in both languages
She can already say: “touch” and “cheetah,” which I mentioned here. She uses these words separately as English words but it sometimes happens that she uses “touch” immediately after “cheetah” and it all sounds like the Polish word “czytać” (to read). Actually, one of her toy sings a song with this word and she often presses the button to listen to it. On the other hand, she understands the English word “touch” because she touches things if I tell her to do so and, like I have mentioned before, she uses this word separately.
She makes correct animal sounds when I ask her a question such as “What does a sheep do? / What sound does a sheep make?” When daddy asks her in Polish her reaction is the same. She can make a sound of a sheep, a cow, a cat, a dog and a snake. My husband has taught her to hiss but if I ask her to do this in English she knows what to do.
She can already show many parts of her body and repeat more and more words after me or my husband: eye, teeth in English and ciocia (aunt) or dziadziu (grandpa) in Polish. She can already ask “To to?” meaning “Kto to?” (Who’s that?) in the Polish language. She tries to repeat virtually everything we ask her to repeat. She sometimes manages to say words 100% correct, sometimes they are just like ours and on other occasions she says words in her own way.
She says „yes” but because the pronunciation is similar to Polish word „jest” (there is) it is possible that it means both judging from the context she uses this word in. However, the fact that she omits the last sound „t” in Polish indicates that it may be the English word only.
– in the Polish language
ciapka meaning czapka (hat)
bebe – her funny pronunciation of the word „pępek” (bellybutton)
Cio to? meaning Co to? (What’s this?)
ciapcia with three different meanings: „żabcia” (froglet), „ciap ciap” (splash, splosh) and even „babcia” (granny).
She declines the word “mama” in Polish saying also “mamo.” I sometimes wonder how she has learnt this because it seems nobody else uses this form. After all somebody must have been calling me like that when speaking to me and she doesn’t have any siblings yet. She also declines “tata” (daddy) saying “tato”, which is also a form of adressing somebody directly. However, she seldom uses it.
At the beginning of July, there were plenty of words in “Chinese.” I am kidding, of course but what she was saying really sounded like an exotic language from another continent. She kept saying one “sentence” after another in her language. I could separate some “words” though: “bziabzia”, “tadzi”, “jadziem”. However, they had no meaning to nobody at all neither in English nor in Polish. After two weeks, on my return, it seems that her “Chinese” has almost disappeared. Fortunately, I have some videoclips with her funny speeches and I think you will see them sooner or later.
This is the fourth blog entry about the speech development in my baby. You are welcome to read the previous ones here: