DH wants to teach our DS set theory. DS is 17mo.

(95 Posts)
Herrena Sun 18-Nov-12 17:18:22

His exact message:
"Should I teach DS about sets or jump straight in to counting?"

Personally I don't understand why DH isn't happy with teaching DS to count like everybody else, but then my grasp of mathematics is - as he cheerfully informs me - minimal.

I think he's mad. He thinks I don't understand.

Any advice out there?!

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Nov-12 20:46:33

Sodding diamonds. There's no such mathematical shape. Diamond needs to be beaten out of them and Rhombus beaten into them at secondary school and I'm sure it's the fault of toddler shape sorters.

acebaby Thu 22-Nov-12 20:32:51

we had great fun teaching DS1 to say parallelepiped (spot the maths geek parents!) There actually was a parallelepiped on his shape sorter. Much more fun than teaching him plain old 'diamond' - if a bit tricky to say for a toddler who couldn't pronounce 'l' <melts a bit at memory of pawa-ye-o-piper>.

Herrena Thu 22-Nov-12 13:37:16

luckylavender - we knew someone who proudly stated that her 2yo could say 'quadrilateral'. DH said yes, but did she actually know what it meant? Cue a dirty look from the mum and much cringing from me

Since then he's taken a perverse delight in telling DS that all shapes are polygons. Oh, and proclaiming 'Penultimate spoonful!' at the appropriate point of every meal (on the basis that if you're going to use long words they may as well be in context).

flamingtoaster Thu 22-Nov-12 13:25:03

I think all DHs should be encouraged to teach their toddlers set theory etc. - it keeps the both of them out of mischief wonderfully.

luckylavender Thu 22-Nov-12 13:09:22

DS had one of those shape sorter things as a baby and I merrily tried to get him to repeat the shapes as he put them into the holes "Triangle" I said, DS repeated some gurgling sound. "Tetrahedron" said DH. I smiled and nodded.

JollyJock Thu 22-Nov-12 12:41:32

Bugger, Cecily, I knew there was an issue with it somewhere.

Although by the time Ds grows up everything will be computerised anyway I reckon.

CecilyP Thu 22-Nov-12 12:30:58

How on earth is he going to do the filing, though?

JollyJock Thu 22-Nov-12 12:29:03

Obviously I meant qwertyuiop. My fingers are too fat.

JollyJock Thu 22-Nov-12 12:28:16

I was contemplating this morning whether it is necessary for my Ds to learn the alphabet in alphabetical order, or whether I can teach him qwertuiop placement from day 1 instead. He can now accurately find the letter H on a keyboard, but I doubt he could do it on an alphabet line.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 21-Nov-12 14:59:38

acebaby grin A missed opportunity!

But many children like classifying things. If you play it right you can make tidying up a game in set theory. A box for cars, a box for red things, a box for intersections. Will work a treat. Probably. smile

acebaby Wed 21-Nov-12 13:26:36

I remember my DS1 going beserk at about this age when trying to make a pile of red things and a pile of cars, and then coming across a red car. If only I'd thought of introducing him to Venn diagrams...

OP - your DH and DS sound terrific. Good luck with set theory. When he gets a bike, you can move him onto vector calculus! grin

boschy Wed 21-Nov-12 12:33:59

I am loving seeker's DDs comment on p.3: "dis say silly"!!

but OP if your DH would like a challenge, could he explain anything maths-y AT ALL to my 2 teenagers (girls, very nice and polite appart from their proficiency in swearing)?

alreadytaken Wed 21-Nov-12 12:23:42

Penny's approach to Schrodinger's cat points up the limitations of scientific thinking - she pointed out that you'd soon smell if the cat was dead grin.

Sort items into groups for now, 17 months a bit too soon to learn counting but go with bigger and smaller. Use mathematical language for shape sorting. Later start some pre-writing skills (joining unnumbered dots is good) to help them draw circles.

cory Wed 21-Nov-12 09:30:12

noblegiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 16:04:50
"Get your DH to read the Wikipedia article on New Math.

This was the American project to teach stuff like set theory from a young age to 'lay the foundations' for future study. It was a disaster and quickly abandoned in favour of the more traditional 'teaching kids to add up'."

This was our maths teaching in Sweden when I was a youngster and I think it is fair to say that our maths skills were well below that of our British counterparts.

I spent some time in an English school in my teens: found I was well ahead in MFL's, could more or less understand the science but was hopelessly behind in maths: half the things they did I'd never even heard of. Swedish educationalists now regard it as an embarrassing episode in the educational history of the country; in fact, it got a mention in the History of the Welfare Years which I picked up on my last visit.

But perhaps it wouldn't be so bad for a 17mo; our problem was that we were 7 or 8 and still expected to sit in class and carefully draw circles around illustrations of brightly coloured objects, when we would have been perfectly capable of subtracting and multiplying 3 digit numbers.

Herrena Wed 21-Nov-12 07:26:51

A useful rule of thumb noblegiraffe - I shall use it! Thanks.

Will try to buy an abacus today, for the countin' wink

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 22:46:34

And for learning the first three letters of the alphabet A Buh Cuhs.

Every baby should have one!

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 22:36:40

Do you know what else an abacus would be good for? Counting wink

Re bottom from elbow, the test is would you be happy for your child to say it to another adult? I say 'oh dear, silly mummy' quite a lot, and DS in turn says 'silly me', or 'silly mummy' depending on who's being silly. I think it would be fine if he said 'silly X' to grandma/childminder but I'd die if he said he didn't know her bottom from her elbow!

Herrena Tue 20-Nov-12 22:02:54

I saw an abacus today and thought 'Hey, that'd be useful for the set theory...' and realised that DH has sucked me into this craziness good and proper. Damn him.

Grimma I have quite a flowery way of speaking anyway so I'm hoping that DS will pick up on it! Although he's not exactly profligate with his words so far (about 4 recognisable ones) hmm

I do worry, though. The other day I said 'Honestly, mummy can't tell her bottom from her elbow, can she' somewhat different to the words in my head and wondered if that was an inappropriate thing to say to a child. None of the words themselves were inappropriate, so was the full statement? I'm honestly not sure.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 20-Nov-12 19:55:05

Nothing like hypotenuses to get a baby going. grin

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 11:06:55

No, but exposing babies to lots of different words is good for sound discrimination so it's all good. grin

Probably more useful than my DH (so he said) teaching his dachshund about quantum mechanics. Perhaps he was trying to get Schrodinger's cat sorted out once and for all.

Whatdoiknowanyway Tue 20-Nov-12 10:07:58

My husband solemnly instructed our 3 day old baby on the details of Pythagoras' theory. Can't say it's made much difference to her mathematical ability but it amused him at the time.

flussymummy Mon 19-Nov-12 20:18:15

I'm with uptoapoint on this one. Sort items into sets and then count them. Works particularly well with Smarties I find, as you can introduce some basic subtraction as they are eaten...

sittinginthesun Mon 19-Nov-12 17:19:26

Isn't this all just a complicated way of describing what children tend to do anyway? Many toddlers like to sort things into colours, shapes etc.

In fact, DS2, on his 1st Birthday, managed to separate the food from his party plate into very neat piles of different foods on the table, leaving only the Toddler style "crisps" on his plate.

Budding mathematician maybe wink

DilysPrice Mon 19-Nov-12 17:15:54

It is indeed a great book.

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 19-Nov-12 16:48:49

Since we are talking about Russell, has anyone read Logicomix? Top book!

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