Friday, 27 May 2011

We have had a week of 'firsts' it seems!


This week Cosmo baked his first loaf of bread and his first ever cake from scratch, following a recipe and measuring all the ingredients (age 3 years 5 months). I obviously helped with the oven and holding the bowl still whilst he vigorously mixed it, but both the bread and the cake turned out to be totally edible, and two people have asked for the cake recipe as it was so good! [You can find it here]


He also learnt to use a calculator. He loves maths, but I'd never shown him one as I thought it was best if he learnt the concept of times tables etc using old fashioned lego bricks to work out the answers. However, this week his addition and subtraction have become much faster and more accurate, and his times tables are really improving. My mum thought it would be fun to show him what a calculator does. Would you believe this is his new favourite toy? He has even taken it to bed with him instead of a book!

The most exciting part for him is that he can now work out sums including numbers up to 9999 (he understands four place values thanks to more.starfall) where previously he only worked in figures up to around 30 (running out of lego blocks, plus attention span!) but the calculator always gives him a fast, accurate result. He's still not happy about the idea of division. I think we need to work on the concept with the lego bricks a bit more, but he's confident with multiplication, addition and subtraction, which I've got to be honest, I never expected him to be at this age.


I've frankly been stunned by how easy this has been so far. I thought teaching concepts in things like maths would be very  difficult and I wouldn't know how to explain it properly. The reality is, if I just keep showing him plenty of examples, he actually picks up the concept himself.


I hope Lychee is this teachable...

But the thing I am probably most proud of is that this week he worked out from his pocket money which coins he needed for the sweet he wanted at the corner shop (4x5p) went and chose the sweet, queued up and purchased it all by himself. Obviously I went with him (can't account for other people) but for his part he was completely confident and competent to make this transaction by himself. He thanked the clerk, but when we got outside he was disappointed when he realised he had forgotten to add 'please' when answering the question 'what would you like?'


We are lucky that the local corner shop seems to have the same staff in every sunday afternoon, so he is quite confident interacting with them. It would be interesting to see what happened if I took him to a different shop. I wonder whether he would still manage to complete the transaction or whether he would be shy?


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