Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Math via Osmosis

I'm emptying out the dishwasher as Ian eats a snack in his booster chair. Above the clatter of dishes being stacked on top of one another, I hear Ian softly sing a familiar tune.

"There are three in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

I smile as I recognize the tune. Then, a huge question mark hangs over my head. I think to myself, "Where did he learn that song? I haven't sung it with him, and I don't think we've done it in any of his classes so far."

He continues, "They all roll over and one falls off, there are two in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

Puzzled where he may have heard this tune enough times to memorize it, I look around the corner at him. There sits Ian, playing with the grapes on his plate as he continues to sing the song. But wait, could it be, he has all the grapes off his plate except two. Coincidence?

Ian keeps singing, "They all roll over and one falls off..."

At this point I notice him roll one of the grapes off the plate leaving just one. "..there is one in the bed and the little one says, 'Roll over.'"

"No way, dude!" I exclaim looking at him. I stand there in disbelief over how my son is demonstrating subtraction skills.

I decide to test his skills. "Ian, let's start over. Let's put all the grapes back on the plate. How many grapes are there?"

"Mommy, mommy, six!" he happily chirps.

"Will you sing the song and move the grapes again for me?"

"Ok, Mommy." There's a brief pause as he touches the grapes, and then, "There are six in the bed, and the little one says, 'Roll over.' They all roll over and one falls off..." At this point he rolls a grape off the plate and onto the tray. "...there are five in the bed and the little one says, '"Roll over.'"

He continues the song, accurately moving one grape at a time and stating the number left. I'm impressed with my little mathematician. He's learned something through osmosis, now I just need to figure out from where.

"They all roll over and one falls off, there are three in the bed..."

Ok, Mister Brainiac, if you can do that, then explain to me Einstein's theory of relativity?

*Tonight, Paul informed me that the song in question is on one of our Kids Silly Songs CDs. My next question is, where did Ian learn to put action to the words? Hmmmm.


Lady M said...

Wow, Mr. Math!

It's interesting to figure out where they learn something. My sister confessed to being the one who came up with the "police cars to the rescue of the train wreck" game.

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Morgan has the same cd--no subtraction skills yet :) but she likes to dance :)

Ian is such an adorable little boy--love his eyes!!

Rachel said...

That's so cool!!!! Ian is a very smart little boy!! Now he can teach Laurel his mad math skillz!

Elizabeth said...

Way smart! That's a great story, subtraction can be a challenge... looks like he'll have no problem.

maryp said...

Now you see why I say homeschooling them is easy, and requires far less parental pushing than we generally assume?

What a cool story! (I'll bet nobody told him how to put actions to concepts. He figured it out himself. They do that.)

carrie said...

Aaaaaaah yes, I can see an acceptance letter to an ivy league university (with a scholarship - relax!) in his future! :)


Anonymous said...

How cute! What a smart little guy!

Damselfly said...

There's only one explanation: he's a genius!

Heidi said...

I am constantly wondering that with my little guy - where do they learn this stuff and how do they figure out how to put it all together? I find their brains fascinating!

Kelly M said...

OMG that is so awesome!! It sounds like you have a little mathematician on your hands!! So smart for him to pick that up and associate it with physical objects!! CONGRATS!! Very exciting!

Mama's Moon said...

That's simpy awesome!!! Way to go, Ian!!!

Zing Blog said...

Just please don't start telling people "My child is gifted".