When Gareth was 3 months old, I started him on Doman’s Math Program. He has gone through cards from 0-100, and learned addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Although Doman advises against “testing” children because it can put them off learning, you can indirectly test your baby by giving him problems to solve in a fun way.
In his Math program, Doman introduces the problem solving segment fairly early. I, on the other hand, didn’t give him any problems to solve until about three days ago. On day one, I asked him to give me the answer to three random equations (stuff like 23+13, 48-22, etc.). After each question, I would show him two consecutive dot cards and ask him to point to the correct answer. He got them all right. On day two, I gave him three more Math problems. He got them all right, again. On day three, I gave him yet another three more Math problems and he answered them all correctly.
That’s nine Math problems – all answered correctly. The probability of it being a fluke is very low – it’s 1 in 512 chances, or 0.2%. Can babies really learn Math? Yes, they can. I know I’ve been writing about early childhood education and Doman teaching programs for a while but I have to confess that part of me had doubts about whether I could teach Gareth to recognise the dot cards. I am a little relieved to see that my efforts have not been in vain.
I have no video evidence nor do I intend to make any because I feel the presence of a camera adds pressure for Gareth to perform. I made the mistake of applying that pressure on Gavin and only succeeded in putting him off a lot of things so now I’m careful not to make the same mistakes with Gareth. You will just have to take my word for it that he can do Math. The only reason I am recording this is so that other parents who wondered as I did whether Doman’s Math program is worth while or just a big waste of time, might be inspired to keep going with it.
There is a parent on youtube who did record her child’s progress, which you can see below.
The ability to perceive quantities is said to be present up until about 3 years of age. The Doman staff I purchased the Math Kit from recommend the Math program only for children age 3 years and below. Despite that, I tried doing the program with Gavin anyway since he was already 3 years old by the time I got my hands on the kit. Sadly, Gavin is still unable to perceive quantities and must physically count things.
I do think there is some individual variation, so even if your child has already turned 3, you may still want to give the program a go because I have read about one mother who successfully taught her child to recognise quantities from age 3 onwards. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with Gavin. So it looks like we’re going to have to figure out another Math program that will work for him. There are currently two programs we’re looking at – SEE’s method (thanks to FZ for sharing it with me) and the Japanese Abacus Anzan method. I’ll be writing more about both methods soon so stay tuned.