This week my seven year old learned numbers. At least, numbers into the hundreds. She can identify any number up to 999 and say it correctly.
I don’t know how or when my three older kids learned to do this, but I do know how my seven year old did it: through a stupid video game that I dislike because it looks like a waste of time.
For the last few weeks, every time she would finish a game and the score would come up on the screen, she would ask me to tell her what it was. After about two weeks of hearing me say the numbers aloud, she now knows not only how to read them, but pretty well what relative value they have. She can tell, for example, that 164 is higher than 85 and is a better score.
The moral of this story is that learning happens all the time, even when you think it might not be. For parents who fear allowing their children to learn according to their own interests because they don’t think their child is likely to take an interest in numbers, you can rest assured that’s not the case. My daughter wanted to understand the scores she was earning, and that was enough motivation that she put forth the effort to understand numbers. Easy peasy!
This also goes for the other basic skills like reading, adding, subtracting, et cetera that they spend so much time and effort teaching to children in elementary school. Those things come so easily, there’s no need to fuss.