# Number recognition

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Here's my question/problem:

Today, I realized that my 5 yr old ds cannot recognize the numbers 6,7,8,9. He's counted for a long time, since two, but I never worked on forming the numbers until now. The first 8 lessons of Mathusee Primer concentrate on number recognition and counting. At the beginning, I did a lot of flashcards to ensure that he was learning to recognize the numbers, and then let him go on the program, stopping to explain and check his work every day. He was doing fine, getting most problems correct, and saying Math is his favorite subject.

But today, he was asked to build a number (the lesson is on place values and uses manipulatives to explain the problem). He did great being able to tell me how many blocks were out in the units and tens place. But when he was given a number to build the blocks, he didn't know what the were. The numbers were 89 and 37. He got the three tens blocks out but didn't know what the other ones were at all. So I got out the flashcards, to check his number recognition. 0-5 and 10 he got without hesitation, but he simply did not know what the others were. :confused:

Does he have a mental block or is there something that I've done wrong? Is there a trick someone knows how to teach him this?

This is the child that has known how to sound out words since he was three, but he still gets some colors wrong (especially green and brown and yellow). He's been tested for visual problems, even color blindness, but has shown that he has none, even though I wonder.

I welcome any thoughts, ideas, suggestions.

Thanks,

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My ds had the same problem at that age. Drove me nuts because I didn't see how I could progress very far until he could recognise numbers. I just kept plugging away at it. He is now 7 and doing MM grade 3 so I personally believe it was just a maturation problem which for us was solved by him growing up

Stephanie

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It's interesting that he gets confused with green and brown. I went to school with a boy who was color blind, and the way he saw things, peanut butter and grass were the same color.

If your son does turn out to be color blind, I wouldn't think this would have anything to do with number recognition. If he isn't color blind though, perhaps they are related (visual recognition problems).

I'm not much help though, sorry.

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My daughter 5.5 has the same problem. We're still working on it but using the Handwriting Without Tears method of number writing has helped: "remember, 8 is an S that you close," or "6 is half a rainbow you slide down and curl into a ball." "9 has a ball on top and slides straight down." She's gotten much better since learning these... I think 7 says something like "straight across and then down in an angle line." I think we added in the angle line point from one of her art lessons. 7 looks like an angle line...

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Thanks for the replies, girls. It's so good to know we're not alone. I've wondered if it's just lack of maturity. I do think I need to get his eyes tested again, his dad needed glasses at this age, so we need to stay on top of this. But I'll use your method, Grace's Mom, and maybe even switch to HWoT. I really appreciate your input. I'll just keep plugging away and use your suggestions and hopefully it will click with him. Thanks! Any more ideas are still welcome!

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One suggestion and one thought. The suggestion is dot-to-dots. Good for small motor skills and number recognition. There are a bunch here if you want some online. That site also has something called "number mazes" where you go through the maze from 1-100.

The thought is that my dh can't tell green from brown either. Or yellow from tan. He'll put on a shirt and be like, does this clash because it's green and I'll be like, WHAT are you talking about? It's brown. It's not even a brown that's close to green. Anyway, having this sort of experience many times over the years has convinced me that some people see colors a lot less clearly than others. I mean, it wouldn't hurt to review your colors, I guess, but I do believe it's possible that they just look really close for him.

Edited by farrarwilliams
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I had the same issue where I had to get my son to recognize the digits before we could move on in our math program.

My son is very tactile. I gave him sandpaper numbers to trace as we said the numbers and that helped him a lot. If you don't want to buy or make sandpaper numbers, you could write out the numbers using puffy paint or glitter glue or something to give it some texture.

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My daughter has the same problem! It's so strange to me that she has been able to recognize 26 letters since she was 2 with no instruction, but at 5 she still can't remember 6, 7, 8, and 9. We use HWT, and she can write them if shown what they look like or reminded verbally that 6 likes to curl up in a ball to hibernate (for instance). She does have an eye disorder, but I haven't noticed any effect on her reading. I'm guessing number recognition will just take time.

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I had the same issue where I had to get my son to recognize the digits before we could move on in our math program.

My son is very tactile. I gave him sandpaper numbers to trace as we said the numbers and that helped him a lot. If you don't want to buy or make sandpaper numbers, you could write out the numbers using puffy paint or glitter glue or something to give it some texture.

I have some velvet numbers that I thought would help, and we've used them from the beginning, but that doesn't seem to help. I've heard of using a tupperware full of rice and having him write his numbers. I thought it was helping 5 weeks ago, but now it's been to the same. Maybe I just need to do it every day for a while, drop it for a couple weeks then come back to reviewing it until it sticks. We'll see.

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"One suggestion and one thought. The suggestion is dot-to-dots. Good for small motor skills and number recognition. There are a bunch here if you want some online. That site also has something called "number mazes" where you go through the maze from 1-100."

Thanks for your suggestion, he loves mazes so I think we'll work on these for awhile. I think there might be a lot to what you said about some people being able to recognize colors less than others. Besides green/yellow/brown, I just heard him confuse purple/blue. Maybe that's all it is. He just doesn't notice the differences. Thanks, farrarwilliams

Silver, you said that you needed to stop proceeding with your math program until your dc was able to proceed with the math program. How did you handle that? Did it leave you far behind?

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My DS is 3.5 and has been counting since barely 2 and even doing mental addition and subtraction (with no lessons of any sort) since he was 2.5, learned his upper and lowercase in under 2 weeks with no instruction except me answering when he said "what's this one?" with his brand-new alphabet puzzle.

Same time as the ABC puzzle we bought him some straight-piece number order puzzles with 1-10.

After 3 months he STILL doesn't know 7 and 8 by sight.

I am not sure how he can recognize/recall 52 letters in 2 weeks (very confidently, in different fonts, out of order) and learning 1-10 digits by sight is still going after 3 months (again, there's no instruction going on--at 3.5 I'm leaving this to him for now, just answer questions when he asks.

I told him 8 looks like a snowman but something ATE his head. Once he remembers 8 he knows 7 right away.

Still hasn't stuck.

I have heard of these kinds of blocks in the 3-6 set so often, must be some brain/mechanical reason for it. It'll click soon, I'd make sure he's not getting frustrated or losing any confidence over it and just keep reminding him and/or giving him clues/mnemonics.

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Thanks. I don't if I should just keep moving with his math program, he loves it so much and was so upset when I stopped him yesterday to do the flashcards. But, would it be a waste of time to continue, or can he still learn place value if doesn't know what 6-9 look like?

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What about switching to do geometry rather than anything with numbers? I personally wouldn't continue if he can't recognise numbers, although you could still do mental calculations.

Stephanie

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Silver, you said that you needed to stop proceeding with your math program until your dc was able to proceed with the math program. How did you handle that? Did it leave you far behind?

I did some of the reception level of MEP with him, since it doesn't require writing or reading numbers. So we were still doing math during the time it took for him to learn numbers, just not our official curriculum.

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Something you might try is making up a series of cards with number values expressed in different ways, such as two rows of (up to 5) red dots, tally-stick numbers, a single row of RS abacus-like bi-colored bead cards (the first 5 in yellow, the second 5 in blue, and regular numerals.

Then you could play "games." Get him to arrange a type (like red dots) from smallest to greatest, or greatest to smallest. Or find the corresponding cards of different styles that match up. That sort of thing.

Make it play.

Bill

ETA: the numeral cards should have lines under the 6 and the 9, but I'm sure you knew that :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Spy Car

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