We finished lesson 12 today. My daughter just turned 6. She is having a pretty hard time giving up counting, one by one. As I understand it, the RS way is to have them visualize the amount and memorize what it looks like. She does this fine up to 7. 8, 9, and 10 are difficult and she reverts back to counting it out. Even 10, which I would think would be easy. I remind her of the group of 5, and to start there. She says no, and she that she wants to do it herself.
We spent the last few days just playing the games and practicing with the higher numbers and singing "Yellow is the Sun". The song doesn't seem to help at all. She inserts any number in except where it needs to rhyme. She's so sick of hearing the song, she's making up goofy verses.
Is this normal when getting used to the abacus and not counting? How long should it take? I know all kids are different, but I'm a little discouraged.
This is normal. In fact, I see this more with girls than not.
As far as the song, you can stop singing it, and use it as a poem instead. My kids never sang it.
I would make sure you are doing the games, and focus on the visual part of the numbers. So I would do games with the tally sticks, the fingers, and the dots. I would even play concentration with the different types of cards. So, instead of doing two decks of tally sticks, I would do a deck of tally sticks and a deck of fingers, and have her match the numbers. I would have her do more talk/teaching then I would trying to do all the teaching and having her resist.
I have found some children think that you are either saying they are not smart or that they are cheating if you are helping them. So when you find that you have a child who will not accept help, you may want to help them to understand that you are helping them to train their minds to think, not that you are insulting them (of course, you have to say that in a way they will understand).
I certainly know first hand how it feels to have a child become resistant to help and to a good program, but hang in there and keep encouraging her, keep playing the games, do not lose the focus that she is the important part of the program, don’t worry about getting behind, or her not learning, she will learn and understand, it will take time, and a lot of patience and mentoring (not just teaching) on your part. And I can tell you after having a student, who sounds like your child, it gets better and they actually realize you are there to help, but it takes time, encouragement, and constant pep talks.
If you need more encouragement, do call our 888-272-3291 customer service line, they will be glad to help support you.
Please let me know if you have any more questions. You can email me directly at Carissa@alabacus.com .
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