Mathematically Gifted Children
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My sister's daughter now age of three years 5 months. She can calculate
various type of digit. Divided, subtract, plus, minus. Last one month we
are watching this things. Now she can add three line or four line four
digit number. She just do it direct write the number on the answer
giving place. She can also add side by side giving digit.
There is many more to explain of her every day activities. We also
watching that she show her interest to solve the math. We need a perfect
guidance to flourish her talent. Please give us a way.
Your niece is definitely mathematically gifted and is showing intense
passion for the subject. It is amazing how a five year old is able to
show such high ability in Math. I am glad you noticed this and are
looking for ways to nurture her ability. Mathematically gifted children
tend to perform better on spatial, nonverbal reasoning, speed, memory,
and mechanical comprehension tests. You may want to check that out.
Parents have described the characteristics of pre-school children that
include intensity in concentration and the ability to work independently
for a sustained period on a particular task. The types of activities the
parents observed in their children at an early age indicated an interest
in things mathematical, and included building with construction blocks,
creating symmetrical patterns, ordering objects, completing puzzles (in
unconventional ways) and designing challenging games that involve
numbers, problem solving, and operating on numbers. The children showed
a relatively sound concept of number and in some cases an interest in
large numbers and concepts such as time and space.
Researcher Straker (1983) suggests that parents look out for these
characteristics: "a liking for numbers including use of them in stories
and rhymes; an ability to argue, question and reason using logical
connectives: if, then, so, because, either, or....; pattern-making
revealing balance or symmetry; precision in positioning toys, e.g. cars
set out in ordered rows, dolls arranged in order of size; use of
sophisticated criteria for sorting and classification; pleasure in
jig-saws and other constructional toys".
As she is five now, she will soon be entering the formal educational
system. Here there is a need for early identification of mathematical.
There should also be opportunities for input from parents and early
childhood teachers (pre-school) regarding their early development and
interests. This is important as potentially young mathematically gifted
children can be left isolated, frustrated, and bored, and the gifts may
There are many games on the internet that she may be interested in. You
may want to check that out. (There are many in the link below).
Keep exposing her to her interest areas but at the same time, make sure
she is also exposed to other non-mathematical subjects to develop other
interest. At school, she would need to do other subjects as well; hence
early exposure would be helpful. That means, expose her to a variety of
materials but perhaps more of the learning can be mathematically
Please see the
following link on mathematically gifted children to help you further
in deciding how best to help her.
Good luck and I hope to see a mathematically gifted child in the making!