I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

My wife is not happy with me for teaching her this...

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96 Replies - 4467 Views - Last Post: 23 December 2007 - 09:20 PM

#1 Chubber  Icon User is offline

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I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Post icon  Posted 04 December 2007 - 07:59 AM

My daughter is 3 and has been learning her numbers. We make games of it.

I have taught her to count her fingers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Yes, she starts counting from 0. She knows that there are 10 fingers and that the first one is #0.

My wife and her teachers say that she should start at 1 when counting. I argue that it is not going to help her in the future and starting at 0 makes learning the transitions to 10, 100, etc. much more logical. Plus, she won't iterate past the end of arrays (I am getting ahead of myself).

Should I continue this? Or should I give in to pressure to doing it the "old fashioned" way?

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#2 tody4me  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:13 AM

I would not start any child counting on their fingers at 0. This will confuse them and make them seem "stupid" and be the butt of jokes in years to come. The number 0's origin dates back to ancient times and was used then, as now, as just a placeholder in the ones, tens, hundreds, etc place so as not to confuse 1 with 10 or 100.
Later in life, if she so choses to get into computer programming and using arrays, she can learn then, as we all do, to start the arrays at 0 unless she uses VB, which she can set it to start at 1. If you continue this route you will scare her away from programming as she's being "forced" into it.

This post has been edited by tody4me: 04 December 2007 - 08:48 AM

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#3 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:23 AM

Isn't she counting one less from everything this way?
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#4 Fygar  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:38 AM

All American elementary school's math classes begin counting at one. It is a bit more tangible for a kid as well as less alienating if they are following the same method of thinking as the rest of the class. Maybe you can teach her the ways of zero after she has a standard outlook on numbers. Finger counting is for the sake of creating a physical example of a number. one finger = number one. Though to us programmers, 0-9 finger counting could make sense in cases like an array, it is harder to grasp that theory for a kid at that age.

She will most likely end up with a great uninterest in programming. Also, if wife says no, I would drop it fairly quick.
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#5 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:55 AM

"A happy wife is a happy life"
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#6 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:02 AM

wtf is so hard for the teachers to figure out about the lack of something? put your kid in a non retarded skool.
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#7 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:07 AM

Heh, now she'll start writing things on her fingers, each an element in the array.
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#8 MarkoDaGeek  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:16 AM

When I read the title of this thread, I thought sick things...
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#9 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:19 AM

you know, since this is in the caffeine lounge , and its now a featured topic on the front page.

i feel pulled in the direction of evil by possibly twisting this into a diluted form of anarchy. but for the sake of being a good person, i will not.

can't like a closed fist be zero. and then start counting by opening the hand and getting the first finger.
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#10 Fygar  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 09:21 AM

Capty's got it. At least it'd be a little more tangible and will still follow suite with "the man".

She needs to understand the physical, tangible meaning of numbers before she learns number assignment.

This post has been edited by Fygar: 04 December 2007 - 09:22 AM

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#11 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:02 AM

i think teaching zero only helps prove the physical and tangible. i.e. the lack of it.

if your daughter missed the entire week of classes what do their report her days in attendance as? do they not report it? no, the report ZERO days in attendance.
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#12 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:12 AM

lets be MORE anal.

dude..... only teach her in doubles.


then one day down the road she will be saying her numbers.

and you can yell PARSE INT PARSE INT it would be awesome.
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#13 GWatt  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:20 AM

I agree that starting at zero is more logical for some things. However, we have 10 fingers so there's no point in teaching her to start at 0 now for she will only have to unlearn it. Especially not if she has one finger up and says "zero."
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#14 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:24 AM

While I love the thought of zero and an advocate of starting at zero because of array indexing, I do have to say that she should start with the idea of counting from 1. Many of the reasons I have are ones already mentioned, it is what is taught in school and follows the thoughts of what many children her age have. Starting at zero will lead her to believe that zero is a quantity when really it is the absence of quantity. She will see zero the same as 8 when really zero holds special meanings in a variety of different fields. Besides, it is perfectly ok to let her learn of regular counting numbers from 1 and then when she grasps the true concepts of quantity, discuss zero with her. Believe me, you are not giving her any real advantage of teaching this early, but do run the risk of giving her math difficulties later. Can you imagine doing a whole math test right but every answer you give is one off so it is wrong? That would suck! Then perhaps she would know the true meaning of a big fat zero.

Just my two cents. :)
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#15 Fygar  Icon User is offline

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Re: I am both proud of my daughter and ruining her life

Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:29 AM

A tangible method of learning "zero" would be to show no fingers at all, not assigning zero to one finger. In all reality, you could display 0 as displaying all ten fingers and count down to one finger which has 9 assigned to it... It's not teaching the kid how to count, it's teaching the kid how to assign the numbers to an object. She's going to be the kid in class that says, "I can make my finger any number I want". Technically, that is a legitimate debate, but it's the wrong answer for the situation.
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