Alyria's Website
Published on: Mar 24, 2024 at 9:14 PM
Reading time: 3 minutes

Counting vs Sequences


Alyria's been able to understand and repeat sequences for quite many months now. She rattles of numbers 1 through 10 in English and 1 through 20 in Chinese. And she knew the entire alphabet well before that. It's hard to pin down exactly when she got the number sequences, as it was a bit amorphos... initially she just remembered the numbers as a jumble, but eventually she was consistent in getting them correctly in order.


We'd been working on counting objects as well, but she never quite associated the the sequence with the objects. Then all of a sudden about a week ago, she seemed to get it... Bijection, the one-to-one correspondence of numbers, and the objects she's counting.

She clearly demonstrates being able to associate one number per object when counting up to about 5. Beyond that she it appears as if she gets "lazy" and and just wants to complete the sequence rather than continue counting.

It's really interesting to see these two concepts appear separately liek this.

Days of the week

I've been wanting to work with her in understanding the days of the week, so that she knows what to expect for weekdays and weekends. But it's clearly still early for that.


We did have a routine where we'd check off the day in a calendar at the end of the day. That lasted a couple months. I wasn't trying to get her to understand all the complexities of a calendar or counting, but I was hoping to just convey the passage of days, and how we slowly approach future planned events.

I had to create a special calendar though. Initially when presented with a "normal" calendar she would just mark of any random box (if she got a box at all -- quite often she just wanted to scribble).

So I made a custom calendar where each row was separated by a gap. That kind of worked but she still didn't understand the "wrap around"... going back to the beginning of a row when you reach the end. So I made another version that had a squiggly line she could follow with a finger.

That actually worked really well and she was able to understand which day came next by the end of the two months.

I didn't really stress the days of the week, though I would mention it casually. Surprisingly, she quickly seemed to understand the column oriented nature of the days of the week, even though we mark them off by row.

The whole endeavor actually worked as we had some events (such as grandma returning from a trip), and we drew a symbol on that day so that she could follow it. Every day she recognized that as the day grandma would return.

Unfortunately her night routine had become too compressed due to the daycare schedule we're currently on. So we haven't continued this ritual. But perhaps we'll bring it back when her schedule allows for it to be done consistently again.

More on the Days of the Week

While Alyria understands the words for the days of the week, she doesn't really understand the sequence. Perhaps we haven't tried as hard as we did with the Alphabet and Numbers. In hindsight I don't see how the days of the week are any different... they're all just arbitrary words with no particular pattern to them. We also don't have any books that cover it.

I might try making a day of week wheel for her as a simpler way to understand the cyclic nature of the week before bringing the monthly calendar back. Considering she's just starting to grasp bijection, I think she might be ready for this now.

That should hopefully make the monthly grid a bit easier to understand, and perhaps also expose her to the idea that there can be multiple visual representations of the same information. I can then use the wheel metaphore to move onto months and/or seasons.

Author: dad
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