As promised in a previous post, (and a bit of surprise to my scatterbrained self), Ronan is indeed composing numbers up to the thousands place. We start "composing" the numbers last week after a few months of practice with the small card layout and "golden beads."
Beforehand, he was just keeping the units, tens, hundreds, and thousands in proper place order. Then, I added the quantities (one bead set of ten for 10, etc.). After a few months of playing the "bank game," he was ready for making the numbers and moving to the abstract (written) concept.
Add a too-small train conductor outfit with some complex math concepts and voila! Success! (On this particular problem, he was creating numbers himself – then he would read the numbers off to me). With a little help from Calum, of course.
Doesn't this look like the ideal homeschool work environment? As if this wasn't just minutes before Calum decided not to share these layout cards with Ronan, or the fact that Ronan decided he would just take them by force, which then resulted in a crying Calum (removed from the room by me) and an unhappy Ronan (because he was lectured again, about how important it is to use a nice, asking voice when trying to get things back from his brother). But, it all works out in the end…some days just work better than others.