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How I Taught My 4-Year-Old Number ID 0-100…In a Day!


If I sum my philosophy up into one sentence, I gather that enduring learning/thinking should be (my 4 C’s): conceptual, congruent, creative, and critical.

As I teach and learn, I aim to focus on these 4 aspects of learning and mostly in this order. In early education concepts are very important. They help children see the “bigger picture” of what they are doing. Concepts build. If you are able to help a child grasp the concepts of a task, skill, subject, etc, you have accomplished, to some degree, enduring learning.

Dreading spending weeks and weeks with numbers, I wondered the quickest and easiest way to teach them.

Learning numbers is a process but it does not have to take forever. Your child will need to be able to count and identify 0-20 and know what “digit” means before you teach the concepts of number ID 0-100, in this way. With some prayer, I decided to teach him to count by 10 before I continued.

I explained to him that the “ty” meant 10 and every time he counted from thirTY to fourTY he was going up by 10. And so on from fourTY to fifTY, and up to 100. It took him about a day or two to master 0-100 by 10s (counting and ID) independently.

Afterward, I told him:

“Chipmunk, you can count to 100.”

 Of course, he looked at me and said,

“I know mommy, by 10.”

I explained to him, yes that was true but he could also count to 100 if he started with 1. To which he said,

“How mommy?” (Yay! I am so happy he asked!)

If you can count by 10 then you can count to 100 because you already know the rest of the numbers. All you have to do is say the correct “ten” and say the number behind it.

For example: I prompted him. “What’s this number?” (pointing to 30) and he said “30.”

Me: (With my hundreds chart poster) All the numbers in this row say “30” because they all begin with “3.” When you see the 3 in front of a two-digit number, we say “thirty” and then you call the number behind it. I am going to point to all the numbers in this row and you are going to tell me the number.

I pointed to “31” and he called out “31.”

I pointed to “32” and he called out “32.” And so on, until I reached 39.

I repeated this process for each row until we reached 99 while constantly teaching him the concept behind counting. (Which was me repeating the information in the “Me” paragraph.)

We sat on the floor for about 15-20 minutes with our numbers flashcards and our colorful 100s chart poster, reviewing numbers. We hopped to numbers, flashed cards, placed random objects on the correct numbers within the chart to have fun with it.  I skipped around through all of the tens until he named each ten with any number in the ones place at random.

We took a break.

Later in the afternoon, I pulled his 100s chart out again saying,

“Chipmunk, let’s count to 100!” (He was a bit excited to see if he could pull it off!)

I just kept telling him, “You can count to 100!” all day. I pointed to the numbers, in order beginning with number one, as he called off each number one by one.


Tips to Remember:

  • Every child will not ready for this at 4.

  • Don’t forget to practice with doubles when you first explain the concept. (Ex: 33, 44) those tend to trip up early learners.

  • If your child becomes frustrated, STOP!

  • If you tell your child he can do it, he will believe he can do it, and therefore he will do it.

Note: Since we went through the chart so much within that following week, he did indirectly learn how to count to 100. That was not my goal for that time, it just fell on us.

JoyiceHarrisGuestPostJoyice is a born n’ raised Southern Belle native to Atlanta, Georgia. She is married to her beau, her college sweetheart and together they’re raising two handsome, rough and tough young men. Their family loves the Lord and believes homeschooling is simply another way in which to honor God with their lives. Joyice has been blessed to be a work-at-home, eclectic homeschooling mother for her 2nd school year. As a former educator, Joyice embraced homeschooling but cannot wait until her sons reach secondary level, as that is her specialty. She spends her time encouraging homeschool families as they endeavor to follow the Lord in educating their children. In her “free” time, she enjoys all to do with Jesus, family, reading, writing, mentoring, cooking, and shopping!


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  • I did something similar. I took flowers from the dollar tree and wrapped a label around each stem with 10s on it to practice counting by 10s. We stuck each stem in a green pool noodle that was cut down the middle length wise to make it flat so that it would not roll. This created a garden of flowers that we could plant together. She quickly learned to skip count by 10s. Then I took glass floral beads and we counted out 10 groups of 10 to place by each flower. Visually recognizing that each 10 represented 10 individual objects helped her understand the repeating concept of the actual numbers she was counting with. After that, the pattern just clicked.