*Photo by Iain Watson via flickr. In this Homeschooling Math with Profound Understanding (PUFM) Series, we are studying Elementary Mathematics for Teachers and applying its lessons to home education.*

Many things in mathematics need to be understood relationally — that is, in relationship to other concepts. But some things just need to be memorized. How do you know which is which? A homeschooling friend pointed out that one thing children definitely need to memorize is the counting sequence from 1-100 and beyond. While there are some patterns that make counting easier, one does just have to memorize which “nonsense sounds” we have attached to each number.

Another sort-of counting that young students should master is *subitizing *— recognizing at a glance how many items are in a small group. Children do this instinctively, but we can help them develop the skill by playing subitizing games.

**[Aside:** In writing this blog post, I ran into some nostalgia. Back when we first did these PUFM lessons, my daughter Kitten was only a toddler. I wrote, “I’ve tried to do lots of counting with my youngest, who hasn’t quite gotten beyond, ‘…eleven, twelve, firteen, firteen, nineteen, seven,…’ The numbers tend to start appearing randomly after she gets past 10.” Ah, memories.]

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