Every night at bedtime, we count. It started because he is always trying to get me to stay with him just a little longer, so I started saying, "Ok, I'm gonna go downstairs after I count to 20." I started going to higher and higher numbers, thinking that maybe listening to me would eventually help him learn to count. I'd go to 30 for a couple days, then 50, then 100. Pretty quickly, he wanted to participate in the counting too, and we started alternating numbers - he'd say the odd numbers, and I'd say the evens. I also started having him count by tens with me, repeating each number after I said it, thinking maybe that would help him remember which group of 10 came next when counting by ones. After just a few times, he had it down and could go from 10-100 all by himself. In the past couple weeks, he has completely taken over the counting and now does it all on his own, first going from 1-100 and then counting by tens from 10-100. It's one of my favorite parts of the day now, with him snugly tucked in bed and whispering the numbers to me... he giggles at my enthusiasm as I tell him in a loud whisper, "Yes! That's right!"
Last week we were at the doctor's office for Emmett's checkup, and Max was looking at the numbers on the blood pressure thingy on the wall. "Look mom - that's 100!" he said, pointing it out. I then pointed at the number 200 and asked him, "If a one with two zeros after it is 100, what do you think this number is?" He thought about it for a minute and didn't get it so I told him, "Two hundred." He said excitedly, "Oh!!! Two hundred!" So I had him count by hundreds with me up to a thousand. He thought that was pretty cool. Over the next few days we did that just once or twice more, and tonight he surprised me by rattling it off to me - I didn't think he'd remember to say "One thousand" instead of "Ten hundred" but he did!
See? This teaching/learning thing can be fun, organic, and quite painless. I know it won't always be, every single day, but I totally trust in Max's desire and ability to learn, and in my desire and ability to help him do that. It's not that I want him to know everything, but I want him to keep wanting to know everything. That's the goal.