ABC's and 123's at 3.5 y/o - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 01-23-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3.5 year old DS doesn't know the alphabet and can't count to ten (well - he wont, anyway). He can object count up to 6, and he likes to count really fast like this  - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, a-dump-teen. He knows A (for his name) and B, C, D (for dad) and that's about it. He doesn't really like the song and doesn't know it. He can write his name even though he can't really name the other letters in his name.

 

Every time we visit my parents (retired educators), they keep pointing out how he should know these things by now. It is true that most of the other 3-4 year olds we know sing their ABC's and count. However, it just doesn't seem to interest him and I'm not sure I can really teach a 3.5 y/o something they don't want to know?

 

He's very smart - he's very detailed and intuitive, he remembers everything. He's a critical thinker/problem solver. I'm not worried about his intellectual capacity, really, just wondering if I should be concerned that he doesn't seem to want to know anything "educational" so to speak. He hasn't started any type of schooling.


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#2 of 10 Old 01-23-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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I'm not an expert what-so-ever, so take this for whatever it might be worth, but I wouldn't be concerned in the least.  It sounds like he's bright and inquisitive, but just not interested.  I don't think lack of interest in those areas at 3.5yo means anything in terms of future learning.  It just means he's a little kid.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#3 of 10 Old 01-23-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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I would not worry at all! Sounds really normal. My dd can count to 11 and then skips to 17 then when she gets to 28 she says twenty eighty, twenty ninety, one hundred! He will get there, in his time!

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#4 of 10 Old 01-23-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by anjsmama View Post
Every time we visit my parents (retired educators), they keep pointing out how he should know these things by now. It is true that most of the other 3-4 year olds we know sing their ABC's and count. However, it just doesn't seem to interest him and I'm not sure I can really teach a 3.5 y/o something they don't want to know?

 

That is all taught in Kindergarten in my state.

 

You are not going to get anywhere with an unwilling child.

 

When my ds started Kindergarten he could barely write his name or count to 20 but he could read at a second grade level (hated the ABC song), and knew colors and shapes. He would not let me teach him to write...at all, but he loved alphabet stencils.

 

When my dd started Kindergarten she couldn't write her name, could count to 13 and identify letters, and write most capital letters, but not read (loves the ABC song).

 

Though I don't particularly enjoy reading them, my children love Dr. Suess. The ABC book was helpful in getting them to recognize letters and the tongue twister books were a lot of fun for them to hear. If you do videos Leap Frog has several; the "Let's Go to School" video covers letters/letter sounds, numbers up to 20, days, months, and possibly shapes and colors too (not sure).


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#5 of 10 Old 01-24-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:

 

That is all taught in Kindergarten in my state.

 



 Kindergarten is very different here, even while not being mandatory or full day. They introduce sight words by the 2nd or third month. Kids are expected to know alphabet and numbers to 20, and able to write and recognize their name before they come. There has been a huge push down of curriculum, and kindergarten isn't what it was even 15 years ago when I was teaching it.

 

The best thing you can do is read to him often, and talk about the story and the print. It isn't necessary that he know his letters and numbers at his age, but it is worthwhile to start talking about it. He should be exposed to stories, print, and the idea of print as communication.  It doesn't have to be in any way formal, and doesn't have to wait until he starts school.


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#6 of 10 Old 01-24-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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Kids are expected to know that by kindergarten here too, but he has plenty of time before then. I would just read to him a lot, and include alphabet and counting books. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

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#7 of 10 Old 01-24-2012, 06:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

 Kindergarten is very different here, even while not being mandatory or full day. They introduce sight words by the 2nd or third month. Kids are expected to know alphabet and numbers to 20, and able to write and recognize their name before they come. There has been a huge push down of curriculum, and kindergarten isn't what it was even 15 years ago when I was teaching it.


They expect that here too (and introduce sight words by two months) but the curriculum still starts from the beginning.

 


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#8 of 10 Old 01-24-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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My youngest son wll be 4 in August so he is 3.5 as well.  I got his progress report today saying he doesn't know any of his numbers or letters(or refused to do them).  He can count to 10 but doesn't recognize written numbers.  Doesn't recognize letters aside from a few in his name.  He is really smart/verbal and I am kind of surprised he doesn't know it yet(he doesn't know it wth me either) but he also is similar to my first that would rather be running and jumping than learning.  I am not worried.  If he doesn't know it by kindergarten then I may start to worry.


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#9 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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If you think about it, there's nothing inherently intriguing about a number or letter. So if your child is inquisitive, that's far more important. The current push for children to memorize these things takes a lot of energy and brain power from developing conceptual understanding of the physical world around them and from learning social skills that will be vital to participating positively in society. 

 

Reading books to him about anything he likes and talking about what you read is fabulous. He'll get there when he's ready.

 

And tell meddlesome family members that y'all are working on his managerial skills right now... Think of all the managers you know who could've used a little more time learning how to play nicely with others.


Mom to 11 y.o. lawyer, 9 y.o. actor, and 4 y.o. pilot. I believe 'em on those, too!

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#10 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 11:01 PM
 
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Buy your parents a copy of Einstein Never Used Flashcards.

 

Encourage his inquisitiveness. Read books. Talk to him. Nurturing that inquisitive mind is much more important than memorizing random facts at 3 1/2. (Because face it, letters and numbers are random facts.)

 

 


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