What should they be learning at 3? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-15-2012, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We dropped by our daycare this week.  DD (3y) has been home with me and our baby for the past 10 months but they will both be going to daycare in a month.  As I am talking to DD's teacher she says "We will be learning to write our names" and I nod.  But I got thinking about it later I don't think she should be learning to print her name yet.  She has some letter recognition, knows colours and shapes but she doesn't even colour in the lines yet or colour things the right colour.  Printing her name seems a bit much.

 

Thoughts?

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#2 of 10 Old 07-15-2012, 11:43 PM
 
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its standard where i am.  its kinda beginnings of K readiness. 

 

the dcs where i am make it fun. it isnt about really writing names as much as doing fun things with your hands and paper and pencil. its also about holding the pencil.

 

btw - writing is still drawing at that age. in fact i know a lot of beginning K kids for whom they didnt recognise the letters of their name but they could write their own names because they learnt to 'draw' it. 


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#3 of 10 Old 07-16-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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At DS's school, they have them practice tracing the letters of their names and then provide space to practice. It's completely optional and it's just one of those activities they do while waiting for everyone to settle down at the beginning of the day. They are encouraged to try, but by no means pushed, and then when the time is up they can choose to post whichever piece of paper with their name on it they want -- either the blank piece where they attempted to write by themselves or the "sample" that has their name preprinted that they trace. I noticed several times there was at least one kid who chose to display their preprinted name with no markings on it at all, as if they just didn't feel like doing it that day. Others posted the blank piece that had scribbles and drawings rather than letters, and that was okay too. By the end of the school year, there were far fewer of these than actual written names.
 

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#4 of 10 Old 07-16-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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I agree with pp... in my son's 3-year-old preschool, it was referred to as "learning to write our names", but really, full participation was still optional, like most activities; nothing's pushed because all kids are learning at different levels, especially at early entry-level ages.  For some kids, it took the whole school year.  It's not like drills, repeating the name thirty times on a sheet of paper, but merely practice, usually at the top of an activity/coloring sheet they're doing anyway.  And who knows, maybe if given the opportunity, your daughter may very well be excited to try it out.

 

also- the daycare provider is trying to put on the best face since you're the customer, so printing their names may in fact be optimistic, but I'd prefer that to saying they'll just be doing a coloring page every day or something. 


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#5 of 10 Old 07-16-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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It was on the curriculum with my 3 yr old as well.  AND I hated it!  He had absolutely no desire to do it and she wasn't very sensitive to that.  Drove me crazy bc I kept getting notes home saying "Andrew is the only one in the class not able to write his name, I'm worried" and I just tossed it in the trash.  It's a 4-5 yr old skill, even at 6 is perfectly fine for them to still be learning so it didn't concern me.  Just make sure what their philosophy is and make sure they aren't punishing or forcing them to participate.


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#6 of 10 Old 07-16-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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I agree with PP's that it really depends on what the teacher means by "learning to write names." If she means everyone sits down together and traces their name as a forced activity, that is not appropriate. If she means tracing your name is an option during the day and their is no pressure then that would be appropriate. DS1 asked to learn to write his name at 3, so we worked on it when he wanted to at his pace and he learned it pretty quickly. (He is not gifted or anything, just average intelligence.) So for some children writing names is a three year old skill. 

 

Since you are obviously sensitive to this, I think you would have picked up on it before now if their curriculum was not in line with what you want. What kinds of things are hung in their classrooms? If they have walls filled with straight lines of identical art projects, that's a red flag. If they have more open ended items or even nothing, I would be much less concerned.

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#7 of 10 Old 07-17-2012, 09:40 AM
 
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I think it fairly common for three year olds to start to learn to right there names and to want to! Really, the method is the issue. If your daughter has 50 worksheet to complete and/or trace then it is pretty poor. If she is working on general fine motor skills (picking up corks with tongs, drawing with good quality pencils, working on puzzles, occasional practice on specific alphabet letters etc) those will lead to the skills for writing.

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#8 of 10 Old 07-17-2012, 09:56 AM
 
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Seems like something to start gently at 4 to me, having taught one fairly average boy to read and write already from 4-6. Forming letters with things other than writing is more on par for 3, like tracing in cornmeal or sand. And that's if you want to introduce that stuff early instead of put it off like Waldorf and the Danish, etc do. I mean, there is no need and no benefit to pushing it so early, so why not just play?

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#9 of 10 Old 07-17-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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My older one was five when he learned how to write his name and he's doing great at 8 1/2.  


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#10 of 10 Old 07-18-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Seems like something to start gently at 4 to me, having taught one fairly average boy to read and write already from 4-6. Forming letters with things other than writing is more on par for 3, like tracing in cornmeal or sand. And that's if you want to introduce that stuff early instead of put it off like Waldorf and the Danish, etc do. I mean, there is no need and no benefit to pushing it so early, so why not just play?

 

I think it is worth noting that for some children, writing and storytelling is a form of play at the ages of 3/4/5. Some kids will be interested and some kids will not. Some kids will teach themselves because they want to express themselves. I think it is a mistake to look at learning at writing or reading as work alone. My son was interested in letters at an early age, knew the complete alphabet by sight before 2 and taught himself to write most letters right when he turned 3. He has been writing long stories with illustrations for over two years (and cannot read). It is one of his favorite acitivies.

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