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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure where to put this, but this seems right <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Let me start by saying my DS is 3 yrs old. I also have a 3 yr old niece (M), a 3 yr old nephew (E), and another *almost* 3 yr old niece (L). My SIL's (mother to the Mand E) sister (got that) has an *almost* 3 yr old son also. Our children are all close, they play together, see each other often, etc. Within the past 6 months my SIL has decided that our children are *behind*. She thinks this because her sister's son not only sings the alphabet but recognizes all letters. He is in daycare full time. So my SIL decided that her children also needed to be in daycare (she works part time as a real estate agent) because our kids don't recognize letters yet. Honestly, I never gave it a second thought that my DS can't *read* his letters, he just turned 3 ya know? Is it normal for a 3 yr old to know them that well? I am a SAHM and we do all sorts of learning activities, he can count to 15 by himself (and actually counts things not just repeat the numbers to me), he can say the alphabet, puts together 30 piece puzzles with no help and well has quite a broad vocabulary. I thought he was right on track developmentally but maybe not...would you consider him behind?<br><br>
I'm just frustrated that my SIL feels like this also because my niece (M) seems to have a speech problem (the few words she says are barely understandable) yet my brother and SIL have decided to not have it checked out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Yet she's *behind* in other areas and they are pushing her in those...
 

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My son didn't really learn the letters as far as being able to point them out, till just a couple months ago, he'll be 4 in Oct. I think it's perfectly normal and to be honest... what the parents teach their children. I didn't care weather or not my son could say the alphabet (which he's been doing that forever it seems), or point out the letters or count. He can count up to 15 too. I figure they all eventually get it. You know. And some kids excel in other areas. My son learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer when he was 3..... that's what he was doing instead of his letters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's exactly what I've tried to tell my SIL, but she insists because other children do X or Y then hers should be able to also (and mine should too!). It upsets me that she's so concerned with that, yet her DD can barely say clear words and she says there's nothing wrong with it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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No he's not behind. Reading letters is a Kindergarten skill. Some kids get that earlier, others don't. Our dd (3 years 3 mos) does recognize all her letters, but she really cares. Her teachers at daycare (she goes 3 days a week) were surprised that she recognized her name in print several months ago. So, I think it's unusual.<br><br>
Tell her you're not worried. That he's working on other skills. There's no evidence that early letter naming leads to anything. And there's substantial evidence suggesting that pushing academics too early (rather than play) makes kids like school LESS rather than more.<br><br>
Your SIL's may be displacing her concerns about her daughter's speech. Your son sounds bright and creative. Pointing out letters is a minor skill. Kids develop different skills at different rates.
 

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omgoodness!!! there are kids that go to Kindergarten not knowing letters!!!!<br><br>
My dd is 3 and very bright, she can write an "A" and a "t" a random "u" and some squiggly "m"/"n" pattern for her name, and she can count to 12..... However, she does not know nor has interest in knowing all of her letters, though she can sing her ABC's (thanks to preschool)..<br><br>
My Opinion? kids need to be kids and while I will foster learning and follow her lead, I will not force her at this point to learn that stuff. I dont feel like drilling it into a 3 year old is necessary.
 

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I agree that reading letters depends totally on what the caregivers have been teaching the children. My kids are both extremely bright and very verbal, but we have not concentrated on learning the alphabet so that's not their strong point. My dd (4) lately has been showing real interest, so we take some time every day to work on writing the letters. But prior to this, we didn't do it. *shrug*<br><br>
I seriously do not think that not knowing the alphabet letters by age 3 means that a child is delayed. Seriously.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>angela&avery</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9030164"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">omgoodness!!! there are kids that go to Kindergarten not knowing letters!!!!</div>
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This really shocks you?? There are a lot of kids who spend most of their first few years sitting home watching TV or worse constantly. They are not going to learn their letters if no one ever reads to them or pays any attention to them.<br><br>
To the OP, just ignore your SIL. It's tough having cousins who are the same age and you really just have to focus on your kid. You son sounds like he's doing fine!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BJewels79</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9029374"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's exactly what I've tried to tell my SIL, but she insists because other children do X or Y then hers should be able to also (and mine should too!). It upsets me that she's so concerned with that, yet her DD can barely say clear words and she says there's nothing wrong with it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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That's silly. It's what you teach or put in the environment. But why does she *want* that so badly, and why does she think it's better to put her child in a higher caregiver-student ratio in terms of learning? Is it so hard to teach the alphabet at home if that's one of your goals? I mean go out and buy fridge phonics if you don't want to sit down with your kids or read them an alphabet animal book. It's a lot cheaper than daycare.<br><br>
We all choose what things to prioritize in terms of our child's instruction into how humans get on with life.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lindberg99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9030747"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This really shocks you?? There are a lot of kids who spend most of their first few years sitting home watching TV or worse constantly. They are not going to learn their letters if no one ever reads to them or pays any attention to them.<br><br>
To the OP, just ignore your SIL. It's tough having cousins who are the same age and you really just have to focus on your kid. You son sounds like he's doing fine!</div>
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I don't think she was shocked. <b>angela&avery</b> correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she was saying that it's within the range of normal for children to go through kindergarden and still be struggling with letters. My kids don't sit in front of the TV all day, and are read to several times a day. But they didn't have an interest in learning their letters until age 4 or 5. My 3.5yo DD isn't interested in learning her letters at all yet- but I have no doubt that when she is ready to learn, she will do so easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I tend to think my SIL is one who wants to *keep up* with everyone else....KWIM? I personally don't care who's kid is doing what in comparison to mine. (although I do get concerned when things, like my niece's lack of speech, is completely ignored). I've had several people tell me that is he doesn't know his letters, be able to tell time, and even read a few words by the time he has his K screening then he will be labeled as slow/behind and will be put into special classes. I just always thought those are things learned at K or at that age anyway.<br><br>
Of course, I guess I should remember that this is the same SIL who told me that she read/heard somewhere that one sign of autism was basically if a child can sit and concentrate on one thing for more than 30 mins then the chances are greater that the child could be autistic....so she was *worried* about my son since he'll sit and do puzzles for greater than 30 mins or color or *read* books, etc etc
 

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Of course it's not so much the not-knowing-his-letters, it's what it might *mean*. Not knowing one's letters before kindergarten is not a predictor of later reading ability, intellectual capacity, or anything else. Kids develop at different rates and this is *well* within the range of normal.<br><br>
I really dislike when people look at one tiny slice of development, behavior, etc. and make grand, sweeping conclusions. She won't share toys at 2: it must mean she's a selfish child and will be lots of trouble later on! He doesn't know his letters at 4.5: it must mean he'll be a terrible reader later! He is *still* breastfeeding at 3: he's going to be a clingy mama's boy forever! Ack!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I've had several people tell me that is he doesn't know his letters, be able to tell time, and even read a few words by the time he has his K screening then he will be labeled as slow/behind and will be put into special classes.</td>
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Holy cow! That is soooo not true. Ds is 7.5 and reads far in advance of his grade. He loves reading, and is a geometry whiz. And he can't tell time reliably using a clock with a face; he's still learning. And he didn't learn to read until he was 6. And he didn't know his letters until the middle of kindergarten.<br><br>
Let him be a kid!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annethcz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9031144"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think she was shocked. <b>angela&avery</b> correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she was saying that it's within the range of normal for children to go through kindergarden and still be struggling with letters. My kids don't sit in front of the TV all day, and are read to several times a day. But they didn't have an interest in learning their letters until age 4 or 5. My 3.5yo DD isn't interested in learning her letters at all yet- but I have no doubt that when she is ready to learn, she will do so easily.</div>
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Oh, I can see that must be what she meant. I read it like she couldn't believe that some kids don't know all their letters by kindergarten. But re-reading it, I can see it how you said.<br><br>
Sorry!!<br><br>
My 3 yo has no interest in letters either. But he can name every piece of construction equipment he sees. I never knew the names for anything until he came along!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lindberg99</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9030747"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This really shocks you?? There are a lot of kids who spend most of their first few years sitting home watching TV or worse constantly. They are not going to learn their letters if no one ever reads to them or pays any attention to them.</div>
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Well I can tell you that my ds who is 4.6 doesn't sit at home watching tv and not being read to, far from it but he doesn't know his letters. He's starting to show an interest now but there's no way he was ready earlier than this and I wasn't going to push him. I think it's perfectly fine for kindergarten age kids not to know this stuff. It doesn't automatically mean there's been no stimulation and that the kids are behind, some are just ready for it earlier than others. Ds has spent hours and hours cultivating a very vivid imagination and had really good social skills. That's what's important to him now and I don't want to put him off a life-long love of reading by trying to teach him stuff he's not ready for.
 

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Your ds is not behind. He sounds exactly like my dd. She doesn't recognize her letters because we haven't worked on that with her. We haven't worked on that with her because it's really *not* important at 3 y.o.! She's smart- she can learn to recognize letters and read when it's developmentally appropriate. I'd rather she have fun and learn through play right now.
 

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OT but I think it's funny that TV was brought up. My DD (5.5) has watched a LOT (and I mean a lot) of TV in her life, esp. in the past 6 months (new baby!). But, she can read really well!<br><br>
Back on topic . ..knowing your "letters" has little to do with reading anyway. My toddler learned to recognize (before the age of 2; I'd say about 18 months) almost all (I'd say about 23) of the letters of the alphabet in the form of sign language. She learned this from <i>Signing Time</i>. (Yes, more TV!) HOWEVER, I do not practice these with her as I do not want to confuse her with the idea that letters= reading.<br><br>
Another OT . . .I am happy to say that we are now almost completely TV FREE. (We'll do one movie or show a week on a scheduled day!)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chicagomom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9033153"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Holy cow! That is soooo not true. Ds is 7.5 and reads far in advance of his grade. He loves reading, and is a geometry whiz. And he can't tell time reliably using a clock with a face; he's still learning. And he didn't learn to read until he was 6. And he didn't know his letters until the middle of kindergarten.<br><br>
Let him be a kid!</div>
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A very big ditto - in so many ways. My (ahem) brilliant son was SO not into verbal/letter/word things for a LOOONG time. But he was obviously a "thinker" and a "questioner." Then he decided he wanted to read? Within two weeks he went from reading primers to reading a fairly simple chapter book (Magic Tree House, etc.) in less than an hour.<br><br>
My DD? Much more verbal AND in a "preschool" (they play mostly! really!) environment. She knew her letters at 3.5 years. She's no smarter (no dumber either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: ) but was just exposed to it so much more.<br><br>
The more I learn about children's brains and education the more all this quantitative measurement and labeling really bothers me.
 
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