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September 11, 2004



I constantly worry if my son is where every other child his age is. What he can't get to grips with my friends children can do or say very well and they are younger! But what they find difficult, he finds a breeze. Just like every adult, every child is different. They have different ways of learning so we should adapt to different ways of teaching. Wouldn't it be boring if all children knew the alphabet and can count to 100 by their 3rd birthday. Take it each step at a time and get excited about every little acheivment and new thing they learn rather than making it a competition between them. What you must be doing to their self worth by comparing them to other children is pathetic all for the hope they will recognise 26 letters! They have their whole life to learn those 26 letters! Just remember you don't have to be a genious to be successful. Be happy your child doesnt follow the mould, they will make you proud no matter how long it takes them to learn something.


My daughter was born at 28 weeks and like your son can't pronounce some words clearly. She is three years old and will be starting speech soon. She knows how to spell and write her full name, can say, identify, and write all her abcs, knows their sounds, can count to 100 if I help her with each new 10, knows her shapes, color and can idenify her numbers to 10. She can do simply addition when I use manipulatices (I know she doesnt fully understand the concept, but since she asks to do this I entertain her. Today, we began to look and punctuation marks and she can identify a question mark. I do not push her and I help her whenever she shows interest in something new and read to her each night at bedtime/


My daughter is 3 years old and can count to 50 in enlish and 20 in spanish she knows her abcs. how to spell her name by saying it. can write half of her name on paper. knows all shapes and can draw them and identify them in the room and I didnt intenially teach her anything. She just would ask questions so I would tell her. I care for her learning but She wanted to know all on her own. She knows day and night. Sun and Moon. And opposties and can say stories and remember buidling and places we visit. It called.. Quality time with your kid. I take her everywhere so she not just exposed to her bedroom but the world. Do that and your child will learn on her own! :)

Jamie Simmers

i have a three year old who by the time she was two she was counting to twenty and knows all her shapes she was really interested in learning the since she turned three it seems like she put all that on the back burner so what im trying to say is dont pressure your childinto learning early because they wll lose interest in it.


I think it all depends how much you expose your kids to and see where their strengths may be. I know that many of my sisters-in-law did not introduce many things that I do for my children (such as my 2 year old knows his address, what types of clouds (cumulus, cirrus, or stratus)are out during the day, studying objects through a microscope, can recognize ABC's both uppercase and lowercase, colors, and shapes. He also is obsessed with his "Big Truck Book" and knows 99% of the vehicles in the book (without me working with him on this). Although, he doesn't know the alphabet song (I sing it every day), cannot count to 5 (only up to 3 then he makes up the rest with other numbers) and is not potty trained. I work with my son on all of the sections where he isn't as strong too, but he picks up some things easier than others. I think it is important to expose your kids to many things because they may not be good in something, but be really great in something else and you wouldn't know unless you educate them.


my son will be 3 may 18 2010


my son i very smart he knows his abc's,the sounds they make too. he can also count to 10 in english and spanish. but he will not get out off diapers.


I think sometimes our children can preform as much as we teach them. Most children are smart they just need the right tools. If parents spend time with their kids they will excel. There are some exceptions to the genious kids out there but almost any kid can be a genious, it just takes time and dedication. Knowing the ABC's in kindergarten by no means makes ur child a genius. My 3 year old can recite the ABC's and is begining to recognize letters and he is no genious. I just spend time with him!!!


ask your pediatrician what your child should know or be doing at age 3.

good luck


I think you are a great mother by just that fact that you are concerned about your child's learning. I also think that teaching your child at home is the best thing for him. No one can love your child more than you do. Boys and girls are very different. Boys seem to learn slower than girls. My daughter is 4 and well advanced for her age. Her little brother is 2 and not quite as fast at learning as she is. Every child is different. I don't think you should stress about it at 3 years old. I'm not exactly sure what a 3 year old should know. I am going to focus on teaching my almost 3 year old to recognize letters and numbers and colors and take it a step at a time. My son also seems to be sloppy when he speaks and I have encouraged him to repeat words after me with the correct pronunciation. The cool thing about teaching your child at home is that you don't have to do it all in one sitting or at a certain time. You can teach him throughout the day...at mealtimes, before bed, etc. We like to talk about colors of our plates and cups at lunch. My daughter likes to give math problems like, "if I have 5 carrots and I eat 1, how many do I have left?" I hope that this is an encouragement to you. You have several years before your child starts school or homeschool. Enjoy it...make it fun.

Rosalyn Cary

All of you are complaining about parents who have taken the time out to socialize and teach their toddlers. My toddler is three and has known his pledge of allegiance since two and alphabet at one. Am I bragging? No that's just the truth. Many parents are automatically offended and believe other parents are bragging when they mention something there child can't do or should be doing. A three year old needs to be read to daily, sang the ABC's and socialize with other kids in order to learn. All kids are different it does'nt mean that one parent is braggin or another parent is not doing their job. It's up to us to teach our child not teachers. Education starts at home. A three year ole can still play and learn there is nothing wrong with it.


Knowing the alphabet is not a must for a three year old. They learn that in kindergarten. Most parents today are crazy nuts who pressure their children at young ages. Let babies be babies and enjoy themselves. Parents only want their kids to know so much so they can brag about how smart their kids are. Don't worry about a three year old not knowing letters and numbers because it is not necessary.

parent and grandparent

What happened to kids just being kids? I think society tries to make them grow up too fast. I am a mother of three, and grandmother of 6 and have seen them each develope at their own speed. It's great to say yes my toddler can read or write and knows all of his or her numbers and letters. Look how smart my child is! And if we teach them all of this why are we sending them to school? If we as parents or guardians have to do this why do we need teachers? I say that we should let our toddlers rolls in the leaves and play in the dirt and just have fun! Education and adulthood will happen soon enough. If you can make learning a few bascis fun for your toddler go ahead but don't think the world will end because your toddler can't read or write when they enter kindergarden. I did just fine and so have my children. Enjoy your babies while you can because you can't turn back time!
Grandma of 6


Hello everyoneone I have read your comments, I am a pre-K Teacher for a 3 year old that is wen they start Identifing the leeter and numbers, you must remember that learning come in stages. when they become older threes you will see a different


my son just turned three, and went for all the testing like you said yours did. I stay at home with mine also and they keep telling me he should be in daycare, we dont have the money for daycare and it seems stupid when im home all day to care for him anyway. im in ga, if you are close, perhaps our children could play together, and learn from one another =)


I was reading the the comments and also found that the original question wasn't addressed.
My son will be 3 in May .. and i also wanted to know what he SHOULD know and be able to do by the time he's 3.
And one thing i learned is depending on the school, county or district ... every school/organization follows a different cirricullum. My son is currently being guided under the Carolina Cirricullum. and my next move is to contact the school is will be attending next to find out what cirricullum they use so i know what my son will need to know to be on pace when he starts school there.

My son is in early start preschool since 22 months and ...but still needs speech therapy. He knows the ABC song .. but not the individual letters yet.

Your son sounds like he's on pace...It's definitely hard when your kid is being evaluated...

Hope you find the information you need :)


And here I was concerned that my two year old was behind since I wasn't putting her in daycare. I feel much better now by reading all of your posts. She is 29 months and has known her letters by sight and song since one and a half and was able to count up to fifty before she hit two. Maybe I am teaching her more than what she could learn in daycare afterall. Phew!

Kim S.

My son is three and a half. He is at a childcare facility while I work everyday. Recently I have been concerned about what he knows and what he should know. I feel like he is not learning in that facility. It seems like all he does all day is play and color. I am considering putting him in another childcare facility but I know he will have a problem adjusting. He seems to shut down when you take him out of a familiar situation. I know this will be best for him because I know how smart he is and I just don’t want him to be behind when he does start pre-K or kindergarten. I am also working on letter recognition with him at home. It is tough though because we don’t have enough time to spend together working on activities being that I have to get dinner ready, bath time, and get him in bed at decent hour. Plus me getting my degree gives me little time to do work with him and do my own studying.


You know I think a lot of these comments on here are more about you all talking about how great your kids are rather than answer this concerned mother's questions.


My DS is 3.6 years and can say his ABC's but does not recognize them. He can count to 10. He doesn't know the difference between numbers or letters. This is what I think anyway. I have discovered that my son will do so much more for others than he will with me. He does more for my husband than he does with me. I am concerned about him but I don't think I get a true picture of how he is doing if he clams up when I am around or always refuses to do things. I even make it fun but he is smart and can figure it out...mom wants to really do the alphabet. That is smart eh? I also spoke to a child care professional who said that any child can memorize the stuff but to gain a clear understanding at 2 or 3 is not very likely. I agree. For those who have kids with great memories to memorize this at 2 or 3, think of the true understanding they need. A prime example of this is my son and his colours. He knew them all and some letters. I didn't put as much emphasis on it as he knew it at 2 yrs. He is now 3 and doesn't know it or knows bits and pieces. Did his memory slip him a bit as he didn't use it? When he can understand it, he will not have to rely on memory alone. He will know it. After all the letter A isn't just the letter A. I am letting nature take it's course, as I feel I have no other choice..fun or not he will not do it. He is being enrolled in a pre-school program in Jan. I hear it is good. Who knows, maybe I don't know my kid as well as I think.


I know we all want to think our children are the best at everything, but this is not always the case. As seen above some like to brag a little and make people feel thier children are inadequate. Being a mother of three boys under four, my focus is on play, play and more play. they will spend plenty of time in school when they are older. Let them be children for longer and find out who they really are, instead of pushing and pushing them. Research shows that those who spend the least number of years at school. (not starting til the age of 5 or 6) have an overall higher academic level


Wow, I feel sad that so many people have responded to your concern with laundry lists of what THEIR children can do- which only emphasizes what your child is not doing YET. Do not be discouraged by this unintentional jab to your heart. Kids learn at different paces. Also, do not be discouraged about keeping your son home with you. Now that you have been told what the school systems and child care providers would like to expect from your child, you can work on it at home with him. You are his best teacher. No one will ever love your child as much as you do. Just because he isn't reciting his alphabet or recognizing letters and counting to 50 by age 3 doesn't mean he isn't a bright child at all. Work with him a little. I have a child with a developmental disability whom I was told was mentally retarted. Turns out he's much more advanced than the majority of children his age range (4-5 years old) he just doesn't have the language and had some cognitive issues, but he was all along teaching himself many things. I am still often surprised when he will describe to me while riding in the car that vehicles have shocks that soften the bumps when you go over them, or how the sound of water on the tires is actually made when the roads are wet. Your son could be just fine. Of course, if there is a disability, keep your head up. I'm telling you- you can teach your son many many things and there is also a lot of help available for things like speech and even occupational therapy and stuff like that. But I just want to repeat- hang in there. Besides, these developmental guidelines are made up by a lot of people who do not actually have hands on experience with children but have paid astronomical amounts of money to write lists of things kids should be able to do by chronological ages. Many of these tests and evaluations are simply not fair and unrealistic.


My son is 2 and he knows all the alphabet and the sound that each one makes. He also knows his numbers up to 10. He also just learned to write M since his name is Matthew. His speech is not perfect yet though. He understands everything we say to him in English and Chinese but has a difficult time repeating us. He does speak Chinese better then English though. He suprises me everyday. He sometimes just says things randomly. the other day he walked up to me and said turtle or he showed me four fingers and said four. They all learn differently and at a different speed.


I am a teacher at a elementary school in GA. I think it's important to know that all children are God's children. They are put here with there own special gifts. Just because your child can read at three does not mean they are going to be a genius. I have seen very bright spoiled children that do poorly when things get difficult because their parents have told them how smart they were and they cannot function socially. Make sure you are pullling what is special out of your children. Give them time to develop. Calm down! Let go and let God. Focus on their strengths and their weaknesses will become less. Good luck!


My son is three, his birthday is in July. He recently started pre-school. He can only itentify O I And sometimes S. By the end of this years the school would like him to be able to point out all of his ABC's. It would be great if he could but I am not worried about it. The same thing they are going over now is the same thing they get in Kindergarden. It just makes it easier if they learn it earlier that way when they start to read in Kindergarden and First great they don't fall behind. I will tell you from experience that in private schools they need to know all of this before entering, unlike public schools. Good luck and I would not worry to much. I am a working mom and don't have a lot of time to work with my son. I felt guilty for the longest time. Than realized that we all do the best that we can as parents. If you kid know his letters and numbers by the end of Kindergarden the he is doing fine!!!
Kindergarden teacher of 20 Years!!!

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