Advanced search

To be not the slightest bit bothered that my 3 year old doesn't recognise any letters or numbers?

(29 Posts)
Picante Fri 17-Jul-09 11:46:29

Well actually he does know number 3... following his birthday. smile

I don't spend any time with him learning letters and numbers. He can count objects up to 10 and that's enough for me.

I have friends who boast about their children of similar ages (and much younger, of course!) who know their entire alphabet and can also write lots of numbers and letters.

One of my friend's sons only knows capital letters which quite frankly is ridiculous as he'll have to start learning them from scratch at school.

He probably does some letter and number work at nursery (not at pre-school til September), but if he just plays then that's fine by me.

My mum thinks I should be spending time with him encouraging him to hold a pencil properly and do lots of drawing -he's not interested in drawing!

He loves catching woodlice and building robots out of lego... and that suits me just fine! grin


OrmIrian Fri 17-Jul-09 11:48:59

Not in the slightest bit unreasonable. He sounds just right for 3! There is time for all of the rest of it.

But I do sympathise re the pressure from other parents and GPs. Best to smile and nod and then do what you want I think.

musicalmum43 Fri 17-Jul-09 11:55:08

You are NOT being unreasonable. Resist the temptation of "teaching" this age group - colours and numbers come up in everyday life, so that's fine. He might, repeat might, be ready by the time he goes to school to recognise his name. My DS wasn't, but went off the reading scale at age 9, ie was above standard expected for GCSE. It's hard not to join in with this mania for early "education", but you are giving him a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a fantastic childhood. Relax and enjoy this special time. Those kids who "know" all their letters? There won't be any difference when they get to 8, I guarantee it. Pencil grip? It shouldn't be that great yet. If you are worried when he's 4 rising 5, get triangular barrel pens and pencils as that will encourage the correct grip. And remember, you know what your DS needs more than anyone else.

vjg13 Fri 17-Jul-09 12:09:23

YANBU I have always been baffled by this type of competetive parenting.

thinkingaboutdrinking Fri 17-Jul-09 12:09:58

YANBU. After all, that's why children go to school. And if they know it all already - they'll just have to sit through everyone else learning it in reception anyway!
Plus, lots of people say their LO know the alphabet, but they don't actually know the "correct" (phonic) way of saying the sounds that helps them to read, so they have to re-learn it all when they go to school.

Picante Fri 17-Jul-09 12:10:30

Horah. You'd think I'd be much more pushy seeing as I used to be a primary school teacher!

ThingOne Fri 17-Jul-09 12:21:19

As far as I'm concerned the only letters you need to teach them before they go to school are their initials. It's helpful if they can recognise their names by the time they start school. But they've still got a whole year to do this.

PrammyMammy Fri 17-Jul-09 12:22:21

I only know one 3 year old(4 in Dec), but she was taught to write her name last year at nursery, and to write numbers, how to draw shapes etc? I thought that was just when it happened?
It's good to know i still have a few years before i worry bout anything like that though.

sarah293 Fri 17-Jul-09 12:23:50

Message withdrawn

Noonki Fri 17-Jul-09 12:25:01

YANBU - my motto is if they are interested teach them otherwise it can wait.

DS1 knows a few letters as he is always asking, DS2 not interested in the slightest so will hold out.

GrungeBlobPrimpants Fri 17-Jul-09 12:27:16

YANBU at 3 they need to play and do other stuff, I personally really disagree with all this competitive early learning stuff. In a year's time some will be ready but a lot won't - nothing to worry about.

Sheeta Fri 17-Jul-09 12:34:44

So.. I guess flash cards are frowned upon for preschoolers then? Wondered why MIL put them away and refused to let DS see them. grin

GrungeBlobPrimpants Fri 17-Jul-09 12:38:04

Oh I was given flashcards by dc's grandparents. Briefly gave 'em a go and dc's ignored them, the discovered they were useful to build 'roads' for toy cars on the carpet grin

Nancy66 Fri 17-Jul-09 12:39:26

...but surely he can speak French? Latin?

Miggsie Fri 17-Jul-09 13:07:42

YANBU, knowing letters and numbers is a useless skill for a three year old.
They will learn at school, I mean those teachers should earn their money!

I did nothing like this with DD but she got on fine in school and now knows lots and lots.

You are better off chatting with them and taking them to interesting places to fire their imagination.

Picante Fri 17-Jul-09 13:12:54

Gosh I think this may be my first AIBU where everyone agrees with me! Thanks all!

singersgirl Fri 17-Jul-09 13:17:05

Some children just learn these things anyway, from normal exposure, and some don't. I didn't consciously set out to teach DS1 his numbers, but he liked Thomas the Tank Engine and he learned them up to 9 from the engines before he was 2. He didn't know they were a skill, though - he was just interested in identifying engines. He didn't pick up letters the same way and I think he was taught them between 3 and 4 in nursery.

I had this expectation DS1 would read at 3 blush as quite a few family members seem to have done this, but he didn't, and I didn't teach him.

I did teach DS2 to read at 3, though, because he asked me to.

MamaLazarou Fri 17-Jul-09 13:20:52

I don't think children who know their numbers and letter would necessarily become bored at school while other children learn theirs. I could read and write before I started school, but loved it when I got there.

To the OP: No, YANBU at all. Some children are bookish from the outset - others prefer climbing trees and stuff. Everyone's different, but most of them get there eventually.

JemL Fri 17-Jul-09 14:20:49


And I am feeling absolved from the guilt of "I should be teaching DS letter / numbers like everyone else" when he just isn't interested. He can tell the difference between numbers and letters (I suspect due to numberjacks!) and enjoys stories and looking at books, but definitely isn't interested in asking more.

sabire Fri 17-Jul-09 14:24:40


My 4 year old can recognise 12 different car badges, but can't write any letters at all.

He starts school in September.

When you put a pen in his hand he generally just uses it to stab something (not other children though thank goodness!).

audreyraines Fri 17-Jul-09 15:10:45

DS (2 1/2) likes to read all the letters in road signs/the newspaper/whatever. he's just like that, it's his thing. but i can equally imagine having a child that would rather be running or jumping or building roads. whatever, i feel it all balances out wiht time.

Horton Fri 17-Jul-09 15:53:26

YANBU. Personally, I think at this age, it's a lot more useful to be learning things like how to put your shoes on by yourself, if you must teach them something! DD (nearly 3) is quite interested in letters and numbers but I've never sat her down and tried to get her to write any or anything. She only really knows the kinds of things that have come up in daily conversation ('what's that letter' etc so I tell her).

katiestar Fri 17-Jul-09 17:52:11

YANBU.There are a million things which would be more useful for him to learn at 3

clayre Fri 17-Jul-09 17:56:49

my four year old ds knows no letters or numbers, he can recognise his own name but cant name the letters in his name, he's far too busy climbing trees and playing with toys to be bothered learning letters and numbers.

NightShoe Fri 17-Jul-09 18:56:11

YANBU, but my 3 year old who does know her phonetic alphabet, numbers up to 30, can spell and write her own name and read some basic words is not the product of competitive parenting, she is just a geek for things like that. One the other hand, she can't climb a tree or kick or catch a ball for toffee and I certainly don't make any effort to teach her these things, she can learn those at school.

I suppose I'm just saying, don't always assume that children who know these sorts of things are being hothoused, sometimes they are just really interested in these things.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now