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learning letters and numbers

(14 Posts)
rhetorician Wed 17-Aug-11 11:36:12

just curious, really; DD is 2.7, talks well, sociable, happy etc. enjoys books. We've made little or no effort to teach her the alphabet or numbers (she can sing the ABC song and recite numbers to about 15, but can't really count beyond 3 or 4) and I am wondering if we should try a bit harder, or just let her pick it up in her own time (her cousin could recognise all letters by 2, but I can say this has had any noticeable impact - she is now 3).

She can pick out a few letters, but doesn't seem to be that interested in things like this (she can identify different birds, flowers etc). She goes to nursery 3 times a week, but this is mostly play - which is as it should be.

Or should we just let her be and let her pick it up in her own time (we read to her a lot, point out letters etc)?

rhetorician Wed 17-Aug-11 11:36:46

can't say, sorry

babyocho Wed 17-Aug-11 11:41:23

I think as long as they show an interest, not necessarily in recognising the letters/words, its OK.

I think the ABC song is just like any other song to them, it's just words.

DD is almost 3.5 and not really that interested in learning the alphabet or numbers. Can pick a few out and recognise words. And can quietly sit and read to herself, using the pictures.

rhetorician Wed 17-Aug-11 11:45:10

I guess there will be a flurry of people telling me that their child could do it by x - she loves songs and I don't think it has anything to do with letters in her head!

Octaviapink Wed 17-Aug-11 12:08:37

I wouldn't worry - schools don't care if they don't know their alphabet when they show up. It's far more important for them to know life skills like being able to dress and undress themselves, feed themselves etc.

SilveryMoon Wed 17-Aug-11 12:16:53

I'd just let her pick it up in her own time.
Don't push her, she is still so small.
My ds2 is 2.6yrs and is learning his letters and numbers, but only because ds1 (who is 4) was sent home with flashcards from his school attached nursery to do in the holidays.
If she does it all now, when she gets to school, she'll be bored.
Just carry on reading and pointing out letters etc, but other than that, I wouldn't do anything else right now. She's too small, surely

YoungMotherTubby Wed 17-Aug-11 12:19:16

Intense coaching when they are pre-school makes no difference in the end - if they have 'it', they have it and if they don't, then they don't.
No doubt others will think their DC were at an advantage being taught early.
With my first DC I spent a lot of time going over alphabet, words and he could do sums up to 10 before he started school - and just had great exam results. Next two DC I just didn't have the time and one just got great results in his Standard Grades and the other is in top class for everything.
My 4th DC wasn't interested in learning pre-school - I could see from an early age it took longer for her to learn than her siblings. She's now 11 and had more time spent with her than the other 3 put together and just isn't academic. So we focus on what a lovely girl she is, how sporty, how much she reads etc and that academic ability isn't what makes a person

rhetorician Wed 17-Aug-11 12:20:49

thanks - you are confirming my instinct which is just to let her do it her way - she's very independent minded and will only do things if she can see the point of them - so I assume she will want to learn when she decides that she wants to read.

She is far too busy pretending to be cats/tigers and playing 'shop' with me...

pozzled Wed 17-Aug-11 12:25:08

Yes, let her do it when she is ready. So if she asks "What does that say?" then tell her, but don't push it. I do things like counting aloud whenever I'm with DD, putting away toys or whatever, but I wouldn't press her to join in unless she wanted. And I've just started to make sure she has access to things like magnetic letters.

My DD1 has just turned 3 and can count reasonably well up to about 7, recite numbers to 10 or 11 and recognise a few letters but that is all. I think the most important thing is to get them excited about learning, so sharing good books and talking about the world in a fun way.

cazzybabs Wed 17-Aug-11 12:26:34

There is all kinds of research (don't ask me to find it though) that suggests doing things like nursery rhymes, reading to your child, being a literate house, going to the library, being "creative" etc is far more beneficial than flashcards

SilveryMoon Wed 17-Aug-11 12:37:37

cazzybabs I think you're right. I hate flash cards, they are so boring, but the nursery sent them home for ds1's 'homework through the holidays'.
We do lots of different things with it though, I've hidden the cards in big bowls of pasta and cornflakes for him to dig out and fine.
I've taped them to plastic balls which we try to throw into the washing up bowl. I've hidden them around the flat for him to find. We've played pairs and snap and other things like that.
For numbers I printed out images of frogs, duck, sausages, spacemen and we do singing for that, we also go outside and play hopscotch, we count raisens when we eat them.
I do pen control work with ds1 every day, he traces over his name and I have printed out some work sheets, but he enjoys doing it and it's only 5 mins a day. then we sing, then play letters games and he has some phonics books we read together.
It all comes when they are reading and willing.

rhetorician Wed 17-Aug-11 13:17:11

no plans for flashcards - she's not even 3! she can identify writing, and will point to a word and say 'that says tiger' but it's the picture she's identifying; she's very imaginative and spatial - she made a boat out of a melon peel and a lettuce leaf the other day, good at visual identification, I think she just doesn't 'get' what letters are for.

silverymoon you've some brilliant ideas there, I might nick some of those!

pozzled Wed 17-Aug-11 13:21:55

Another 'flashcard but not really flashcard' idea- I made a postbox for my DD and some envelopes with the names of friends and family. It was just something to play, I wasn't really thinking about the learning aspect- but she loves finding the right letter for the right person and so is recognising names, 'Mummy' 'Daddy' etc.

SilveryMoon Wed 17-Aug-11 13:32:21

pozzled That is a great idea! I might steal that one.
Thanks grin

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