Teaching my toddler
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Don't force it or you could turn him off of learning.
#1 He's 4
#2 He's a boy
While there are definitely SOME boys that like to sit still and learn at that age.... there are many, many more who can't/shouldn't be bothered. Yes, learning is great, but the lessons need to be tailored to his interest/energy. Make it into games. Drawing in pudding (messy, yes, but fun AND yummy). The fact that he likes to sit and read w/ you is great. Maybe ask him how many of a particular letter he can find on a page.
Armanda - posted on 03/31/2011
Children learn best through play. Try some activities that incorporate letters or writing. Letter magnets are good for this. You can just let him play around with them, and name them as you go. Oh, you have the B, Mommy has the C, etc. Kids love to play hide and seek, even with objects. Hide some letters in the sandbox or in some plastic eggs, then talk about what he found. I wouldn't focus on trying to have him write actual words or letters. Start smaller, just making lines or circles. Kids enjoy playing with shaving cream, pudding, sand, fingerpaint. Put some in a pan and let him play with it. Show him how to make lines or circles in what ever you are playing with. See if he can copy you. Toddlers have shorter attention spans, about two minutes longer than their age, so don't expect him to sit for long periods of time. Just have fun together!
He doesn't need to write yet. Forcing him will only frustrate him and make it more likely that he'll have trouble with it.
Secondly, teaching him to recognize letters is great at age four. But he doesn't have to sit still to learn. This is an amazing website I stumbled upon recently. This former teacher and stay at home mom has so many great ideas for teaching young children in fun and practical ways. http://www.icanteachmychild.com/
Bonnie - posted on 03/31/2011
To add to the other comments, every child is different. Some pre-schoolers are very attentative and others are not. My 4 year old is the opposite of yours, he loves trying to spell and try to read and he would do it for hours if there was nothing else he had to do. My 2.5 year old who will be 3 in a few months, can't sit still for more than a few minutes even if it is just me reading to him.
Emily - posted on 03/31/2011
I don't know if it's normal for you to be frustrated, but I'm wondering if your frustration is due to unrealistic expectations. At 4 their attention spans are so limited. Don't push it. He will get plenty of help with letters at school. Feel free to work on it with him, but don't put pressure on yourself. That won't help him or you. Maybe make a game out of it.. but don't be surprised if he only has attention for a few minutes of it.
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