3 year old difficult to teach

Amy - posted on 07/01/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My 3 year old boy don't know his shapes, colors, or numbers. Should I be concerned? How can I get him interested in learning?

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Takura1 - posted on 01/14/2014

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I'm having the same issues. He has all the leapfrog learning toys. flash cards, learning books, computer games for the ipad, and desktop. I've even printed out work pages from the internet and my son cant count. He knows his colors and most shapes, but cant count. My husband and i count with him every day. His Grandma and Uncle try also. He says his numbers all jumbled (125467910). I'm lost for ideas. My Aunt is a principle of a private school, but I'm kinda nervous to ask her anything out of fear she will think i haven't been trying to teach him. But its crazy he even has issues with tracing letters. He has no knowledge of alphabets and I've tried so hard.

Kelly - posted on 07/02/2011

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Make it fun all children learn at different paces. My son learned his colors/shapes, before 2nd Bday, learned to count to 17 (why 17 probably because that is the number of stairs we have and we always count going up aand going down) shortly after 2nd Bday. He is hard to teach only because he is so active and the go not wanting to sit down for long. I bought him a matchbox or hot wheels car in every color and we would talk about the cars as we were playing or I would ask him for certain color cars. I also would color with him and ask him to hand me certain colors (start with a 2 or 3 crayons and then add more). Also point out color of cars, animals in public. He didn't even know he was learning anything. They learn through play. Count out loud everyday things like walking up steps, while cooking, food like grapes/ M & Ms, or count cars as he rolls them to you etc. Also another thing you can do is count while or swinging or jumping this also works for learning songs like the ABCs. Also Leap Frog has some really good DVDs like Lets Go To School, Letter Factory, and Math to the Moon that are really helpful:) Shapes he really got interested in traffic signs so that helped with the shapes. Also repetition works (read him a shapes, numbers, colors book every night). Also another good thing is sorting buttons (they are good for colors, shapes, and numbers) you can get them at a teaching store or cheaper at a craft store like Joanne's or Hobby Lobby. Good luck and don't worry:)

Heather - posted on 07/12/2011

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I wouldn't be too worried about what he knows (compaired to other kids) unless you see other physical signs of delay, like speech or hearing. Most kids learn things at a different rate and turn out fine. Great ideas from everyone else about incorporating the fundamentals into your day. I found that if I count how long it takes my boy to do anything (in a playful way) he will do almost anything; ex. "How fast can you get into your carseat?". Even if it takes him until 100 he still thinks it's fun and I don't have to fight.
Heather

Sal - posted on 07/10/2011

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I think we put pressure on ourselves and our children to be educated formally too early. I was worried myself at one stage and then I researched it and found that studies have shown that children who are educated at pre-school versus children who are raised at home or at a Montessori environment where other activities are mixed in or take preference of. When compared both children when actually at school full time evened out in their knowledge and understanding at age 5. I would just concentrate on enjoying the little time you have together as it does go fast and don't stop introducing new things like pointing to the blue sky and the green grass. or asking which t-shirt they would like to wear and when they point, say the red one today, ok. You will be surprised how much they pick up in their own time when they are interested. Don't worry, everything is fine. He'll do it when he's ready.

Keri - posted on 07/05/2011

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We have a lot of 'learning' books that we read. They concentrate on a colour, shape and # on each page, and we search for all the blue, all the circles, and count all the circles. They're our "quiet time" books, for when we're relaxing.

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Heidi - posted on 02/17/2014

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My son is 3 1/2 and is having a hard time with colors..is there any way of knowing if he is color blind? He knows brown blue pink and most other colors but can't seem to get yellow white or green... any tips?

Karen - posted on 07/13/2011

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There is a Great book that my friend swears by..."brown bear, brown bear"? It goes through all the colors and the kids pick it up fast. I have a 3yr old, but before I go crazy trying to teach him colors, I am going to test him for colorblindness....2 of my other boys have it and I drove myself crazy trying to figure out why they weren't learning. lol

Tina - posted on 07/13/2011

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My 3yr old is difficult also, I just keep the time really short and give him Candy or other rewards for doing good. Also we count our steps to the park or how many cookies he is getting. With colors I ask him what color is the toy hes playing with and correct him if he says the wrong one and show him the color he said so he can see the difference. At this age they would rather play so make it fun, also my son likes getting high 5s for getting things right. You could also try different games and make them count and say t he color before they move their piece.

Keri - posted on 07/11/2011

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If you think you need structure, they make preschool through usually 8th grade curriculum books. We have a preschool one for our son, who is 4, and when we can sit him down to do work in it, he enjoys it. There a blocks sets that the LIDS are shape sorters - find a set that has multiple shapes and multiple colors. If you can't do that for whatever reason, GO ONLINE! Do a Google or Bing or whatever search for the kind of thing you want and just add the word "free" in front of it and out pop hundreds of websites!

Tara - posted on 07/11/2011

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Have you tried puzzles? If he like puzzles that could be a big help. They have them with ABC's, Shapes, and colors. I have a very active almost 3 yr old and she is hard to sit down and teach but I found that if it is mixed in with toys she picks up on it alot quicker than me trying to sit her down. Also alphabet fridge magnets are awesome. They do make bigger ones so that they arent a hazard for your younger one. They are in lots of colors so they teach colors and letters at the same time. I didnt think my daughter knew her alphabet till she started telling me what the magnets were. I wouldnt try to rush or force it, he will get it when he is ready :0) I have also found that singing songs like ABC's is fun to her. I also quiz her like asking her if she sees the tree, and ask her what color it is... etc.... she thinks that is great. Hope that helps. Good luck. :0)

Amanda - posted on 07/05/2011

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I have a 3 year old and she still struggles with some things. With colors I would get my daughters favorite things and I would tell her what the color was and then ask her to repeat it. Numbers have been a totally different thing for us. One day she will count all the way to 10 and then the next day she has trouble counting to 5. We haven't started on ABC's. Remember every child is different, when he's ready he will pick it up quickly. You never know he may already understand what you are teaching him, but he's just not giving you any feedback. I had a lot of help from family. I would tell them I'm teaching her certain things and they would count with her and say colors with her. Be patient it will happen.

Amy - posted on 07/05/2011

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Thank you everyone for the advice! I hope it helps. I think he just don't wana learn because hes too active, but I never thought to count things like cars and stuff while walking. Its kind of hard to make him sit and learn when he don't want to, plus we got a 1 year old that just learned to walk, and she likes to rip his books up, so we just put all those up, and we read when she's napping. He trys to read, he'll tell me whats going on it the books, like by looking at the pictures. BUt I'm working on ABC's and counting right now, and shapes. Little stuff for now (= Thanks everyone, seriously!

[deleted account]

HI my son is 4 years old, he did not like numbers until I discovered a website called abcmouse.com It is a great site and my son is now obsess with numbers lol

Elfrieda - posted on 07/02/2011

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My son is only 18 months, so I don't really know, but isn't 3 years old still young for knowing all that stuff?
I can think of fun ways to practice colours (put a candy under some plastic tumblers of different colours, mix them up and he has to guess where the candy is. "under the red cup?")

Pauline - posted on 07/02/2011

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Have you tied those learning toys? I know some other moms have different opinions about this b'se I once agreed with someone who let her son playing with computer. Lots of replied came after that but if you can let him play in nick jr site or other sites that are age appropriate will help. My daughter has her own ipod loads with those free apps. She hardly use it nowadays as it is nice outside but she is now starting to read and she is only 2 years and five months.. I think they learn more when it is fun. My daughter is ripping off flashcards too but enjoy the flashcard app.

Amy - posted on 07/01/2011

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Thank you for the advice. I'm going to try these also. I tried flash cards, he rather rip them up. But I got lots more where they came from. LOL

Christy - posted on 07/01/2011

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Try flashcards and make it a point to do it al least 15 minutes a day. He'll get it soon, don't worry!

Katrina - posted on 07/01/2011

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don't make it structured...just incorporate the learning through every day things for example setting the table, 4 plates, 4 forks, 4 glasses. (or however many you need) Plates are circles. etc. Shopping, look at the different colours of produce, shapes etc. Stop signs are red because they mean stop. Traffic lights have red for stop, green for go. (Make a running game with coloured cards. You hold up a card and he yells the colour and does the action - green he runs around like crazy, red he stops, orange he moves slowly)
A girlfriend of mine has a 4 yo boy and she had people commenting that "J can't count to 10". She realised though that it was "J can't count to 10 - if you ask him to do so"...she found out because they went for a short bushwalk somewhere that had numbered "info" spots, as they passed one, J would shout the number and would also say what was coming next.
Make it fun or IF you do "sit down learning" only make it a short period of time - 15 to 30 min.

Good luck :)

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