Is tutoring a good idea for a 3 and half yr old?

Veronica - posted on 02/07/2012 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Has anyone tried out Kumon or any other tutoring for their toddler? In my town bc of budget cuts they cut kindergarten classes down to only 2 hrs a day, due to my job and conflicting schedule my Sophie won't be able to attend. I don't want to wait until she's 5 to get her into school. Private school is too expensive and again conflicting schedules. I want her to have some type of academic structure so I'm thinking into tutoring. Am I too obsessive or what? Academically for her age she's on point with all her education needs.

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Carrie - posted on 08/01/2012

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As a childhood development professional and a parent of a 3 year old, the best thing you can do is read to her and give her opportunities to develop a love of learning. Discovery and basic curitosity is the best. Let her paint, draw, play with play-dough etc. all of these are good skills for young children to be ready for learning. Children need this or they have a harder time learning later. Educational Structure will come when she is developmentally ready.

Debby - posted on 07/31/2012

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As a former ECE and Elementary Teacher as well as a Mom & Grandmother, I can tell you that formal 'tutoring' can really turn off a child for learning (depending on the child, but by the time you can tell, the damage is done). Make play fun and educational....my newly 2 grandson loves shaving cream writing in the tub now that he's learned his ABCs. Invest in Little Einsteins and Leap Frog products which can be re-sold easily, expose to Sesame and Mickey's Club House and make sure there is social time. After that, there is a reason the Alphabet Song is still around....get cds and play them as you go. AND READ WITH YOUR CHILD--it is the most important thing you and Dad can do right now.

User - posted on 07/31/2012

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You can teach her much of what she needs to know for Kindergarten. Do you read to her at night, sing songs with her like "Five little monkekys jumping on the bed?" Pre-school helps prepare children socially and with seperation from their parents. You can take her to play-dates. Help her to know how to tie her shoes, count to . . .
Here, check out this website instead: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2012/03/...

If you do want to try a tutor, try "Wyzant" http://www.wyzant.com

Lisa - posted on 05/08/2013

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I bought a range of educational activity books my little boys looks forward to doing just 1page a day to get a sticker I think that's enough at this age he loves his swimming lessons and Sunday school but the parks a clear winner I would recommend galt abcs and basic maths.

Colette - posted on 07/31/2012

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I think learning by playing is better for toddlers. You want them to enjoy their age( so to say) discover and learn about new things without any unnecessary compromise to any part of their lives.
I am a mother of four kids who are all excelling both academically and socially and they all started learning by playing.
It worked for my kids and I will recommend it anytime. And I am a teacher!

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Liz - posted on 08/01/2012

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I don't think tutoring at such a young age is appropriate. Look around in you community for parent groups and expose her to other kids, heck just take her to the playground. Social input is just as important as academic, some would argue more so. Let your daughter be a child, she only gets one childhood make it a stress free happy one! Don't push academics she's got the rest of her life for that. Childhood is about play.

Antonia - posted on 07/31/2012

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Kids at this age don't need structure! At least not academically. They just need to play and explore their world. Let her be a kid as long as possible.

Faith - posted on 07/31/2012

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Kids dont need academic structure at 3 1/2. They need parents who play with them, do fun things with them and read to them.

Danielle - posted on 07/31/2012

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If she's on point, then why push it? There are YEARS ahead of her for academis pressure. If there's not a problem I wouldn't make one. You can do simple things with her at home...games, songs, even refrigerator magnets, that will get her the familiarity she needs with those things...that happens naturally. The most important things at this age is for her to learn how to interact with her world. I think the social part of pre-k is most important. So, I don't know if tutoring is the best thing for a 3 year old....best of luck in your decision!

User - posted on 07/31/2012

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With my first child, I was very worried about him getting into academics early on. We started Montessori at age 2, I got him all kinds of workbooks. I really wanted him to be reading by the time he started Kindergarten at age 5. I am regretting some of that now. I have since done a lot of reading about the importance of play in early childhood, and I wish that I would have skipped the workbooks, as researchers have found they are inappropriate for children under age 5 or 6. I am going with a play-based pre-school for my second son, where they nurture creative play.
I highly recommend the book Your Child's Growing Mind by Jane M. Healy. She explains how children learn at different ages, and gives all kinds of examples of fun activities you can do with your child at each age that stimulate brain development.

Helen - posted on 07/26/2012

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Hi all
Tutoring is definitely a good idea for a 3.5 year old child. My mother was very big on early learning, and she started teaching me to write when I was around 2 years old. By 3, I was reading and writing, and by 4 I could start on chapter books, in Chinese. Although now I prefer English, Reading in any language became a lifelong hobby ever since. So if you want your child to truly enjoy learning, you ought to start teaching him or her fast. It's never too early.
I live in NYC, and go to one of the best high school in the city, Stuyvesant High School. My classmates and I tutor kids from as young as 3-18, in all subjects. The material is still fresh in our minds and we know, from firsthand experience, what teachers would expect at every age. Many of us have already been accepted into MIT and other Ivy Leagues.
So, although school starts at around 5 or 6, the ATTITUDE towards education MUST be cultivated earlier to be the most successful.
If you are interested, please contact us at our site,
www.checkplustutoring.wix.com/site
Many thanks!

Roberta - posted on 02/26/2012

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I think a tutor would be good so long as it's not a one-on-one class. My daughter started preschool at 2 and she's loved it so much that she asks to go to school and even plays school at home. If your schedule is not really allowing you the time to sit down and teach her stuff then it really is a good idea. I have a pretty rough schedule so I don't get the kind of time with my daughter to actually do a lot of stuff with her so it really helps to send her to school and get her on a regular schedule.



I work in a cram school in China so I usually work afternoons and evenings 6 days a week...1pm- 9pm. She's learned her ABC's, her numbers, and is even moving onto writing. And while we still learn that stuff together she really gets more of it in a class setting.



Forgot to mention that her school is from 10am- 6:30pm M-F. Hubby usually comes home at 6:30 to pick her up from class. And I use the time in the mornings to read and play with her.

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If she likes 'schoolwork'... Walmart and other places have great preschool workbooks that are much cheaper than a Kumon type program would be. My girls at that age LOVED workbooks.... what am I talking about? They're 10 and still love workbooks. lol ♥ They've always done them at home for fun.



I'd look into other childcare options if all she's doing at her current babysitter is watching tv, but otherwise.... formal education can wait. Though you could always get some LeapFrog dvds to bring to her current babysitter. My son is starting to read some simple words (at almost 4) because of those dvds and me and his sisters reading to him. :)

Jill - posted on 02/24/2012

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I would say let her set the pace for whether or not you should get a tutor. My parents got a tutor for me not long after I turned two because I'd cry when I couldn't read the credits at the end of cartoons. I really, really wanted to read. :) Every child is different, and if you force a formal education on them at that age, it will backfire in the long run. Her social education is most important right now, but certainly, if she is showing a strong desire to learn something beyond that, find a tutor. Back in the day, my parents called the school district and explained their situation. They were put in touch with an older lady who was willing to work with me, and had the time to take me at times that worked with my parents' schedules. Best of luck to you both!

Heather - posted on 02/12/2012

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Nothing wrong with it. I say, go for it! But I feel that your better off just working with her at home on the weekends. You can print out so many FREE things online, purchase some cool workbooks online and at Target for her age group. Work with her on numbers, colors, alphabets, shapes, animals, and easy things like that. That's all she really needs to know to attend PreK or Kindergarten! Read to her before bed every night, 2 to 3 books or more. She will love that, and she will pick up on what you are teaching her quickly! Buy books that teach the things listed above, and you'll have it made!

Janet - posted on 02/12/2012

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I have a friend who's daughter did Kumon at barely 3 and enjoyed it. She only wanted to do it because her 8 yr old sister went for tutoring. I think it's a bit too expensive for preschool age, but more beneficial for older kids. Kindergarten is intended more for socialization( ie. learning to share, take turns, listen to a teacher than for memorizing etc...) Kindergarten in most of Canada isn't much more than 2 hrs a day( 4 1/2 days week) and seems to prepare kids just fine for school. I would get your daughter into a good structured daycare if you are worried about her coping in Grade 1. My daughter is Grade 2 now. Grade 1 is a big adjustment Kindergarten or not. It'a long day of having to pay attention and follow routine and get on with a wide range of other kids.

Mary Renee - posted on 02/09/2012

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I just read through a few of your posts so now I have a better idea of your situation.



Perhaps instead of the "plop in front of the tv" day care she's attending, you could look into programs at rec centers or the YMCA. Often the YMCA offers "extended after school care" but I believe it's only until 6:30. 7pm is late for most day cares. Good luck.

Mary Renee - posted on 02/09/2012

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I worked at a place like Kumon and I felt so bad for the kids. Toddlers and pre-school aged children simply do not enjoy worksheets and tutoring. They learn through hands-on play. I would not recommend that you force your toddler into any program where he or she spends over 60% of the time sitting at a table and doing worksheets. They should be learning math and science by playing with blocks, beans, sorting shapes that they can hold in their hands, pouring water in to containers, etc. Basically the kind of activities they do in preschool, that I'm not aware if they do at the particular place you're thinking of.



Another option is a "mom-share" preschool. You can try to check out list serves or regional forums to find out if their are other moms in your area doing something like this (I live in Honolulu, where schools are extremely expensive so their are a lot of families doing this kind of "preschool") Basically a couple days a week the parents take turns hosting "preschool" Maybe Monday of one week everyone goes to person A's house. Wednesday everyone goes to person B's house, next Monday everyone goes to person C's house... etc. Sometimes the parents stay, or sometimes just one or two parent stay depending on how many kids are involved.



The parent plans an activity for their "day" and this way the kids get used to socializing with other kids, doing organized group activities, sharing, and listening to the "teacher."



Just an idea I thought I'd throw out there!

Shereece - posted on 02/09/2012

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My 3yr old goes to daycare, and we use the Kumon work books with her and I love them they are really Great work books to use. Along with Abc mouse she enjoys them both.

Joy - posted on 02/09/2012

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If you only have a couple hours a day with her, then I would spend it enjoying the time with her.



My daughter was also going to a daycare like that for most of her life. It was only after her 2nd birthday that we moved her to a more active daycare that does not plop kids in front of the TV. Both are home based daycares. Maybe there's another daycare in your area that would be more active with her?

Veronica - posted on 02/09/2012

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Well I definetly know she's interested in school I was studying for a my x ray certification and she saw me studying she also wanted to sit down and study herself. I was like ok.. Maybe shell last a couple minutes. She stayed with her activity book for a pretty long while. The following week she kept saying she wanted to do homework. She has a great attention span she learned the alphabet at 2 with index cards I bought at the dollar store in 3 days. I just want to tap in every possible program with her.

Veronica - posted on 02/09/2012

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She's not at a day care, she's at a spanish babysitter with kids of all ages who plops them on the tv. So she's not a learning environment per say. Day cares around me close to early I get out of work too late.

Veronica - posted on 02/09/2012

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Well given she's my only child yeah I know I'm worrying too much, but it's beneficial for her. They offer tutoring for 3 yr olds too.

Veronica - posted on 02/09/2012

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Well because of budget cuts they cut down ore k to 2 hrs a day 8-11:05. I don't have a way in picking her up. Well it's not that she's behind. She's knows her shapes, alphabet, some basic math. I want her to have a n academic structure since she won't be in school until September 2013. I read to her we color we learn. But I can do only soo much in the 2 hours I'm home at night. I get home at 7 each night.

Joy - posted on 02/08/2012

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I'd do it only if she's interested in 'schoolwork.'



My daughter's 2 1/2 years. She goes to a daycare about 4 hours a day where there's a 4 year old that has been doing 'schoolwork.' His mom is the one running the daycare and she intends to homeschool him (which I'm also considering.) Because my daughter wants to do what the 4 year old is doing, she wants to do schoolwork too. I bought her a book on pasting and another one on cutting (They are Kumen.) I have to pick & chose the activities that she does because some of them are too advanced for her. We also don't do them every day - only when she's interested.

Jenny - posted on 02/08/2012

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I would say it's not necessary. Since you obviously work during the day, is she in some sort of day care? If so, then I definitely wouldn't worry because she is getting socialization. On the same token, my son's 4K was only 3 hours, and it was amazing! He was never in any sort of daycare though, so the being around other kids is what he really benefited from. Good luck!

Elfrieda - posted on 02/07/2012

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No, I don't think that's a good idea. She's only little, she learns everything she needs to just by playing. If you want to, try teaching her the alphabet or something like that at home. It's as easy as fridge magnets of different letters, and letting her play with them. My 2 year old already knows half the alphabet, and I'm not really teaching him, I just tell him what the letter is called when he asks, and sometimes to distract him while I'm in the kitchen I ask him to find all the Os or something like that.



And they say puzzles are good for the mathematics side of things. Get her some nice puzzles and some fridge magnets and I'd say that's all the tutoring you need!

Kay - posted on 02/07/2012

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At 3 and a half, you would be wasting your time. They don't have the attention span for structure on that scale.



Kids learn first by play. There are a lot of fun activities you can do that will teach her without overwhelming her. I really recommend the Busy Toddler Playbook. Lots of cool, fun things that let them learn while doing what they do best.



I can't stress enough that what you are doing now will set the tone for your daughter's educational career. If she feels like learning and academics are too difficult, that they will stress her, you can create a negative connotation that will follow her for the remainder of her life. Better to go with the flow and encourage learning in ways that she is comfortable with.



Good luck! :)

Serene - posted on 02/07/2012

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I would get her into playdates with other children. If anything she would be lacking social skills and all children will need that to go to kindergarten.

Kaitlin - posted on 02/07/2012

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I really don't think that's a good idea- you don't need to tutor your toddler- all they need is basic recognition for 'school' when they start around 4 or 5. I think, to quote yourself, 'too obsessive' may apply, especially if she's already on point. Focus on her social aspects of education. I don't even think you would find a program for a child that young.

Medic - posted on 02/07/2012

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Did they cut kinder or prek? Wouldn't she have to be 6 to enter the first grade? I do think you are a little too worried, kids will catch up even if they are a little behind. Just make all the time you have with her a learning experiance.

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