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How do I get my son to learn his numbers and letters?!?!

I try almost daily to use flash cards with my son. Plus he has an alphabet puzzle and the toy that goes on the fridge that says the letters and numbers when you put them in. But nothing works!! He will sit with me and do them for 10 min. or so then he just leaves. I try so many different things, rewarding...taking things away...time outs...nothing works! He is so ready to go to school next fall, he gets so excited when we talk about it, but I can't get him to work with me for anything!! And I know he should know his letters and numbers by now, I just can't seem to get it through to him! He talks very well, I get compliments all the time on his speech. He is a very intelligent child but nothing I do works with him learning to actually recognize numbers and letters! Please help me!!!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:40 AM on Jan. 11, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (12)
  • by going to school? Watching Sesame Street? things of that nature help

    Answer by Zoeyis at 8:45 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • He's not ready. Don't push - it'll come. I am not a fan of flash cards, etc. Make it into a game, etc - have an "a" day - eat things that start with "a" - look for the letter "a" as you go thru the day. He's young - he will get all that in time :)

    Answer by AAAMama at 8:53 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • It sounds as though your son might be one that desperately needs preschool. You can get him in now for the second semester. This will show him how to learn and he will see others learning and participating. Being able to participate and be part of a group is very important to school readiness.
    Often, communities have programs that are low cost or free for this. Having youngsters ready for school is so very important for their school success and schools are recognizing this.
    See about getting him enrolled. It will help him be properly prepared.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 8:58 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Don't sweat it, he'll get it. :) I personally would drop the whole flash card thing, if he isn't wanting to "work" with you then coming at him with obvious tools isn't going to help. Punishment isn't what you want to do either. Don't feel like he's behind because he isn't! It's great you want to send him to school knowing all of his letters and numbers but it is perfectly fine if he doesn't. Our oldest knew everything at 2, he was my sponge baby. lol Our middle sounded like your son and wanted nothing to do with that stuff. When she got to school and sat in a class with other kids she took it all in no problem and got excited about working on it at home. They're all different, yours is fine.

    Answer by Jessica157 at 9:04 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Go to the library and get picture books to bring home but also do some lessons in the library for a short period. At nights before bed time in bed look at some of those books and have him repeat what you are showing him. The key thing at the moment is getting him learn patience in sitting in one place and learn.


    Answer by musicmom08 at 9:04 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • I worked in a preschool for 3 years. We used it is an awesome website that teaches letters, counting, and many other things. The kids really enjoyed it.

    Answer by SweetOrangeMama at 9:36 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Do not push him!! I learned that myself. Children can shut down when pushed. Flash cards may not be fun for him.
    Try Nick Jr. Seasame Street things of that nature.

    Good luck mom

    Answer by 4xsthetrouble at 10:04 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • My son is 3 and doesn't have any focus or interest in learning letters or numbers either. I just keep trying and trying to make it fun. Don't discipline for lack of interest or he will look at learning as a punishment but just retry to introduce it.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:54 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • Do fun things like a scavenger hunt for letters outside, I use to hide flash cards outside and my DD would go hunt for them or get educational dvds like Sesame Street. My oldest is 4 and she is in preschool for 4 hours a day and she loves it and has learned alot.

    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 10:59 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

  • go to and search the abc song! my son loves and now he sings along and there are counting ones to he loves

    Answer by Rebecca25 at 1:56 PM on Jan. 11, 2011

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