Ask the Teach: Should I be worried about my preschoolers attention span?
Q: My preschooler has absolutely no interest in doing any kind of schoolwork. She doesn't seem to be learning anything at preschool. I try to teach her letters and numbers, but she soon forgets them. Otherwise, she is doing well in school and is well-liked by the teacher and her classmates. Do you think that she has a learning disability? I'm afraid that she may have problems next year in kindergarten.
— No Letters or Numbers
A: Young children change so fast. What they can't or don't want to do today, they may easily do in a month or two. We are not saying that you shouldn't be exposing your child to letters and numbers now. However, keep in mind that she'll be introduced to them formally in kindergarten. Instead of worrying about teaching her letters and numbers now, do things that are fun and will prepare her to learn to read and handle numbers. Work on increasing her natural desire to learn. Plan diverse activities that will let her learn what the world is like.
Forcing your child to work with letters and numbers now could turn her off to learning them before she even gets to kindergarten. Instead, read to your daughter every day and teach her rhymes. It is also a good idea to read signs to her when you see them. And call her attention to words in story books so she begins to get the idea that print has meaning. As far as math goes, the first steps to learning this subject are the sorting, ordering, matching and counting of objects.
Your child is actually learning a lot in preschool. She has learned how to get along with the teacher and her classmates, and she is learning how to behave at school. When she gets to kindergarten, you will find that some children are very skilled with letters and numbers, and others are not. Let her set the pace in learning them for now.