16 answers

My 3 Yr Old Daughter Doesn't Want to Learn

I have a 4 yr old and a 3 yr old daughter. My oldest daughter always wanted to set down and learn. She is very smart, she writes, knows all that she should for kindergarten and some for 1st grade. I know I can not compare them, but even simple things like setting down to do flash cards, playing go fish, reading book on letters or numbers, is a very difficult task with my second daughter. She knows her numbers, shapes, colors, the basic stuff. I am very patient with her, and we do thing on her time, so I know it is not because she feels pressured. I have read every article I can find on the internet, but nothing seems to work. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and if they can give me anyother suggestions that could help. Her father is upset with me for not working with her more, but there is only so many songs you can sing, and so many things you can count before she is tired of singing or counting. She is a very bright girl, she just doesn't want to learn.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The responses you have already gotten are great! I just wanted to add one thing that worked with my son. He is almost 4 now and never wants to sit still for any kind of lesson on anything. We bought some CD's to play while we were in the car that teach letters and their sounds and numbers and shapes and other things like that put to music. We just listened to these in the car every time we went somewhere and within a week he was seeing objects that were in the songs like trees, and saying "T is for tree". He was learning without it being forced. Also, there is a website that he loves, starfall.com, it has games and reading excercises and he can do it by himself. That's the part he loves the most. I hope this helps you out some.

It might be good to look into a 2 or 3 day preschool program. maybe if she is around other children doing the same thing she will be inspired to do more. I think it sounds like you are doing a great job, some kids just don't want to learn as readily as others and that doesn't mean that she will do poorly in school. Keep up the good work she will come around.

More Answers

S., please, don't worry. She is only 3. All children learn at their own pace, with different learning styles and different interests at different ages. While your daughter may be smart, she may be smart enough not to sit and learn but rather learn by exploration and manipulation of her environment, which is completely natural at this age and a very important element of her cognitive and physical development. To actually ask a 3 year old to sit down and do flashcards and perform structured academic type activities is unrealistic. Also, keep in mind that should she learn what you want her learn now it may put her out of sync with the rest of the children when it comes time for pre-school and kindergarten. By that time she may be far too advanced in some areas and can not learn with the others; a very important process for her developmentally. This will not only create boredom for her, but also could be a recipe for behavioral problems. Please, this is not something to stress about. I have worked with children in all fields for over 20 years and am currently a mental health counselor for children and adolescents, I can tell you from experience that forcing her to learn at this young age could be harming her more than helping her. Your doing a great job being so concerned, but give her time, enroll her in preschool and if you see problems then i.e. she is not learning with the rest of the kids, can not focus or follow along, etc. then you may want to evaluate the situation further, until then... happy parenting.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
Wow! It sounds like you are doing so much with your girls, and I applaud you for it. But please, please, please remember that your daughter is 3 years old, practically still a baby, and needs to play more than anything. Once she gets to school she will have 12 years of learning, then college. I am realizing the gravity of this right now, my son just started kindergarten. I really enjoyed the preschool years with him, watching him play and explore the world around him. My younger child is turning 2 and I just feel like it's such a gift to get to spend this time with him, before all the pressures of the real world set in. Enjoy your girls!

1 mom found this helpful

The responses you have already gotten are great! I just wanted to add one thing that worked with my son. He is almost 4 now and never wants to sit still for any kind of lesson on anything. We bought some CD's to play while we were in the car that teach letters and their sounds and numbers and shapes and other things like that put to music. We just listened to these in the car every time we went somewhere and within a week he was seeing objects that were in the songs like trees, and saying "T is for tree". He was learning without it being forced. Also, there is a website that he loves, starfall.com, it has games and reading excercises and he can do it by himself. That's the part he loves the most. I hope this helps you out some.

S.,

You sound like me. I have 3 girls. My oldest is a perfectionist and has been since she was small. She wrote her Thank you notes for her 4th birthday and very neatly. Her handwriting is still better than mine. She new all her colors, shapes, letters, numbers and sounds by the time she was almost 4. She was reading before kindergarten. She is now 10 and is high school level and beyond. The downside, she was bored in public school and a private school with an advanced curriculum. I had to quit work and homeschool. My middle child (2 years difference) is just as smart, but learns differently. She does great with written work, unless we are playing she cannot do oral math. Here is the wrench in my girls. My youngest is 4 (5 in Feb.). She is smart, but is more active than the others. She will play and sing etc. Since I homeschool I allow her to guide her workbook activities. She will tell me when she wants to do 'school'. She knows her colors, how to spell and write her name. She can identify some letters and numbers. She knows more sounds to letters than she can identify. I was really worried about her development. However, I have found I need to relax. She rode a bike at 2 and has incredible upper body strength. She is more advanced in her physical development than her sisters are now. I know she will learn. I just had to relax and realize that she is different from her sisters and will excel in different areas. I believe she knows more than she wants me know. We have sat down to read a book and she will tell me letters and sounds I didn't think she knew. However, if we were to review, she would act like she had know idea what I was talking about. Everyone has given you some wonderful advice and great ideas. Mine is, just relax, it will come, also be careful about comparing.

Take care.

First thing is first, pray on it, God is able work things aut when you least expect it.
I have two children as well, My daughter is 6 and my son is 2. My daughter is very smart, she learned her numbers, shapes, colors, ABCs and sounds when she was only 2. She also knew her address, phone number, my full name, how to spell her name and what state she lived in. I use to record her ssying all the things she knew. I taught her how to read at 4, she was reading simple words, like cat, bat, an so on. She is now in the first grade and don't want to learn, she refuses to do her work.
Now my son who is 2, does not want to learn his ABCs or how to use the potty for that matter.
I do understand what you are talking about, maybe it is a second syndrome, or maybe she does know the stuff and just does not want you to know. have you ever tried asking her why she does not want to do it.
When I was teaching my daughter I made everything either a song or game, it tuck in her mind a lot easier.
Good Luck!!

Hi there, My daughter, now 4, was the same way,so no worries. And it's sad that her dad would even be upset with you after all the hard work you do. I am a stay at home mom too with only one child and i know how tough it is but to have two must be a challenge. Anyway, I bought all the workbooks at wal-mart i could find, anything from preschool to kindergarten basics to mazes and the hidden picture workbooks. And yes we still had to find the exact time of day to "learn" but i would find myself leaving the books on the table where she could see them and when she noticed them we'd sit down and we would use crayons and bright colored markers to do the pages. After a while we were doing it every day. And something else i would do to keep our daddy happy would be to teach her how to spell a new word every day or so, even if it was GO or NO. Anyway, hope this kinda helps. Take care. jen swimm
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Hi Shellie:

As you stated they are individual. Everyone learns at their own pace and their own time. She's 3 and has 2 more yrs before she gets to school. My suggestion is continue but relax a bit.

No, you are right to say you cannot compare the two. Siblings can be very different and when you are used to one that wants to learn the next one can be a challange. Children learn in very different ways. Some like to learn by listening, some by doing, some by seeing. It can be hard to find out how your child learns best but it takes trial and error opportunties. They need lots of room to explore and grow. There is a lot of controversy over child care. Children learn from other children and in child care will take part in acitivities that build on developmental skills. Children are learning without realizing. You provide the opportunities for your child to explore and learn and they will. You'll eventually see how much they have learned and just did not share it with you. :-)

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