Monday, April 14, 2008

Am I expecting too much?

Yesterday evening I started to play the alphabet puzzle with Anirudh with the idea to teach him phonetics. But soon after I realised he doesn't know the sequence of the letters except in his ABCD song. I was kind of shocked. I had thought that he must have been taught this at his school in nursery but I'm so speechless.

He can recognise the letters but he just doesn't know which letter comes after what. He is 4 years young and I don't know what all he is supposed to know by this age.

When we didn't get into Pre0primary (earlier called as KG) after all the admissions chaos because firstly very few schools had opened up admissions for KG this year and those who did, were either too far away so we didn't rank up in the point system or secondly were the not so good schools that we preferred that he loose one year and do nursery again but in a good school. We had mulled a lot about him losing this one year but finally decided its for the better.

But yesterday I wondered its good that he didn't get into KG looking at his simple Alphabet knowledge.

I don't know for sure. I may be wrong and expecting too much but please do tell me what is the basic knowledge level expected out of a 4 year old with respect to simple alphabet learning skills.

And its not just the alphabet, its the numbers. He always fumbles up with his counting too. He always eats up 13 and 14. So if I ask him to recite the numbers after 10 he will go 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19 and after a bit of thought 20. He remembers to say 16 sometimes and sometimes that is also forgotten.

I guess I will have to work with him everyday on this just the way I did with the "Days in a week" practice. Its been a month since he remembers all the days in the correct sequence

But please do tell me what your 4 year olds know or rather what are they supposed to know by this age. Probably its my mistake for not practicing with him often. But I do need to know.


  1. Do go through all the points:

    At the end you will also find some links for what a child is taught and supposed to know at preschool.

    I think he is a brilliant. Whatever you do, make sure you do not push him so much that he hates learning and going to school at this age itself.
    He has to develop a positive attitude towards learning and going to school to be happy. Easier said than done! maybe. Or is it the other way round, if only we would stop worrying about it too much.

  2. heyy.. i dunno what a four year old SHUD know... but one of my nieces turned 5 recently, she's going to senior KG this year...
    she knows her alphabet and also basic addition & stuff... but then, she has an elder sis... so she picks up things from her... so maybe she knows more than she's supposed to... will chk with cousin this weekend & keep u posted...

  3. Chill :)

    Sequence of alphabets is just rote. There is no brain development fundamental involved in it. Since it is rote, kids almost always get it right when they sing it but get confused when they have to answer q's like what comes after c and before e. First of all teh concept of 'before' and 'after' are confusing for a four year old. Like wise tehre will be B-D confusion, M-W confusion. If these exist in a five year old, yes, one must be concerned, but not in four year olds.

    BTW, 16 is the most forgotten number in teens :) There are stats. Your child is not alone.

    If you think, what are letters and numbers? They are symbolic representations for something. Letters are symbols that represent a sound and numbers are symbols that represent certain units of something. So as long as he counts/gets the letter sound right/identifies the letter or number he is doing fine.

    I wouldn't be concerned.

  4. hey chill..swarn is five now..and he was exactly that way...a year back,...ask him the alphabet and he coud do it only in te sing song way...

    teh thing i loved about his nursery and kindergarten school in delhi was that tehy would club teh children age each of the sections had children of roughly the same 2 months

    every kid has his/her level of adapting and i wouldn't worry too much about it...

  5. Sonny boy can count in order but his alphabets are not that great, esp since he gets confused with the phonetics and the regular alphabets. But he does recognise them
    don't worry about it too much, Anirudh seems to be a smart kid with all things, the numbers and letters will come.
    Sonny boy sometimes says 61 for 16 and 62 for 26 ... so... no big deal.:-D
    and he used to always get confused with the 15&16 and 19&20 too.
    But his last school was a good one, I will miss them..:-(

  6. Just saw the amazing and lovely drawing Anirudh made on his blog. And you are complaining about the stupid sequence of alphabet. Grrrrrrrr.....NM?
    BTW, did you read The Little Prince?

  7. @all: Thanks for enlightening me!I surely will call it enlightening and nothing else. :D

    PG: No. I haven't been able to. He somehow doesn't want me to since it doesn't have colorful pictures :|

  8. nm The Little Prince, I would say, is more for the adult. The parent rather. At frustrating times, it reminds parents how is it to be a child.

  9. NM, I just asked if YOU have read the book. As utbt has already said, it is more for the adults. But one day you might be able to reads it to him as well. It is too early for him right now. And yes, I also found it irritating that it has no pictures, but that was the only version available in English at that moment. That is the disadvantage of living in in "non-english-speaking" country. It uis a lovely book. In the beginning it might sound funny or even boring, but soon you will enjoy it more and more. It is a beautiful book.

  10. I just read this post and thought I'll give my 2 cents worth here.
    Pls. don't sweat yourself over small details like nos. and alphabets. Ur angel is only 4!! Mine is too...and I think they all make such gadbad...and why not? They are just learning...
    BTW, I'm going to check out this book everyone's talking about...

  11. Oops PG! All this while I was thinking that you had asked me to read this book to Anirudh! :P Will start reading it this weekend!

  12. See if u can lay ur hands on Leap Frog's Letter Factory!! Its brilliant!