How to motivate a 3 year old to begin reading and writing.

United States
October 5, 2006 7:39pm CST
I have a 3 year old niece that stays with me most of the time. She is very smart and the big problem she wants to have her own way. She is currently not in pre-kindergarten and I've decided to home school her for the moment. Heaven knows I don't have patience. Can anyone suggest any creative ideas I can use to motivate her to begin to read and write?
3 people like this
17 responses
• United States
27 Oct 06
I know you wrote this four weeks ago, and I'm a little late on this discussion but...I began teaching my daughter the glorys of writing and reading at 2. Granted it was a frustrating task. My wife wasn't as enthused with it as I was, but she supported it. By three my daughter made it harder because outside things interfered. I'm a writer, and soon to be published so to me I felt I wanted my daughter to follow in my footsteps in the reading department at least. She is now 8 and the top reader in her class, and her AR scores are phenomenal (AR=Accelerated Reader point given by the School board through certain books they read) The best thing to do is buy the workbooks at the stores that allow her to write in them, such as workbooks. Walmart and Toy's R US have them. Even if she makes mistakes and doesn;'t do it right Encourage her by saying good work, and then erasing it for later use and allow her to do it again (Unless it is color schemes.) Anyhow Reading is important as well, giving her your time which I am sure you do enough of. It makes me happy to hear that others feel like I did. It will be worth it later trust me.
• United States
1 Nov 06
Thanks.
• United States
9 Nov 06
Last year Sky was 3..and He learned his ABC's, counted to 20, and read..all by the internet and workbooks..There are sooo many sites that he loved and learned from and i will gove them to you and they also have many many free bee sites that send you workbooks and pc demos..what I have been doing to teach him at home..and he goes to head start now..is that we play school..i also let HIM BE THE TEACHER LOL..WE take turns so he doesnt get bored..and i also do it so i learn what he has learned..try these sites and most of them have things you can download.. and Wiggle works has helped Sky read very well!www.enchantedlearning.com www.pbskids.org www.nickjr.com www.wiggleworks.com http://webtech.kennesaw.edu/jcheek3/lilones.htm hope i was some help..take care and good luck!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Nov 06
Thanks. I will definately try the websites. So far she's been on noggin.com and nickjr.com
• United States
9 Nov 06
I would like to thank all of you for your meaningful contributions. Oldbuddy, happygal,amylov,wrcurtisjr, magnet, huttriver5, mamarama, mndygirl, cloud-kicker, tusharb,manzician, and 1binkley. I have tried some of your suggestions and has been working slowly but surely. I will further update you as to her progress.
@happygal68 (3277)
• United States
24 Oct 06
Reading to her will help motivate her. You can also play games. Place letters on things throughout the house and have her find ones that are alike sample Television=T and Telephone=T. As she finds them sound them out with her, & as she progresses add letters to each one and have her practice writing them. Hope this helps you out.
1 person likes this
@amylou (127)
• United States
24 Oct 06
That's a great idea! You should also start - if she doesn't know already - her colors and shapes.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Oct 06
Thanks, I'll try that as well
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
1 Dec 06
Hi! One thing that really motivated my daughter was one of the Leap Frog videos, Letter Factory. It introduces kids to the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes in a very entertaining way. My daughter resists being read to, but she loved this video and she learned a lot from it. Hope that helps! :-)
• United States
4 Dec 06
That's one of the problem also. You start to read to her then suddenly in the midst of the reading she either wants to read to you or do something else. Or her biggest excuse is she's tired.
@GardenGerty (101890)
• United States
16 Nov 06
Kids will learn when they are developmentally ready, the key is exposure and opportunity to learn. At three a structured curriculum is not the answer. She needs to see you read and write, and have lots of opportunity to do the same. Give her lots of different kinds of paper and writing tools. Let her tell you what she has "written", then write the translation with it. Let her tell you the stories from looking at pictures. Make books for her to read--pictures cut from magazines, print the word beside it, then she will be so proud that she reads. The sequence of learning is something like this--know what letters are. know that letters stand for sounds, know that sounds put together make words, know that words put together make stories and messages. If you want children to learn, make sure they have enough healthy food to eat, time to play outdoors, enough sleep at night, their basic health vision and dental needs provided and interested grownups who will talk to them.
• United States
17 Nov 06
I'm really impressed by this comment. Thanks
@mamarama (207)
• United States
9 Nov 06
A book that my daughter enjoyed at that age was My Day (We Both Read) by Sindy McKay and Meredith Johnson. The pages on the left have words you read and the pages on the right have words the child reads (one or two words that match a nearby picture). It's a fun, easy book.
@mamarama (207)
• United States
9 Nov 06
Oh, and the book's probably at your local library if you want to test it out first before buying.
1 person likes this
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
30 Nov 06
developmentally, a three year old may not have the motor-skills and hand manipulation skills that is needed to write and form actual letters. You should encourage drawing and coloring to help improve the hand coordination. Show her flash cards with letters, and encourage her to learn to identify the different letters, and you can even make the sound each letter makes so she can get use to hearing that. As for reading, you should read to her simple books, dr. seuss books are wonderful and rhyming books.
@Msnforum (631)
• United States
23 Nov 06
use objects and try to pronounce the associated word to her.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Nov 06
A 3yo child is not mentally ready to read and write. There are studies to show this. Spend time reading and coloring with her. That's what you really should do.
• United States
22 Nov 06
I would suggest activities that don't require her to concentrate for long periods of time. I taught my neice how to read and begin writing as well. She was doing addition and subtraction before she was even in prek. For reading, I would suggest the BOB Books you can find information about them at http://www.bobbooks.com/. We also purchased some inexpensive childrens learning software, you can find educational programs at walmart or target, they tended to keep my neices attention for longer periods of time while teaching her at the same time. Good luck.
@akotalagato (1335)
• Philippines
22 Nov 06
what is her insterests? does she like animals? buy books with big bright colored pictures of whatever interests her. books that only have a few words at the bottom and a big picture in the center. having too many words in a picture often bores the child. my son is only turning 2 years old and yet he is greatly interested in these books and he just loves looking at them even though he cant read just yet.
• United States
22 Nov 06
fun game with words - take magnetic letters on a fridge or board and play showing how many different words can be made with the same letters, etc.
I am a homeschool mom of 7 yo ds. 3 is too young to expect them to read and write. Just start reading to her all the time, if you can check out some books from the library like "Games for reading" and "Games for writing" and just play with her and read to her constantly. If she is smart (and most of us girls are;) she will want to emulate you! Happy Homeschooling!
@ability (692)
• China
9 Nov 06
Read some story to him, let him feel interesting.
1 person likes this
@lbinkley (1078)
• United States
9 Nov 06
I have a 3 year old as well, and while he isn't reading or writing by any means, he is sure starting to show some interest in it. Start reading to her. Eventually, she will want to read to you. You can show her different things and show her the letter that they start with so she will start associating them. Try to make a game out of it. Also, my son love the magnets of letters that go on the fridge. See what kind of things you can do with those. My son knows a few of his letters now, and what they are for. He is also starting to read to me. It isn't the actual words that are on the page, but he is trying and I am jsut encouraging him all the way!
@manzician (4734)
• India
9 Nov 06
Get him/her some nice picture books
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@tusharb (3159)
• India
9 Nov 06
u can read 4 them n try to take them besides u....
1 person likes this
@magnet (2087)
• United States
9 Nov 06
Read children's books to her and buy her a board to write on so that she can play school.
1 person likes this