Learning for a Preschooler
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My son Joseph is 3 and 1/2 and he learns very quickly. He is
currently reading above a 1st grade level with words. He can
count objects of up to 12-15 and can spell quite a few words
like zoo, car cat, hat and moon. He also recognizes many
words and knows shapes, all basic colors and all body parts.
He does ask a lot of questions like, "Where did you buy
those pants?", "Sears", "Why did you buy them is sears?",
"because they were on sale", "Why were they on sale?" ...etc.
He asks questions about the answers I give him. He reasons
and bargains with me and has a cute sense of humor.
He also had a language delay and still does but more so in
the area of pragmatics of language which is much better that
6 months ago. I tell him something 2x he gets it. I could
probably sit down and teach him the clock in 1 or 2 weeks
with out a lot of effort. Not sure which way to go with
education and social life. He is currently in a regular
preschool five days a week from 9 - 11:30 am and an art
class once a week. Any suggestions are welcomed.
A: Despite having language
delays, Joseph appears to have learnt very quickly and it
would just be a matter of time for him to catch up and even
be ahead of his peers. His ability to learn quickly and ask
questions may well help him in his learning journey and
perhaps place him in advanced classes.
Therefore, it looks like you are indeed on the right track
and doing the right thing, so there isn't much to worry
about. It is also good that you are taking it easy and not
pushing him to learn as that helps his intrinsic motivation
which I believe is what keeps him going. You may want to
introduce new challenges to him, perhaps things that are not
taught at his school, field activities, exploring and
introduction to the world of knowledge (books and other
If he is interested in art,
you may want to bring him to an art museum to appreciate art
work and in the process, you can actually build his
knowledge while explaining such work. Pay attention to all
his questions, answer them, laugh at his humor and enjoy his
company. I believe he will grow to be a fine boy. However,
you need to put in some effort on your side to help him
enjoy learning by exposing new and challenging environments.
You may also want to read past issues on similar activities