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Parenting K-6 Kids/Can you teach a three year old child learn to reed/write English?


QUESTION: Can you teach a three year old child learn?

ANSWER: Hello,
Most children at three years of age will have difficulty learning to read or write any language. They can learn to recognize letters, but expecting them to read and write is a lot to ask. They're brains and fine motor skills aren't quite well-enough developed.

With that said, I'm sure there cases of exceptional children who learned to read and write at a young age. But these children would be gifted.

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QUESTION: Basically the father wants you to teach his daughter how to learn to read and write English at age three? He wants her to be able to read and write English before she start kindergarten. Reason the child speaks a language other than English at home, while the father speaks fluent English and another language.

The child can learn to speak English, which is really all she needs to start Kindergarten. Although, sending her to an English speaking pre-school will teach her English letters and start the foundation to reading and writing.

But again, I would say that learning to read and write is difficult for a 3 year old in their native language, it would be even more unreasonable to expect a child to learn it in a foreign language.  

Parenting K-6 Kids

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Leslie Truex


I am a parent of two, but also I'm a social worker with over 15 year experience working with children and families. I can provide many tips and techniques to help with child behavior, interventions for specific behavioral issues, ideas to help children through difficult times such as divorce or grief, hints on keeping the family running smoothly, and tips for developing confident, happy children.


I have a master's in social work and over 15 years experience working with children and families. I have worked in schools, public health, mental health and adoption agencies providing parent education courses and children's groups.

BA in Psychology and MSW.

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