Was there an age range on the worksheets? Did they suggest it was appropriate for 36 months?
If he's enjoying doing this, great. If he's not having fun, and looking forward to the worksheet sessions, I think this is a big mistake.
I am so glad you asked this question. First of all, let me start by saying I am a public school Pre-Kindergarten teacher with a degree in early childhood development and certificate in special education. I have a 9 yr old son, 7 yr old stepson and a daughter who will be 4 in March. You say your child just turned 3? At this age your son does not have the fine motor development to be ready for tracing perfectly and by no means will he be able to write the alphabet. He also does not have the attention span to sit for long periods and work in a workbook. At this age that is not developmentally appropriate. Before starting Kindergarten children should be able to write their full name correctly (only first letters capitalized), identify all capital/lower case letters, make some correct letter sound matches and count to 30. You can expose your son to many academic things at his age without the workbook and writing his alphabet. First I want to exphasize the importance of reading to your child. You should read to your child every day!!! Talk to him. Children learn soooo many things just by talking to them. At the age of three you should work on:
-counting to 10
-identifying the 8 basic colors
-identify 4 basic shapes
-play simple games
-patterning activities (ABABAB pattern)
-singing simple songs
-working on developing fine motor skills (working with child scissors, tearing pieces of paper, coloring, drawing, stringing beads etc.
-playing with playdoh
-work on sorting items (by color or one other simple attribute)
-telling you his name and maybe what letter his name starts with
*****If you are really interested in ways to work with your child I suggest you look up developmentally appropriate practices for his age or search for a book with ideas. However, I strongly discourage you from the workbook and tracing. This age is all about experiences things through manipulatives. Language development is very important. Work on his self-help skills such as restroom, washing hands, buttoning, zipping, eating correctly with utensils etc.
Children 3-5 is my favorite age. Your son is just like a sponge ready to absorb everything you expose him to!!!!!!!! Enjoy him and as I teacher I really think it is wonderful that you are so eager to work with your son!!!!!
Fedup, great post, lots of helpful information. I will say though (minor point) that I've never seen a single kindergartner who began K able to write their full name, capitalizing only the first letter. I volunteered in the teacher workroom at our school, and stuffed Kinder take home weekly folders, so I saw a LOT of kindergartners for several years, and most start K being only barely able to communicate what their name is on paper - sometimes it's illegible, sometimes it's only the first couple letters, often in perfect mirror image (amazing ability, really). Our school is a blue ribbon school with high achieving students so it's not like they're lagging - most were ahead of average.
But I'd have a list of 16 or so kids in the class, and a stack of papers, and sometimes I'd just sit and stare at the kid's handwritten name and be completely unable to match what was on that paper to a typed name.
But anyway, interesting.
What state are you in? I would really love to be held to those standards. I totally agree that what you are seeing is more age appropriate for a kindergarten child. However, I teach in Texas and what I stated as expected to start Kindergarten comes directly from our new state Pre-K guidelines. It is so scary. I receive these 4 yr olds who can't even hold a pencil and don't know any letters. However, by May they should all be writing their names and know all letters, upper and lower. Unfortunately education is getting pushed down and pushed down to lower grade levels. Our Kindergarten kids are now doing what I did in 1st and 2nd grade. The majority of Kindergarten kids in my school are reading by December. If they aren't, there are many intervention programs to get them there. Did I also mention that I teach at a Title 1 School with 70% low income students?
Concerning writing their name: Children will write their name the way they are taught so parents please teach them the correct way from the beginning where only the first letter is capitalized. It is very hard for them to learn one way and then relearn again. It is not any harder to write their name with only the first letter capitalized.
Also, I would like to mention a wonderful video they is great for teaching letters and sounds. Leapfrog "Letter Factory" is fantastic!!!! There is a catchy song that goes with each letter and it helps children remember the connection with the sound. It also helps them identify the letters. I use it in my classroom and the kids love it. I have played it for all my kids. My daughter will be four in March and she can identify all her letters and sounds. Unfortunately I can not take all the credit for that. This video really helped her make the connection effortlessly. So SHAKURY you can turn that on for your 3 yr old and you will be amazed how quickly he soaks it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
my son turned 4 in july he has been attending pre school since age 2+....he was counting to 11 then but he has comletly forgotten them.....i'm going crazy i'm at my wits end.....its as if he is not interested.....i bought him the leap frog letter factory he knows the lines of the actors but not the alphabet.....even if he catches it while he is watching he forgets them....but not the lines....its frustrating because he is a really smart child he reasons really well i think beyond his years....he knows his colours but nothing else...i don't know what to do