There is a very wide range of what 3-year-olds know, but the emphasis should not be on learning academics but about the world around them. In other words, beyond starting to recognize letters of the alphabet and colors and basic shapes and counting 1-10, children should not be expected to be doing writing or reading. You should, however, read to them and talk to them about a variety of topics, so they begin to understand concepts like "more versus less" (fill up different size measuring cups with water, etc) and visit the park, and the local zoo, etc... I invite you to join Greatschools Preschool Group at http:community.greatschools.net/groups/1153435270
Once upon a time three years were not supposed to know anything academically and academic instruction began in 1st grade. Then we moved it down to kindergarten and now we've moved it down to preschool. If your son were in preschool, they would be teaching him his alphabet - to say it and recognize the letters when he sees them. The same with the numbers 1 - 20. They would also be working on having him know and recognize the names of basic colors and then the shapes - circle, square, triangle, rectangle. At the same time, they'd be trying to develop his listening skills and his speaking skills and his fine motor skills by having him cut with scissors, paint, draw and paste. They'd also be trying to familiarize him with the names of the days of the week, the names of the months and holidays, and the names and manner of the seasons of the year. And reading stories to him some of which would be the traditional fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood but others of which would be new and very multicultural and so introducing him to the idea that the world is a place of rich diversity.35269
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