A few days ago

What do I teach first?

My Son is 24 months and for a few months now we have been working on Letters and numbers as well as colors and shapes.

1) What should I teach first?

2) Would it be easiest to focus on one thing at a time?

3) Can I teach him more than one thing at a time?

4) Are books the best way to teach all of these things?

5) is there a book to tell me how and what to teach him when?

I want to homeschool but I want to make learning a part of our day NOW. So it is already normal to him when it is time for kindergarten.

Any suggestions?

Top 10 Answers
A few days ago

Favorite Answer

Follow your child’s interests. Everyone is different and develops (works on physical, emotional, intellectual) at different times. There will be plenty of time for formal teaching. If your child enjoys running, sliding, swinging and so on , then go with that for awhile. If your child begins to put two words together, then is the time to work on language.

I think it is more natural to work on a couple of things at a time at this age (not formally developing a concept but awareness in context of everyday). For example, counting things on the page of a book that is not about numbers or counting steps going “up” or “down”.

Numbers seem to be more concrete and reading more abstract, so counting may be easier. Remember too that just because a young child may be able to sing the ABC’s does not necesarily mean they “know” the letters. And counting to ten does not mean they “know” the concept of ten things. At two they probably will know “two things” or “another thing”. Books should be enjoyed together. My granddaughter will be two on September 23. I am a retired elementary teacher/librarian. I have a different perspective than I did when my children were two. (Two is still a baby lol)


A few days ago
I am surprised your 2 year old has an attention span sufficient for learning letters and numbers already. Books are great ways to teach without actually teaching. Don’t work too hard, you may discourage him from wanting to learn. Just work it in to your daily activities. And yes you can teach more than one thing at a time. Go for breadth, not depth, at age 2.

There are many books about homeschooling. And many websites as well. Take them all with a grain of salt and do what works best for you and your child.

*** I just read the previous answers and I have to say I like the last one the best, posted by “mommy”


A few days ago
Sarah C
Don’t obsess over letters and numbers now. I don’t remember teaching my kids anything about writing numbers down, just about counting and basic adding and subtracting–although not at 2, but they both made 750+ on the SAT so it worked.

You can play a game with letter sounds. Start with the sounds animals make and have both of you name animals and do the sounds. Then add a letter and its sound every week or two.

There is a huge debate about whether it’s appropriate or even helpful in the long run to make kindergarten learning a set time of seriousness. It certainly isn’t at this age. At 2, all learning needs to be part of a play or “normal living” atmosphere.

As for first, his name and what it looks like–not necessarily the names of all the letters now. Work on/play with, read about animals, their babies, what they eat, and the sounds they make–about 6 at first and then a few more. Pick a color he knows and have him tell you things that are that color when you’re in the car or at a store/restaurant/park. It’s particularly important to use outings for learning so that he becomes aware of his surroundings and how they’re related to the books you read to him (You are reading fun kid books, right?) and the things that you talk about at home.

Make sure he has some kind of building materials and some pretend play activities, too. Using his large and small muscles, sense of space and imagination are all important to be ready for kindergarten and more formal learning later–whether at home or in a setting with other children to build a sense of American unity.


A few days ago
I think 24mo is too young for letters and numbers, however, there are lots of things you can teach him.

Children at this age are very much into “sensorial” experiences… the way things smell, feel, taste, look like and sound.

You can take advantage of this and teach him sensorial discrimination… like matching two cotton balls with the same smell, or two seashells that look/feel alike, etc. Trust me, this will all be useful skills as he gets older.

You can also teach him to count (although I do think he’s too young to actually recognize numbers, who knows?)

Just be sure to make learning fun for him.

I would recommend a book called How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. It has many great tips, ideas and sound advice for raising a child, and it would be especially useful for you if you want to go the homeschooling way. Even if you don’t, I guarantee you’ll go back to it time and time again over the years (and you don’t even have to send your child to a Montessori school to benefit from this book). I’m a preschool teacher (3, 4 and 5 yr. olds,) and this is the book I recommend the most to parents. It will make your life so much easier, and fun!

Good luck!


A few days ago
I’m a pre-school teacher. I would start with more concrete ideas, colors and shapes. Counting and ABC’s can be taught as a rhyme, really counting (one-to-one) and identifying letters and numbers is harder. Books are great, and everyday things like counting steps as you walk up or down, counting objects on a picture in a widow sign or plates as you set the table are great opportunities to practice. When you write his name say the letters out loud and he will learn them, also pointing out letters on signs. (at the doctors you could show him the sign on the door and tell him it says Doctor…… see the D for Doctor) I really like Chicka-chicka boom-boom for an abc book, it has a fun flow to the story and the letters are nicely illustrated. Alphabet mystery and Alphabet Adventure are fun too, but probably better for when he is a little older (my three year olds enjoy them). The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a fun counting book. Good luck, we can really tell a difference in our children when their parents have helped them learn before they start school, it really helps the children to know their letters, numbers, colors, days of the week, before starting Kindergarten.

A few days ago
♪ Rachel ♫
Well, it’s more about exposing your child to various things rather than “teaching” him. Books with lots of colours and numbers are good as well as counting and alphabet songs. There are opportunities everywhere, for instance if you are playing with a ball, you can say “this ball is round” or when you write his name say “Your name starts with a ___” etc so that it becomes more meaningful for him. You can teach as many things as you like to a young child, just try to make it exciting and as meaningful as possible. Mathematics can also be taught by saying things like “I’m taller than you”….”You have eaten half that apple!”…”There are 3 ducks” Learning can be done all the time, doesn’t have to be set out and timed. However if you want you could have story time, music time etc to structure it a bit, but your child should never stop exploring and you can provide him with all sorts of experiences and knowledge.

A few days ago
Kinder/1st grade teacher
Colors and shapes definitely. You should already be incorporating environmental print and environmental numbers into his awareness. For example, looking at your house number and saying I see a 2! Looking at the street sign on a walk, or the mcdonald’s sign when you are out driving around, and noticing letters and words. It’s best to have a child fully aware of environmental print before he/she gets lessons on it, especially as a toddler. It just doesn’t make sense unless he/she has a frame of reference for it! You don’t need to focus only on one thing while developing awareness. Books can be helpful, favorite stories that your child memorizes, number stories that your child can recite, but they are certainly not the only way to go about this. Hopefully you will use books and everything else you can to teach the concepts! Amazon and other companies carry a multitude of early literacy methodology books, but if you are going to homeschool you need to contact your local homeschooling organization or reference teacher to find out what kinds of programs are being used so that you can teach your child in ways that are “in line” with the series/program you will use. All of that being said, I used a program called Zoo Phonics with my son. It incorporates animals, letter sounds and motions to make phonics more accessible for a child. He learned names and sounds and shapes of letters, and hit kindergarten at a running start! I don’t even know if it is still around, maybe check on ebay? Good luck!

A few days ago
Children should be taught one concept at a time. If you are teaching colors, concentrate on one color a week to allow him time to master the concept ( ex. sort all red socks in a basket). remember too that teaching him does not mean sit down activities. At his age, that would really be difficult so just play with him using his toys which he can manipulate. You can also involve him in daily tasks at home like sorting laundry and cooking activities (maybe point out red fruits). My kid loves sorting the pegs from the clothesline. he evn makes robots and cars from it.

Remember too that some kids learn very fast so you can adjust your concepts if he has mastery already and introduce another one. But don’t forget that you have to review what you taught him from the last time.

Invest in picture and borad books which are simple and uses clear and realistic illustrations. Using books, your child will develop interests and in the long run, the love for reading.

Teach him his name.

Point out letters in his first name.

Concentrate on a letter per week to master their shape, sound and words which begin with that letter.


5 years ago
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A few days ago
You’ll be surprised how many children don’t even know their own name by the time they reach kindergarten. I kid you not. Just teach the basics for now. By the way…. children learn best through experience and through someone who models good learning behaviors. Plus, if you want someone to learn you’ll have to make them want to learn, as opposed to play video games, instead.