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Preschoolers & Kindergartners What a fun time in life! Time to learn 123's and ABC's. At the same time, they're leaving that babyhood we'll miss so much!

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Old 02-21-2002, 10:51 AM
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Should a 4 yr. old know how to write ?

Im asking because my son is 4 (4 1/2 in April) and he is having trouble just holding a pencil and trying to write anything that you can understand. Im starting to feel Im letting him down by not making him practice more but right now he gets so frustrated with it and I dont want it to become a "punishment" in his eyes.

I know that there arent 2 kids that are alike but Im hoping for some advice from the other moms out there.

He can count to 20 and can recognize those numbers and the alphabet. If he puts his mind to it, he can write certain letters too.

Is there a site where I can check the levels of academics the "professionals" think he should be at for his age ?

Since his birthday is so late in the year, he wont start kindergarden until he is almost 6. Should I be concerned or am I worrying for nothing right now ?
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Old 02-22-2002, 08:48 AM
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I don't think you have anything to worry about. My 4 yo is in prescool and most of the kids his age can't write. My son can write his name, but he did it on his own--no coaching from us, and is just now wanting us to show him how to make "all the letters". I'd say let him scribble and draw and do his thing--let him ask for your help when, and if, he wants it. Then simply show him and let him keep going. I bought a workbook for my kid that has letters he can trace a few times and then try it on his own, but his teacher said the more important thing was that he RECOGNIZES the letters, or at least most of them. So I wouldn't worry about it--he's only four and has lots of time to learn the mechanics of writing.

Heck, I'm almost thirty and my writing is awful!
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Old 02-22-2002, 01:29 PM
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Developing Writing Skills

I have worked out two methods for helping my son with his writing skills.

My son likes to stay awake in his bed for about 30 minutes to an hour after his sisters go to bed. I set up a food tray for him to use in his bed as a writing table. He likes to read books or write.

I give him a pencil and then print off some fun activities, such as connect the dots, mazes, dotted alphabets for him to practice tracing, or we use a preschool activity booklet. He absolutely loves it, and practice his handwriting faithfully without me making it a "chore", plus he gets to stay up later.

The other way I motivated him was to purchase a three-ring binder. I printed his name and a cute clipart for the front of the binder. I labeled the dividers with reading, handwriting, phonics, math, etc. In the front of it, I placed a calendar to help him learn about the days, etc. He absolutely loves this binder. It belongs to him and it organizes his printouts. My daughters now want one of their own, so I will be making three more.

Another method I used, was assign a color coded manila folder to each child. The kids run downstairs to find their color-folder and are anxious to see what is in their folder for the day. I can put stickers, printouts with practice letters or phonics, materials to cut, etc.

Some of the sites I use for printouts are and Wonderful sites!
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Old 02-22-2002, 01:44 PM
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I also wanted to mention, that my daughters will not be attending kindergarten until they are 3 days shy of six years old.

My daughters were born at 31 weeks gestation, and although they do not have any learning disabilities, I am very happy that I will have this extra "year" to address their preschool learning.

I have come across information about what to expect in school (per ages). I'll post some information at a later time. You can also contact your school district to ask them if they have any material about kindergarten requirements to help you address your son's strengths and weaknesses before he starts school.

Providing him with fun material and the oportunitity to use a pen, pencil, markers may just be the best thing for him right now!
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Old 02-28-2002, 07:42 AM
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I have had 2 kids go through elementary and one just about to start kindegarten. One thing I have found is that we worry too much about what our kids know before they start school. Believe it or not, there are parents out there who do not teach their kids to read and write and count before kindegarten! They all finish with the same education! My advise is not to worry, enjoy your little person as much as you can and let the teachers finish where you left off. The most important thing is to give your child the confidence to succeed and have a good self image.
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Old 02-28-2002, 06:16 PM
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Skills Lists for a 4 year old

You might look at this site:

I looked the skills list up for my 3 year old some months ago. I was worried that he wasn't recognizing his letters yet, etc. But since then he has come a long, long way with a very minimum of effort on my part. I think when they are really to learn they naturally will start showing interest. I don't think we need to push too hard. They learn so much just by being with us everyday!

Remember, these are just guidelines! There were many things on the 3 year old list my child still doesn't do. Like count to 50....20 yes; but not 50 yet.
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Old 03-15-2002, 04:10 PM
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I teach computer classes to kindergartens. Most children can print thier name at the beginning of the year. i think it helps if they can print before starting kindergarten. If they can do it than why not. And if they can't do it then it might be something to consider working on so that it isn't such a struggle. I downloaded a traciing font to make work sheets which dd loves to do. She starts kindergarten next year. She just printed the whole alphabet last week with nothing as a guide. We haven't even gone over printing all the letters.
It can't hurt to challenge them a bit.
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Old 06-08-2002, 09:15 AM
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Pinkie Winky My 4 Year Old Daughter

My daughter just turned 4 in April. I am wanting to know, what all should she be able to do. She knows all her colors and can count okay to about 8 but that is all. She knows none of her alphabet and does not know how to write at all.
She starts pre-k in August and has never been in preschool.
Any tips on helping her learn her numbers and letters and shapes. Is she okay for her ago or behind.
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Old 06-08-2002, 01:42 PM
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I would say she's fine for her age. I wouldn't pressure them; just let them play with paper and pencils and look at books. However, they are never too young to be read to. "Read to your bunny and soon they will read to you."

I have read that the overuse of markers has made writing more difficult for many young children. Using color crayons will make their hands stronger because it's so easy to color with markers. Just a thought!
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Old 06-08-2002, 05:41 PM
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4 year olds writing

My daughter should be good then as all she uses to color or write with are pencils or colors.
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