What should my 4 year old be able to do? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 06-12-2004, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious becuase I think he is a little behind. He can count to 10, know most colors, dresses himself, he's potty trained.
He doesn't recocnize any numbers or letters or his name. He can't right, sort of draws circles. He just turned 4 in April. It seems I am reading about all these 4 year olds that can do so much more. I worry that he isn't at the level he "should" be,
Thanks,
Sebrina
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#2 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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Sounds within normal range for a 4 year old to me. I bet the people who make lists of all the things their 4 year olds can do probably have 4 year olds that can do a lot, you know?

I know preschoolers who can read but aren't potty trained, or who can skateboard down a 40 degree incline but can't sing the alphabet song, or who have the kindest sharing friend-making heart but can't count to 10. I bet yours has a talent you may be missing b/c you think all kids his age do that.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#3 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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I suspect that this will be a loaded question here. Does he go to preschool? If so, then you should be able to get a good indication of what they expect and how your son is doing.

If not, and I assume that he's not or you have asked them this question, then its a wider-open field. Are you planing on sending him to kindergarten? If so, you might ask your school district what they expect enrolling students to know, and then you would have some "goals" for teaching him. Have you tried to teach some of the things you mention? If he's been consistantly exposed to the concepts and not gotten them, then you might want to investigate.

For reference, my 4 1/2 YO can count to 100 and recognize all of the numbers when written (though he gets bored and doesn't like to go past about 20, but then, so do I). He can recite and recognize the letters and can tell what sound they make. He can write his name (first only). He can type words on the computer if you tell him how to spell them. He can copy words to write. He can read about 5-10 words. And he can whine and cry really, really well (which he's doing right now and its driving me nuts!) But, I don't really know how that stacks up against other kids, so I wouldn't take that to mean too much.
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#4 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 05:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
And he can whine and cry really, really well (which he's doing right now and its driving me nuts!) But, I don't really know how that stacks up against other kids, so I wouldn't take that to mean too much.
LOL!

My almost 4 year old (birthday in July) is basically doing the same stuff. He can count until I'm bored, he can sing his ABCs, recognizes all the letters of the alphabet and knows the sounds they make, can read short words and knows some sight words, can write his name. can type words on the computer if you tell him how to spell them, knows his colors, shapes, etc.
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#5 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 06:14 AM
 
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my son will be 4 this august.... and honestly i have no idea what's "normal." for now i'm not really actively *teaching* him... i just share info with him here and there, and let him explore... read to him... let him watch Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer... here's what he can do:

he only recently started going peepies and poopies in the potty all the time (which i'm expecting will change back after the new baby's born)

he can count to fourteen (and then begins "eleventeen, fourfifteen...")

he can recognize all colors and can pick them from a group

he can recognize / name: trapezoid, circle, triangle, rectangle, square, diamond, star, spiral and rhombus

he can draw circles, triangles, trapezoids and rectangles, along with simple pictures (of just about anything ~ earlier he drew me stuck under a toy. ). by "simple" i mean made of simple shapes (he draws pretty complex pictures with huge stories behind them).

he has a huge vocabulary and talks *constantly*.

he can "write" the capital letters A, H, I, L, C, E, M, W, N and T, and the numbers 1 and 4 (although currently all of his 4's come out backward).

he's currently learning the sounds that different letters make. he knows easy ones, like that "B" says "buh" and "T" says "tuh" and "S" says "ssss" but he's still working on most of them. he is, however, very interested and picks them up very quickly. he can recognize all the letters of the alphabet, and numbers up to 10.

he knows his name starts with the letter M (and for awhile, insisted that every word he saw that started with an "M" was his name and therefore whatever the word was on was his :LOL).

he can count and group objects by numbers, and is pretty good with same/different *but* still has issues sometimes with figuring out what's similar to one another, what things go together, etc.

he's big on pretend play and loves to pretend he's a bug / princess / Bob the Builder / Shrek / a farmer / other characters from his books. i don't know if this is a stage of development as much as just a personality trait.

he mostly dresses himself but still needs help with buttons, and starting zippers. he recently figured out how to put on his overalls and they became his favorite article of clothing for a week straight as he proudly put them on and took them off and put them on...

he can climb, jump, balance on one foot, skip / gallop, and contort himself in positions that would make any yogi master jealous.

he has the majority of his favorite books memorized (i hear him in his bedroom often, "reading" his books, and am consistently astounded at how much he has stored in that fuzzy little head of his...)

he knows some spanish (although has forgotten the sign language + italian i taught him but i guess the lack of practice was really my fault) and picks up new spanish (and english) vocab quickly.


i think kids will learn whatever they're exposed to on a regular basis. like, he also knows the names of garden tools and flowers and herbs, and can name just about every fruit and vegetable in the market, because i involve him in what i do. i've always read to him, since before he was born. he knows the names of his favorite songs (and can sing them quite well), because we tell them to him and let music be a huge part of his life. i just got some flashcards ~ one phonics, one spanish / english vocab ~ to work with him on, just because i thought they'd be kind of fun for us to play with together. even though the phonics cards say "ages 5-7" i really think he's ready for them... which i think is the key. just pay attention to your child's queues and continue to present developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities for learning. take him to the library and let him pick out books to read... take him to the park and let him play, and then walk around and point out flowers, different grasses, birds, etc. count stairs. count cookies. make funny faces on sandwiches and then use them to discuss emotions. draw soap pictures in the bath. kids are like sponges: they will soak up any new information they're presented with.
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#6 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, Ryan is not in Pre-School. I have been home with him since he was born. I also have a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 month old. I do try to teach him some of the things, however my time is quite limited. He gets very frustrated and says things like "I can't". I would say alot of the things he can do are at the same level as my 2 year old. But does that mean that my 2 year old is advanced or my 4 year old is behind? KWIM? Ryan can climb and jump and make forts and has a great imagination. I would say he talk pretty well. He certainly talks alot He has always done things a little bit slow. He crawled at 12months, walked at 17months. Fed himslef at 18months and so on. I am putting him in JK this fall so I guess if he is a bit behind they will let me know.
Thanks everyone,
Sebrina
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#7 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 08:50 AM
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All kids are different! Yours doesn't sound a bit behind to me! If you Google development 4 years old you'll see that your child is probably ahead in some areas and behind in others. I'm sure every single 4 year-old out there would have the same results.

The "I can't" phase is completely normal. My dd went through this too. Just gently encourage, talk about the importance of trying. BTW Could he be getting the "I can't" idea from well-meaning cartoon stories? I saw this one cartoon at a friend's house (dd doesn't watch) where the protagonist kept whining "Oh, I can't," and the mom kept encouraging him to try. Of course, it ended with him trying and succeeding, but I saw that my friend's 3 year-old picked up on that "I can't" whining pretty quickly!

I don't think preschool attendance has much of anything to do with any of this. There have been studies to show that children who do not attend preschool are no less behind after a couple of months of kindergarten than their preschooler counterparts.

It sounds like your ds is much more into the physical stuff - very normal. Don't give into the pressure that he should know certain things. All children learn.
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#8 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 09:07 PM
 
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I wouldn't try to feel pressured to "catch" him up. At that age, learning is supposed to be fun, not work. He is fine. My stepdaughter couldn't count to ten without help before she went to kindergarden. Now, she can read, count, write, and color and draw like a pro! My 5 yo had such a hard time writing her letters until about 6 mo ago. Then, all of the sudden, she started writing the alphabet like she's been doing it for years. You'll find that just like anything a child learns to do, be it crawling, walking, talking, etc, it's like the "I get it" button is pushed, and they just start doing it. You don't train your child to walk. They just do it as a natural progression. When he is ready to count higher, he will do it. When the letters "click" for him, he will be able to recognize them.
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#9 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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If you are truly concerned, call your local school district. often they have recourses(sp?), free, to identify kids who are developementaly behind. Easter Seals will also be able to direct you to some evalution help.
I say, get him evaluated.
He sounds a bit behind, but nothing too terribly worrisome, given the time constraints. (please dont feel guilty here!, its just somethign to consider).
Since you are concerned at all, I would call and get him evaluted.
I am a teacher, and ahve a child whose speech is delayed. I think the earlier things are identified, the sooner they resolve and dont meddle with reading or esteem.
Just my 2 cents
b
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#10 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 11:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry (if I could help myself. . lol). My 3 1/2 year old can't do somethings her friends do is- draw pictures with people. She can hear a bird outside and say "oh, a chickadee". She identifies about 8 different breeds of dogs. She knows many wild animal, what they eat, what country they live in, if they are friendly to people. She still confuses blue and yellow. She knows her name by site and can spell it for you and write it sometimes. She knows a few shapes. I really haven't pushed her. She asks about what she wants to know and that is what I focus on. I've heard similiar approaches called 'unschooling' on this board. I don't know if I'm really doing that.

All children are different. Look for your son's strengths. If your still worried have him tested. It will give you peace of mind and most kids say they enjoyed the testing process.
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#11 of 13 Old 06-13-2004, 11:42 PM
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Sorry, but in what ways is he behind? I can't find anything anywhere that says a 4 year-old should recognize letters or draw circles. This happens during the 4th year in many cases. This woman's ds just turned 4. In two weeks, he may start asking to write or read letters.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-14-2004, 01:58 AM
 
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sebrina, your boy sounds just fine to me. my almost six doesn't write or draw. my three recognizes letters and draws. and my girl will probably catch up soon. all kids are wired differently. and generally boys have different development from girls especially with fine motor skills which is why some people suggest putting boys in later if you are schooling. anyway, don't worry, they'll be reading and writing most of their lives. they are little kids!
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#13 of 13 Old 06-14-2004, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys! I am not really that worried, more curious. He has always done everything a little slower. He crawled at 12 months and walked at 15 months. He talked a little later but once he started he was quite clear. Same with Potty training. He was almost 4 and then one day he said. No more diapers I think I will spend a bit more time with him doing letter stuff and drawing. (He is a master cutter with scisors btw) He is very active and really enjoys being outside and going walks. He knows more about bugs than I do
Sebrina
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