Kids These Days

Posted 02-6-2013 at 01:33 PM by Krista

I recently wrote an article about being freaked out about the expectations for my daughter, at four years old. She has not even been four for a month, and I have been told that she is far behind her same aged peers. She should be able to work out patterns, count to ten, and be able to write her name. Also, she should be able to read simple words. All of this, I was told, she will be expected to know by the time she enters kindergarten, and really, preschool expects she already know how to do it when she comes in.

Talk about shell shocked. As a parent, we try to do everything for our kids. We want to make sure they have every advantage that we can give them, and like any well-intentioned mother, I thought I had been doing that. She knows her colors. That’s good, right? She can count to six. I know it’s not perfect, but… good enough? Apparently not.

The good news is that with a December birthday like she has, we have more than two years before she will be entering school. I can do a lot with that time. While the woman who gave me this happy news seemed doubtful that my child would be able to qualify for a good school with her being behind currently, I am not going to buy into that. We have two years! She can learn so much in that time, and will without my teaching her anything, which I have already started. We are working together twice a day for twenty minutes each and I intend to do that five days a week until school starts.

I know my daughter is smart, I have seen that many times. While it hurts when other people don’t see it, it doesn’t change my opinion of her. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think we are pushing kids too hard, and rushing them to grow up. A friend of mine has an eight year old daughter in the magnet program. She told me that all her daughter does is homework. Even on the weekends, it is rare that she gets to play with her sisters. I, for one, think this is a terrible trend! Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little homework, but for goodness sake when do kids get to be kids?

Filed Under: General


7 Responses to “Kids These Days”

  1. karlitacat on February 6th, 2013 6:34 pm

    I think kids should be kids – they learn so much through play and their own discovery. That’s one of the reason why I choose to homeschool – my kids don’t have to fit into a mold of how the rest of the world thinks they should be. Some kids read later than others, some kids develop certain skills at different times – we’re different people! We shouldn’t all be expected to do everything at the same time. Unfortunately, it’s easier for the classroom setting to have cookie cutter expectations. You’re on the right track and you shouldn’t feel guilty!

  2. sparkle3116 on February 6th, 2013 10:39 pm

    The most important thing you can do for your daughter’s long-term development is to give her opportunities to play creatively and explore what she’s interested in. Sure, a lot of kids can write their names and count when they begin kindergarten, but by the end of the school year they will all be working at the same level. Here’s the preschool curriculum for a highly-rated $20,000/year program in my area that I think articulates preschool learning goals really well:

  3. Amanda2 on February 7th, 2013 7:12 am

    This is my number one hate. I seriously hate it. Around here the competitiveness between mommies is ridiculous. I hear so many times “what school does your 3 year old go too’? umm my kids don’t go to school they go to nursery, or day care. where they play and have fun with their friends. And I intend them to stay there for pre-K next year in a play based program. And I have absolutely no intention of sending them to a vanguard or magnet program or private school.

    My nearly 4 years olds can’t write their names (my boy won’t even do letters) they don’t really know any numbers over 12, but they can play a wicked game of superheros together, they can ride their bikes safely all the way to the park (on the roads), they fly ever so high on the swings and every bit of equipment in the park is a pirate ship.

    I know what type of kids I want. And yes they are smart, I just don’t need to prove it to anyone!

  4. mibarra on February 7th, 2013 11:44 am

    Eh, I wouldn’t be too worried. Especially with a loving and attentive mommy I think she will pick those things up no problem. She may be ‘technically behind’ according to their checklist, but it’s not like she can’t even count at all, or isn’t making any progress! Now, my 3 year old can count to 30, knows about 50 words on sight, and can recognize patterns. BUT she loves that stuff. She thinks educational flashcards are the greatest toy in the world, and since she was 6 months old would sit with me for 45 minutes or more just reading books. Every kid is different. As long as she continues to learn I wouldn’t worry! :)

  5. mommadeeof4 on February 7th, 2013 1:16 pm

    Childhood is not a race! This is a wonderful list of the things your 4 year old should know and not one of them has to do with reading writing or arithmetic!

  6. mommadeeof4 on February 7th, 2013 1:19 pm

    Let me add this is one of the many reasons we homeschool so I can try my hardest to keep my kids out of this race. My children will learn what they need and want to know at their own pace and at a time in their development that they are able to understand and retain what they are being taught! At 4 children learn through imaginative play, reading and just exploring the world around them, you sound like a wonderful mommy and I would not worry one bit :)

  7. strongwoman on February 7th, 2013 10:26 pm

    I think some of the most important skills are not “academic”. I don’t want my kids to just memorize facts and be able to recite them to anyone. I want them to question things, wonder about the world around them, thinmk about how to serve others and learn to be self-sufficient. Once they are out of the house, they’ll need to be able to make sound decisions on their own. I find that schools just push kids to memorize, recite, and move on. There’s not much hands on experience anymore because teachers have to keep up with the pacing guide. Screw the pacing guide! It only makes teachers get more uptight and upset when a child in the class is not keeping up. Forget what these people are saying about what your child should “know” by now. Make these last two years with her at home full of great memories and traditions!

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