What Should a 4 Year Old Know?


A Magical Childhood

What should a 4 year old know?

It’s back to school time and children all over are starting preschool.  Many parents are frantically searching the internet to find out if their little ones are “on track” and know everything they should.

I wrote this article about what a four-year-old should know many years ago but it continues to be the most popular page on the Magical Childhood site.  I don’t think a week has passed in the past eight or so years when I have not received a letter from a parent, grandparent or teacher about it.  Parents and principals especially have said they wish more parents realized these things.

So in honor of the new school year, I’m posting it here…

What should a 4 year old know?

I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough…

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Home and Family

Those aren’t interruptions; they’re my children.

Because we are in the midst of a flurry of wedding plans and things are kinda nuts around here right now, I decided to repost this entry which I wrote last March.  Getting time to work on my blog for the next week or so is looking more and more challenging, so I thought I would remind myself why I do what I do. It applies now even more than it did then!

March is turning into an interesting month.  There have been lots of reminders about what truly matters, and what is secondary.  One of our daughters car needed repairs and she moved, one has had sick children, one son is courting, and we have been trying to get some re-organization done around our house.  Oh, and it was our anniversary get-away weekend.

As my husband and I took time to commemorate our 29 years together and to create some order at home, we were also trying to help with car repairs, unpacking, grandchildren, parental advice, and keeping the rest of life up-and-running.  Needless to say, not everything we had planned got done!  (We did have a lovely weekend with some time to ourselves, though.)

All of this has taken me back to the years of raising my children.  So many things I would have liked to have completed just never quite got done.  Other things just took a lot longer than they would have if I had not had to stop to help those in my family.  That’s okay.  The family is not the interruption.  The rest of life is.  My focus, energy, and affection needs to be given most fully at home; then I can look outward.  Frustration because they need my help is futile and completely off the mark!  Community responsibilities, church assignments and callings, a spotless house, creating perfect meals, and other good (but secondary) desires are best accomplished when things at home are squared away!  Staying home with a sick child may not be as fun as decorating a room, or shopping with friends, but it is the most vital thing.  And, really, doesn’t your greatest joy come from moments spent with family?

So what has that looked like over the years?  Meals eaten together, working in the garden as a family, taking time to help them tie that shoe- again, help with music practice.  In our home school, there was a stop sign on the front door during academic hours to remind us and the rest of the world that what we were doing was a top priority.  It also manifested itself in library trips, days at the zoo, attendance at recitals, and reading just one more chapter…

Our children are in our homes for such a short time.  We need to cherish that time, and make the most of the chance to love and nurture those sweet little ones!  As they grow, the chance to do all those other things will be there (if those other things are worth doing).  As a wife and a mother, I do best when I remember that my family is a gift from God, and as I give my best self to them, the Lord will help me take care of anything else that truly matters.