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What should my 4 year old know?

My daughter just turned 4 less than a month ago... I have always known that she is very smart, she talks and acts like a 6 or 7 year old and she has a big personality ... she knows all her shapes, colors, etc.... but when it comes to writing she can't... I try to show her how told a pencil ( or crayon, etc) and she just seems not to be able to... she reconizes some letters but she cannot write any of them ( besides " L " ) and alot of her letters are backwards ( no matter how many times I try to show her... she still writes them backwards) ..... I always thought this was ok, and she will learn it when she gets to kindergarten... but my SIL ( who doesnt have kids) say that she HAS to know that before she goes...and now I am just kind of worried about it


Asked by Anonymous at 10:15 AM on Aug. 18, 2010 in Just for Fun

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • She should know how to write letters before kindergarten, but she is only 4. You have time. She will learn this year, she sounds very smart. A couple things that helped my kids - use chalk on the driveway to write letters, write letters in the fog of windows with your finger, write letters with a stick on sand. Be creative. It doesn't have to be pencil on paper always. She'll get there - good luck.

    Answer by mompam at 10:24 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • She doesn't have to know before then. And it is not unusual for her to write them backwards. Not to mention, she may not have the fine motor skills yet. Try some work on those first, then worry about holding the pencil and writing.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:17 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Your SIL is suffering from perfect parent syndrom. It normally goes away after you give birth to your first child.

    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 10:19 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I know that a lot of teachers use a tactile method of learning how to write. Get some sand or shaving cream and have her practice writing the letters with her fingers. As you have her practice the L ask and go over what sound the letter makes. It will take some time.

    I wouldn't worry as much about writing the letter backwards. My DD wrote some letters backwards until the 2nd grade. My oldest could write full sentences upside down and backwards until he started trying to do it.

    The more you gently practice (make it as fun as you can) the easier it will be for her.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 10:21 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Don't worry about it. Intelligence and small muscle control aren't linked.

    Answer by SWasson at 10:21 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • OMG, I love opinions from people who don't have kids. Then when they do have kids or adopt they realize, it is not what they expected-each kid is diffrent and learns at a diffrent pace. Don't worry about what other people say...

    She don't have to know. Just keep practicing, she will get it eventually. Good luck!!!

    I have 4 kids and each did it at there on pace. They are doing well...

    Answer by KFree907 at 10:24 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • If you force a child to "learn" before they are developmentally ready you can cause harm. You can have fat crayons and fat pencils (you can get them at office supply stores) but let her do things on her own. You might be interested in learning about how to teach young children if you are going to do this at home. If you google multiple intelligences you will find out about the many ways children can learn. Thomas Armstrong has written good books about teaching children using the multiple intelligences theory.

    Instead of writing with a pencil you can have your child draw shapes with her finger in corn meal poured in a 9 X 13 pan. Be creative and think outside the box.


    Answer by Gailll at 10:26 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Have you checked into sending her to Pre-K? It is a free program and they teach them what they need to know. Thing about GA Pre-K is that it is run by "Bright From The Start" and they don't want them to be taught how to write letters and such. They want them to have "developmental play" where they pretty much say things like, "Can you find me a yellow toy?" and see if they can figure out their colors and stuff. My kids have known that stuff since about 1 year to 8 months. The school my daughter goes to teaches them that stuff anyhow which I think is great.
    If she is writing backwards she could be dislexic. And if she isn't properly holding the pencil/crayon she could need to use her other hand? Have you determined if she is actually left or right handed yet? If you find an appropriate school they can work with her on this stuff and they have training in it so they know different techniques to use and how to work with

    Answer by Memigen at 10:20 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • children from different walks of life and with different issues (writing, etc).
    From what I have heard (my oldest doesn't go to kindergarden until next year) they have to be potty trained, know how to write or recognize their name, most schools will work with them on writing their name, their colors, letters, numbers, shapes, and some around my area (most actually) start spelling tests within the first month. That is to determine where they are in the beginning and at the end of the year, as well as to get them started reading and writing. I think it is dumb to not want them to learn to write and read in Pre-K but to expect them to do it in Kindergarden... but that's an argument for another time. :)
    Check with your local schools and ask them what they expect of kindergarden children. And never think she can't do pre-k because she is too old. I personally look at it as our "practice year" and her year to get used to the

    Answer by Memigen at 10:23 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • fact that it is five days a week without mommy, she has to be around teachers and kids she doesn't know and has to do school work, etc.

    It is something she could greatly beneift from. :)

    Good luck!

    BTW, I am dislexic so if you have any questions about overcoming that let me know. I am always glad to help! :)

    Answer by Memigen at 10:24 AM on Aug. 18, 2010