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Should my 4 year old be reading a book ???

My daughter is 4 years old ( 5 at the end of July) ... we have always considered her very smart, she can carry on a conversation and can remember anything, she can count to 20, and know her letters ( and can write them) ... Sometimes I " work with her" on trying to learn those things, but other times I think she should just play and have fun before she has to go to school everyday and I just assume she can learn most of those things in school ( I didnt even learn how to write until I was in kindergarten ) ...

But I have a friend whos daughter is 2 months older than my daughter ( which is pretty much how we became friends) .... and she told me that her daughter can read a whole kids book by herself ( that she reads it out loud to her) ... and that her preschool teacher said that they have to know how to read these types of books and such before going to school or they will be considered "behind" .... i think that is crazy , but now I am worried that this is true ....

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:58 PM on Apr. 1, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (21)
  • Im not sure what schools consider "behind" anymore...sometimes it's a little ridiculous what they expect out of kids...just like crawling and walking and do it all at different ages...4 years old is still so sounds like she is doing fine and you should not have to worry.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 8:59 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Your fine! All she needs to know you have already taught her. Make sure she can spell her own name and she will blossom in school. You don't want to teach her everything, she will be bored in school.

    Answer by Audrice1985 at 9:05 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Some kids at that age are reading, others are not. It's not a measurement of intelligence or work, it's just a difference in comprehension at that age, and not all kids are going to be the same. My son will be 5 in May, he just read his first word (Moose) two days ago. And of all my friends I have the only one who's even starting to read - and they are all within 6 months of one another... My 3yo (4 in July) still has trouble with his ABCs and counting to 10. He's just "smart" in different areas.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:15 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • I taught preschool and very few of my kids would come in even being able to recognize site words much less reading full books. However, at the end of their year with me, they could all read their site words and some really basic books. (c:

    Answer by scout_mom at 9:20 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • She won't be behind. I talked to my son's kindergarten teacher last year at the info fair. The get kids that can read and write, they get kids that have never read a letter or touched a pencil. By the end of kindergarten they've all got at least the basics.

    My son taught himself to read at 4 years old. His best friend last year was biligual and hated to read. Don't stress Mamma, it'll come when she's ready.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 9:24 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • My son read his first sentence on his 4th birthday. I don't know why they would be considered "behind" if they can't read when they start school. I thought that was what school is for. I'm a sahm, and I currently have a 20 month old. He knows all of his colors, can count to 3, and can recognize almost half the letters in the alphabet. Being a sahm, I have the time to teach him. Not everyone has that luxury.

    Answer by popzaroo at 9:46 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • She is not behind. I know kids who could read at 4 but that doesn't mean that they will better off when they start school. My son who is 8 is a very good reader but he didn't start acually reading whole books until 1st grade. In the beginning it is all about recognization anyway. Either your friend is exaggerating the requirements or the preschool teacher is. They should know the alphabet and their colors and some shapes.

    Although my son did remind me what a parallelogram was the other day. I learned that in 9th grade geometry.

    Answer by HollyBoBolly at 10:28 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • My 4 year old (3 at the time) couldn't wait until preschool. When I asked him why he said, "because I want to read." He was crushed when his 5 year old brother told him he wouldn't learn that until Kindergarten.

    My 4 year old can count to 100. Can tell you simple the answer to simple addition problems. He even knows what 12+9 is. He just KNOWS them....never uses his fingers. I think some kids are just good like that.

    Are you sure your friends daughter is reading or does she have the books memorized. Lots of children at that age have them memorized.

    Not to worry, your child is not behind. I too believe that is what school is for.

    Answer by ItsJustMe1017 at 10:31 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Par t of this depends on the child, but part of it depends on what type of phonics program the child was exposed to. If the other child had a phonics program at age 4 but your child did not, I would not expect your child to read at age 4. My son read at 4 (he had the phonics program at that age) but his sister read at 5 1/2. They are both gifted readers now (ages 8 and 11), so the age they started really had nothing to do with it.

    You could try a phonics program if you have time to work with your child. It never hurts to start early... But if you decide to wait until school, no big deal. It all evens out by 3rd grade.

    Answer by RobotLady at 10:52 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • None of my kids could read entering Kindergarten (my youngest will be 5 in June and is at about the same place your daughter is), now my older two read well above grade level - and can comprehend what they read. I'd much rather they understand what they read than just be able to decipher the words. She won't be behind she'll be just right. There will be kids going into school that can read, but not know colours or how to count past 10 or know shapes or whatever, each child is different and the teachers are used to that and will 'catch' everybody up.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 12:15 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

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