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Wilo1702

What should my 4 year old know?

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Wilo1702

Heyyy!

I know the statement 'dont compare your kids" and "they all learn at their own pace" but what should my 4 year old know before kindergarten? He is very bright with some things, and he talks great..but he still gets muddled with small things like counting from 10-20. 

Did you find there were things your child didn't know when they started kinder that other kids did? He is attending quite a prestiges  private kinder so I just want to make sure he is well prepared (don't worry he still picks his nose and gets filthy making mud pies like most kids). 

Thanks!!

 

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laridae

Kinder as in preschool?  They don't need to know much at all. How to open their lunchbox and take off and put on a jumper and jackets and shoes etc helps though.  Oh, and how to wipe their own bum.  They don't need to know much academically.  That's what they are going for!

 

At the beginning of kinder, my DD2 could count to about 10 reliably.  She could write her name, but didn't know most of her letters (knew some) and couldn't read anything.  By the end of the year she could count to 100 or so, still couldn't read (as that's done in prep) but knew most of her letters and sounds.  In Tas they do a kinder development check which lists all the things they are expected to be able to do by the end of the year.  Ifs pretty simple, like count to 5. jump with both feet, make a model out of blocks, draw a few shapes.  Nothing complicated.

Edited by laridae
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AllyK81

How to play nicely with other children and how to open his own lunchbox. He's 4.  Kinder is play based.  He doesn't need to 'know' anything.

My DD also attends a prestigious private kinder and out of the 20 girls in her class only 3 could even write their name at the start of the year. Most were completely disinterested.

DD is now reading, doing simple maths sums, spelling, writing etc, but that has evolved very naturally over the year through their play based learning curriculum.

I wouldn't worry about it at all. Let him be a kid and enjoy the next few months!

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CrankyM

Pretty much nothing beyond  opening their lunch box, being able to take a jumper or similar off, and preferably go to the toilet independently.

The class will have a range of abilities. My kids attended classes where kid's already new some of the basics of reading and how to count back and forth to 100. Other kids knew zilch. My oldest wasn't even talking on a regular basis but did fine. My youngest knew how to write and recognise his name and how to count to 20 (and do basic sums because he liked maths and we played to that. He was "older" though, as in he actually turned 5 in 4yr kindy due to being a July baby with the cut off being June 30 in WA).

Edited by CrankyM
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seayork2002
5 minutes ago, CrankyM said:

Pretty much nothing beyond  opening their lunch box, being able to take a jumper or similar off, and preferably go to the toilet independently.

The class will have a range of abilities. My kids attended classes where kid's already new some of the basics of reading and how to count back and forth to 100. Other kids knew zilch. My oldest wasn't even talking on a regular basis but did fine. My youngest knew how to write and recognise his name and how to count to 20 (and do basic sums because he liked maths and we played to that. He was "older" though, as in he actually turned 5 in 4yr kindy due to being a July baby with the cut off being June 30 in WA).

This was what was on the list we had for when ds was in childcare the year before FYOS but an extra thing on the list was write/read own name (I know you mentioned it but just saying what was on the list itself)

I think was all, I think the list was on the NSW state 'get ready for school' website and the childcare and the school he went to had it in the orientation stuff

DS knew how to count a bit and knew the alphabet but this is not something I would have 'made' him do to start school he just happened to know a bit

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CrankyM
1 minute ago, seayork2002 said:

This was what was on the list we had for when ds was in childcare the year before FYOS but an extra thing on the list was write/read own name (I know you mentioned it but just saying what was on the list itself)

This post is referring to 4yr kindy, not FYOS. AKA pre-school in NSW, and called 4yr kindy in VIC/TAS/SA/QLD/WA.

It incredibly confusing that NSW calls the FYOS kindy when other states use that for the years before school.

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Kiwi Bicycle

Recognise their written name ( so they know what cubby is theirs, etc.) And the things mentioned above. 

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seayork2002
4 minutes ago, CrankyM said:

This post is referring to 4yr kindy, not FYOS. AKA pre-school in NSW, and called 4yr kindy in VIC/TAS/SA/QLD/WA.

It incredibly confusing that NSW calls the FYOS kindy when other states use that for the years before school.

ok sorry, then there is nothing my son knew specially at the age he just went to paid pre-school/childcare/kindergraten (one of those places that is paid independent child care that take kids from 2) that he stayed at till he went to FYOS in NSW

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Inkogneatoh

As others have said, self help skills would be beneficial. Being able to dress and undress (including shoes if they remove them), manage their lunchbox (and anything you put in it), and toileting would be the most important. Independently blowing and wiping their nose with some efficiency, as well as washing hands are up there as well. 

Academically, recognizing their own name in writing would help. Not necessarily being able to spell or write it (although spelling is a bonus if his name isn't a common one), but at least be able to assist with them identifying their belongings. The ability to tell the teacher/helpers their name is also great.

As someone who worked in childcare, these are all "really nice to have" skills and things that the preschool teachers requested we concentrate on. They aren't absolutely required, but helpful to have.

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blimkybill
37 minutes ago, AllyK81 said:

How to play nicely with other children and how to open his own lunchbox. He's 4.  Kinder is play based.  He doesn't need to 'know' anything.

 

This. But playing nicely with other children is also often learned during Kindy, not before. 

Another "would be nice" is knowing how to basically take a small amount of care of his own belongings, eg put his jumper in his bag not just drop it on the floor, or put his lunch stuff away not just leave it where it is. And knowing that adults don't drop everything and respond to you immediately, sometimes you have to wait. But both of those things can also be learned during Kinder too. 

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Green Sage

Nothing much. They don’t even expect kids to be able to count to 20 before school. My son spent all of term 1 at school on the numbers 1-10.

For 4 YO kinder, all they wanted, and it wasn’t compulsory, was that they could open their own lunch box and pull their own pants down. There were still kids in nappies though and kids who needed help with their food. So I wouldn’t worry about it. The whole point of kinder is that kids learn these things, and learn a bit of independence, and learn to play with others. 

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Luci

My 3 kids all attended private preschools in NSW that would probably be described as "prestigious".  I don't think any of them could write their name, they could count a bit.   We practiced at home with them eating lunch out of their lunch boxes, and they were all ok with going to the toilet independently.  

As mentioned by PP, preschool focuses on getting ready for school. Getting ready to learn. So social and emotional type skills. Things like following instructions, taking turns, sitting and listening quietly.  As well as play based learning. 

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Dustyblue

Very interesting thread, thanks OP.

My 4 y/o wont start kinder until next year, and I'm relived to hear he can do many (but not all) of the tasks mentioned above.

I've been concerned recently that he's lacking hand skills- he can recognise words but won't bloody write them, or draw much, and he can't use scissors. 

But reading the above, I'm probably worrying too soon. There's always something isn't there? :)

 

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alias grace
1 hour ago, Dianalynch said:

This 4 year old kinder service has a few expectations listed, none are ‘academic’ as such, the focus is very much social/emotional and personal care/managing belongings etc. I found this was the case when ds went to kinder. 

https://ascotkindergarten.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Is-your-child-ready-for-4-year-old-kinder.pdf

Is it just me, or is that guidance a bit off-putting?  Perhaps it's just the fact that I really dislike the Victorian cut-off system, so much pressure on parents to make the "right" series of choices by the time their kids turn 3.  It would be so much easier if it was all just age based with very limited exceptions if needed.  

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amdirel

My kids went to a non-prestigious preschool, so I guess I can't help, as they're obviously so different.

🤣🤣🤣🤣

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BusbyWilkes
1 minute ago, amdirel said:

My kids went to a non-prestigious preschool, so I guess I can't help, as they're obviously so different.

🤣🤣🤣🤣

I was going to post similarly, saying they should know that expensive isn’t the same as elite!! (And if you want to see how some of these elite kids grow up, google Shore School for the latest debacle of inappropriate behaviour from some of these schools). 

Seriously though OP, all schools should have the same expectations of 4 year olds (Self care tasks as mentioned). Any who are focused on academic knowledge as prerequisites for kindy would be ones to avoid.

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Kiwi Bicycle
20 minutes ago, alias grace said:

Is it just me, or is that guidance a bit off-putting?  Perhaps it's just the fact that I really dislike the Victorian cut-off system, so much pressure on parents to make the "right" series of choices by the time their kids turn 3.  It would be so much easier if it was all just age based with very limited exceptions if needed.  

Honestly all preps in Victorian public schools are assessed a few weeks into the year. The teacher actually told me it was a series of steps, one was can they pick up a book, hold it the correct orinetation, and then turn a page. From the sounds of it, the prep teachers expect nothing.

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Dianalynch
29 minutes ago, alias grace said:

Is it just me, or is that guidance a bit off-putting?  Perhaps it's just the fact that I really dislike the Victorian cut-off system, so much pressure on parents to make the "right" series of choices by the time their kids turn 3.  It would be so much easier if it was all just age based with very limited exceptions if needed.  

I just included it for the dot points on readiness, not the other information, and not as definitive, more to highlight that when it comes to academics, kinder teachers expect nothing. Same as prep teachers in my experience. Prep teachers like it if a kid can recognise their name, if possible it’s not a rule, but that’s it. 
 

Agree the system has limitations, many many limitations, that’s what we get with our industrial era sheep dip model of education 

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born.a.girl
8 minutes ago, Kiwi Bicycle said:

Honestly all preps in Victorian public schools are assessed a few weeks into the year. The teacher actually told me it was a series of steps, one was can they pick up a book, hold it the correct orinetation, and then turn a page. From the sounds of it, the prep teachers expect nothing.

When I spoke to my daughter's prep teacher and asked how she was progressing (because she wasn't starting to 'read', apart from some words) she mentioned that she had a child in the class who didn't know which way up to hold the book.  I still clearly remember the moment, because you worry that little things mean a lot, but despite reading at a 'typical' age, she'd been turning the book up the right way before she could walk. I stopped worrying then.

OP mine just had to be able to recognise her name, as they had them pre-printed and the kids used them to stick on their work. Apart from the other obvious stuff like toileting and clothes.  Academically, nothing.

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Dianalynch
51 minutes ago, Dustyblue said:

Very interesting thread, thanks OP.

My 4 y/o wont start kinder until next year, and I'm relived to hear he can do many (but not all) of the tasks mentioned above.

I've been concerned recently that he's lacking hand skills- he can recognise words but won't bloody write them, or draw much, and he can't use scissors. 

But reading the above, I'm probably worrying too soon. There's always something isn't there? :)

 

My ds was the same, below average fine motor, he’s grade 1 now still can’t draw. His kinder teachers were not in the least bit concerned, they’re a wonderful lot, all kids are great to them and they’re used to a diverse range of skills. 

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Lou-bags
1 hour ago, Dustyblue said:

Very interesting thread, thanks OP.

My 4 y/o wont start kinder until next year, and I'm relived to hear he can do many (but not all) of the tasks mentioned above.

I've been concerned recently that he's lacking hand skills- he can recognise words but won't bloody write them, or draw much, and he can't use scissors. 

But reading the above, I'm probably worrying too soon. There's always something isn't there? :)

 

Yes, I think you probably are. But I do get it. Especially with the first it's a bit hard sometimes to figure out what the expectations are and where your kid 'is at' for their age.

My just turned 4yo starts kindy next year. He can't hold a pencil properly so most certainly cannot write (DS1 could hold a pencil properly but not write at the same age so not much different). His drawing is just scribble, really. Neither of my sons have been interested in drawing much at all when little. And I did nothing to encourage it because it didn't seem important to make them do something they didn't indicate an interest in, and because I freaking hate the mess and all the bits of "drawing" they then end up wanting to keep. And the accidental (and on purpose) drawing on the table and other non paper items. That's a nope. 

Also, my 4yo can't recognise any words at all. He knows maybe 3 letters? The first letter of his name, the first letter of his best friend's name, and the first letter of his brother's name and that's it as far as I know. He's actually a good counter come to think of it (can count to 100 with very little prompting - occasionally gets stuck at 20, or 50 or 70), and can recognise all the single digits and some larger numbers. 

Can't use scissors. But again neither of mine get practice with that at home - because it drives me crazy lol. 

My DS1 had very advanced gross motor skills going into 4yo kindy, but his fine motor skills were lacking. He caught up though and now in year 1 it's clear that going into kindy without writing and scissor skills and similar did not matter a jot. 

 

 

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Lou-bags
24 minutes ago, Dianalynch said:

My ds was the same, below average fine motor, he’s grade 1 now still can’t draw. His kinder teachers were not in the least bit concerned, they’re a wonderful lot, all kids are great to them and they’re used to a diverse range of skills. 

Oh yes, my year 1 boy still can't draw well. It makes for the most amazingly funny drawings for mothers day and fathers day and similar. The drawing he did in his friend's birthday card was one for the 21st, let me tell you. Highly phallic by complete accident - it's a hoot and I wish I could share it but he's asked me not to show anyone! 

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PrincessPeach

The grand total of skills required for our Kindy here in qld was, ability to recognise their own name, toilet independently & be able to put their own shoes on/take them off.

The rest they need to learn during the year. Even starting FYOS here at a public school there is no expectation that they can read/write, they are expected to have a reasonable pencil grip & ideally count to 20. Knowing your ABC is a bonus.

Edited by PrincessPeach
Weird autocorrect.
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MadMarchMasterchef

Im in SA,  I think state might be relevant, but basically they just need to be toilet trained and able to get their lunch and drink out of their bag.  Kindy is to teach them things to get ready for school like taking turns, working in a group etc.  There is no academic standard expected its just getting them ready for academics at school. 

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