This is the first year I’ve put my son in preschool. He’s almost 4 and up until last Fall, he was at home with me 24/7. But I felt that he was ready for some type of social interaction in a “school” setting. So he goes to “school” one day a week at our church. And he loves it. He loves his friends, his teacher, the playground, eating lunch at school, doing art projects, show and tell. But unfortunately, the owner of the school has decided not to return next year. So we were forced to find another preschool. After looking into other preschools, I quickly realized that I am in the minority. I am not concerned about whether or not my son is reading by the time he gets to kindergarten. I’m not concerned about whether or not he can write is name perfectly. I’m not concerned about whether or not he can recognize an uppercase “P” from a lowercase “p”. I’m not concerned about whether or not he can draw a self-portrait. I just want him to love school.
A friend of mine posted a link to an article on Facebook entitled, “What Should a 4 Year Old Know?”. And I was so glad to read a perspective that was in line with my husband’s and my way of thinking. If you have children (even if they’re not 4), you need to read this article.
In short, every 4 year old should know the following:
- “that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time”
- “that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe”
- “how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination”
- “know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them”
- “that the world is magical and that so is she”
And every parent should know the following:
- “every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra”
- “the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children”
- “being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest”
- “our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them”
- “our children need more of us”
- “They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they're a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.”
This article is so beautifully written and it’s such a wonderful reminder to let our kids be kids while they’re still kids. And it’s ok to let them play in the rain. They’re learning more by splashing around in puddles than they could learn from that battery-operated-blinking-lights-noise-making toy.