What Should A 4 Year Old Know?

25th February 2018

Westside Montessori Toronto

A friend posted this great article on Facebook “What Should A 4 Year Old Know?” and I’m sharing it here because as parents we always wonder if we are doing ‘enough’.

I was touring a school in the San Francisco Bay Area recently and walked into a very academic looking classroom. At first I thought I mistakenly went to the grade school wing but a teacher confirmed that this indeed was the KINDERGARTEN class!

She then showed me some sample books the kids were reading (they looked like grade 1 level) and over on the bulletin, I saw pages of work — impressive that these 4-5 year olds were writing in full sentences already!

I left feeling a bit discouraged and questioned my own parenting abilities because I long ditched the flash cards and CJ is ‘drawing coconuts’ (a circle with a stick on top haha)… a proud momma moment when he showed me and I thought it was a BIG DEAL! Yet now I felt like he was soooo behind… despite attending a wonderful Montessori School in Toronto (that’s a photo of him in his Casa classroom up on top), I wondered if this was a Silicon Valley ‘norm’ and were we in for a rude awakening? 


Then I reminded myself that he’s FOUR! Chill out. All the STEM stuff will come later. His only obligation is to explore and play and yes, get creatively messy (even though I cringe every time he runs towards one of those bloody playgrounds built in sand)! And as parents, the best thing we can teach them is confidence, empathy and not crush their spirits.

I’m not going to mention the name of the school nor the demographic it attracts but you can clearly feel the intensity in a room full of of tiger moms (grrrrr)! Even though they offered to waive the $100 application fee that day, I walked right outta there and tossed the glossy brochure in the recycle bin. Preschoolers should not be sitting in rows of desks!


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3 thoughts on “What Should A 4 Year Old Know?

    1. Wendy Post author

      I’m a big fan of Dr. Shefali! I’ll definitely check that book out. Right now I am reading The Conscious Parent. It’s quite a deep and thought-provoking read that stirs up my own childhood issues so it’s taken me a long time to get through even half of it haha.

  1. Laurie

    Good job Wendy! Caden is getting such a wonderful education in Costa Rica! He is learning, exploring and having fun!


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