What Is Your 4 Year Old Learning in Preschool??

Updated on January 19, 2010
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
6 answers

I just went to parent teacher conferences for my 4 year old in preschool.. They tested her and she knows her letters, numbers, colors, shapes,, can count to 31 etc..

she has december birthday so she has another year of preschool before she starts kindergarden.

Her current class is a 3 4 class.. she can stay in this class next year. I am wondering what she will learn in this class and what she should be learning?

I dont know of any preschools that teach reading .. even if she was ready to learn.. most of the class would not be..

I am wondering if I should put her in a different school next year??I do work 2 or 3 days per week so she is at school for the preschool in the am.. and also for the rest of the day day care.

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answers from Detroit on

hi there,
honestly i thought preschool/nursery school was more about the socialization. our 2 year old already knows the stuff you said your child knows from preschool so i was wondering what she would learn in nursery/preschool and thought it was more about interactions? i think our daughter learns so much from sesame street and we teach stuff too but more from sesame street... keep us posted if you hear any thing on your question :)



answers from Detroit on

Have you considered Montesori? We did that with both my children and I was very pleased with their progress. My son was a great reader by 3yo and they worked with him on his reading. We went thru Utica Community Schools Montesori program up thru Kindergarten so your 4 yo would also be in with 5 yo's. Just a thought.



answers from Detroit on


I just went through this last year with my daughter who has a January birthday. She was totally ready for kindergarten an entire year before she could start, as it sounds like your daughter will be. I kept her in her 3/4 pre-school class, but she completely outgrew it. The 3-year-olds seemed incredibly young once she was nearing five and she got pretty bored with the whole thing. If I could do it again, I would have searched out something else. I'm not sure I could have gotten her into a young 5's program as the cut-off may be the same (Dec. 1 birthdays and earlier?), but I think she would have been happier in something more advanced.

FYI - She's doing fine in kindergarten and seems a little ahead of the curve despite not moving her into something more challenging for the last year of pre-school. It's probably just the age difference. December/January/February babies are just "old" kindergarteners.

Try starfall.com for reading skills if you haven't discovered it yet. My little one is essentially "self-taught" in reading from playing on that site. Technology is a wonderful thing!

Regards, L.


answers from Detroit on

We live in Warren (near to you) and my son attends preschool sponsored by Warren public schools. He's already learned to write his name, recognize the letters of his name out of order and put them in order, basic spelling, some basic reading skills, writing letters (upper and lower case) and numbers, recognizing and drawing shapes (circle/squares/triangle/etc). He's always been pretty advanced in language skills (using words like non-negotiable, atrocious, acceptable, etc) since he was mid three yrs old.

My son is a February birthday, but kindergarten here must be 5 by December, so he'll be an "old" kindergartner too (love that term). I actually think the Jan/Feb/March babies get a little more advanced education from their additional time in preschool, but at the same time they DO get bored because they re-learn a lot of the same stuff over again. Therefore, I work with him at home on telling time, reading, etc. to keep his little mind busy. In preschool, they seem to teach as advanced as the slowest students, and since I know some of the kids who've never been to a "school" setting are a bit behind, I know he won't learn that there.

I actually tried to call Warren schools to see if he could test in to kindergarten early in September 2009 (I KNEW he was ready) and was told the State of MI doesn't allow early starts. So we're stuck patiently waiting for September 2010 kindergarten.

If you can afford it, I think the idea of an advanced preschool or Montessori (as suggested by another mom) are great ideas. We toured a Montessori school when I was still working (and could afford it) and those little ones are AMAZING!!! The kids demonstrated their skills for us and were SO ahead of the game. Most were READING at three and four.

Basically, your right. Preschool is mostly focused on social skills and getting used to a school environment (following directions, sitting patiently, etc). On the upside, I was told by my son's preschool teacher that some of our "really advance" older preschoolers are great at assisting the others in their education and will actually help the slower ones strive to improve. So its beneficial to the preschools to have our smart ones there LOL. Too bad they can't earn a paycheck, right!



answers from Detroit on

I personally view the preschool setting as a way to teach children how to socialize first~ then they work on the minor basics. Kindergarten is where they really start working on writing the name, numbers, counting, etc., etc.

However, there is no reason for you not to work with your child at home, either. I do with my son.

A note about changing schools: This may work for you, but you may set your child back... your daughter is becoming accustom to faces in her class and this is a good thing for socialization, making it easier for her next year when she recognizes faces. Less stress means it will be easier for her as the class works on projects and skills.

I feel horrid for my son, as he clams up when he doesn't recognize someone from preschool~ he sticks to himself in play and sometimes in learning as he is very shy like I used to be.



answers from Detroit on

My son was in a 4 year preschool and they did start learning to read...they learned blends and letter sounds (much harder than just learning the letters). They also started social studies. The curriculum was set up as a full day program from 9-3. They had gym every day, and bible. He attended Premier Academy in Rochester Hills. You should be able to find a 4 year old, or young 5 class. I would not have him repeat, he will be bored.

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