Christian Ross

What Should a 4-Year Old Know?

I’m not sure where I stumbled across this article – What Should a 4-Year Old Know? – but it’s been in my Instapaper account for a short while now. Coincidentally, through the magic of Twitter, I was able to eavesdrop a conversation a week or two ago between a couple of buddies chatting about learning levels of children. The timing of it was spot on for things I was processing in my mind and it was interesting to see it all from the outside looking in.

Like any decent parent, I desire better things for my kids; I want them to excel in their studies, take ownership of their faith, and yes, it’d even be nice to see both of them with a tad more athleticism than I can boast of. The problem is, I regularly slide into a rut of thinking that there is a benchmark they should be exceeding when seeing other kids do certain things.

As I read through the article Saturday night it was a nice little reminder of the important things in life and I would encourage any parent of young ones to read through. Some nice little refreshers of not only what your kids should really know but also some notes as to what a parent should know as well. Hint: it isn’t the US state capitals in alphabetical order.

A couple of my favorites:

That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.


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.

Also, for the record, my kids are the smartest kids in the entire world.

3 responses to “What Should a 4-Year Old Know?”

  1. Me'mere says:

    Yes, to all the above, especially the part about the smartest kids in the entire world!

  2. Great post. My wife worries about how much my three year old knows compared to the other kids and I always tell her it doesn’t matter as long as he is having a fun life and knows we love him!

  3. Christian says:

    Thanks John, good thoughts. I wish I wasn’t in constant need of reminders like this in life.

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