General Guidelines for Preschool

Keep in mind that children are individuals. God has created each one with different gifts, interests and abilities. The skills listed below are guidelines only.

Four Year Olds learn through play and hands-on activities. Few are ready for formal reading instruction. Let your child’s interest set the pace for the instruction that you give him.

Note: A portion of this list comes from Active Learning for Fours by Debbie Cryer.

Four Year Olds can:  

Motor/Physical Skills:

  • get dressed without much help
  • draw a person with three parts
  • jump backward
  • try to imitate someone who draws a square
  • walk downstairs alternating feet
  • play alone for 20-30 minutes
  • fasten buttons quite well
  • eat well with fork, cut easy foods with a knife
  • usually stay dry through the night
  • jump over things
  • hop on one foot at least five times
  • cut a big circle (4-1/2+)
  • brush teeth quite well (4-1/2+)
  • draw a person with 6 parts (4-1/2+)
  • lace shoes (4-1/2+)
  • do a somersault (4-1/2+)
  • draw some things we recognize (4-1/2+)
  • cut and paste simple shapes (4-1/2+)
  • print own name but not clearly (4-1/2+)
  • print a few capital letters (4-1/2+)

Pre-reading Skills:

  • recognize print in the environment
  • distinguish separate words
  • recognize rhyming words
  • know some letter names and shapes, including the letters in the child's name;
  • begin to demonstrate reading-like behaviors, such as pretending to read and write;
  • begin to demonstrate understanding of picture books and simple stories; and
  • retell stories, make predictions, and connect stories to background experiences in a teacher-guided group format.
  • know in front of, under, behind, or on top of
  • recognize own name in print
  • tell you what some words mean (4-1/2+)
  • tell the opposite of some words (4-1/2+)
  • give understandable home address (4-1/2+)
  • say whether two words rhyme (4-1/2+)
  • recognize a few printed words (4-1/2+)

General Guidelines for Math Learning. At the end of Preschool, your child should generally:

  • be able to count to ten
  • begin to understand size, shape, and position 
  • know how to sort things in different ways, usually by color (colored cereal, m&ms, string beads, use frogs.)
  • know the name of a penny, nickel, and dime