What Should a 4 Year Old Know? Or an 8 Year Old For That Matter?

This link is for an article answering the question ‘What Should a 4 Year Old Know?’ asked by a typically anxious parent. I love the article’s answers and furthermore think they apply equally well to my 8 year old, mud pies and all. This comes as no surprise to all those who know me as a big fan of ‘delayed academics’.

September announces ‘back to school’. I am slightly dreading again being out of step with the rest of Society. In the summer, schoolers act like homeschoolers and vice versa and it’s a bit of a relief to not be the odd one out in the playground on a weekday morning or the supermarket on a weekday early afternoon or museum or anything else that you care to think of that isn’t school. It’s nice to see schoolers letting their hair down metaphorically so that my son’s actual long hair doesn’t seem to stand out quite so much! But this ‘going against the grain’ is very character-building for all of us in the family. And it’s absolutely great to know that we have plenty of time to do the things that all kids should know by the time they’re 4 i.e. play mud pies, build Lego, throw glitter about with abandon and read tons of stories together. I need to remember that next time I get asked, “Why aren’t they in school?” Sigh!


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is pjmontford@hotmail.com. I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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6 Responses to What Should a 4 Year Old Know? Or an 8 Year Old For That Matter?

  1. Michelle S says:

    Hi Penny,

    I really liked this article. Although I look like a bit of a tourist taking the kids places while others are at school, I personally do not miss the queues! It is only 7 months into our home schooling journey but I am finding less unusual looks and questions about the kids not going to “school”. Maybe it is the accepting and nonchalant way the kids butt in with the answer for me, or maybe it is just that people can see how happy my kids are. Oh, and one sort of related comment, I love my kids doing craft and making a mess, but when do they STOP throwing glitter around in abandon? In addition to the cleaning it sticks on everything (which makes for some interesting conversation at my husband’s workplace when it is spotted on himself).

  2. lina says:

    thank you from all my heart for inspiring me through sharing this article and the very much needed links on it:)

  3. Alessandra Panayi says:

    We are homeschooling in Uk but planning to come and live in Dubai…my husband is looking for a teaching job there as is sick of teaching in Uk..We have chosen Dubai for lots of reasons but one being that the home school community looks quiite strong. I was imagining that i would feel less conspicuous homeschooling in Dubai than I do here and would get asked less often that ” why are your kids not at school” question…Am i wrong? Would we still feel like odd balls?!!!! xxx love that article, it gave me much reassurance also! Thanks for posting!

    • Farah Ali says:

      Hi Alessandra,

      Are you in Dubai yet? We are a homeschooling family in Dubai and you are right, the HS community is pretty good here. You will still get asked “Why aren’t they in school??” but like anywhere else, just say, “Because we love homeschooling!” 🙂
      Let me know if you need any contacts here. My email address is farahali06@gmail.com
      Best of luck!
      Farah Ali

      • Hi Farah, Thank you for your kind comment. We were in Dubai for 8 months but have left already! We are now in Spain where there isn’t much of a community because h/s, although legal, is very persecuted here. Have fun in Dubai. We enjoyed the h/s people there but really hated other aspects of it.

  4. Hi Penny, if you feel like meeting other homeschooling moms in Dubai, you can join us in the meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Dubai-homeschooling-families/
    We meet once a week

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