Does talking about college and careers before kindergarten feel a little silly?
It actually connects directing with Indiana’s Early Learning Foundations — which you can explore in our Play and Learning guides! Those are our state’s guidelines about what every child should know before starting kindergarten. Check out how your child’s growth in social studies connects — oftentimes down the road — to career options!
This article is one of many in the special 2018 early childhood edition of Learn More Magazine. Want to read more? Click here or reach out to your local child care resource and referral agency for paper copies!
A Job-Ready Baby?
Your child is beginning to understand how to be a good citizen by expressing needs and wants. That’s something we all end up doing in our educational and career paths.
Although babies are little, they can express their desires pretty well — from squeals and cries to those first smiles and babbles. As you respond to those actions in kind ways, you help your baby figure who they are today. What’s more, you help them set the path toward who they will become.
You are also helping your baby trust you. That’s a skill that will come in handy when you talk about school and college success!
Toddler Tasks Lead to Career Paths
As your child builds more skills, they can also take on more responsibilities! Helping with small tasks like picking up toys or pulling off socks builds the skill that lead to school success. In a few years, those tasks will include doing homework and planing for a career.
Take the time to make chores and jobs a joyful experience. When we enjoy work, we are more likely to do it. And it will be same when school adds calculus and chemistry to the mix in a decade or so.
Start Talking about Jobs in Preschool & Pre-K
Your child’s world is getting bigger. As you travel around town, you’ll likely hear ideas about where you’re going — the park, the store or school.
If you live near a college campus, consider making a trip together. Bring a picnic or a ball to kick around. Take time to talk about why people attend college. “These students are learning the skills they need to get college degrees in lots of subjects. That will help them find interesting jobs!” An early visit might just inspire an advanced degree down the road.
Build Your Child’s Brighter Future!
Want to dive deeper into the social studies development of your little one? Check out our Social Studies Play and Learning guidance for:
- Babies — Although she’s still little, she knows what she wants and needs — and she isn’t shy about expressing that to you!
- One-year-olds — He’s been watching you carry out your responsibilities day after day, and he’s ready to start contributing.
- Two-year-olds — Your little global citizen is learning about her social environment, how it functions, and what her place is within it.
- Three-year-olds — Your child is starting to realize that we don’t just do something because we’re asked…we do it because it’s the right thing to do.
- Pre-K learners — Because he lives in a democracy, it’s important that he knows what voting is, and why we do it.
Kirsten Eamon-Shine directs Early Learning Indiana’s communications efforts, including the Brighter Futures Indiana website. She loves telling stories that help adults nurture the curiosity and potential of children. She spent over a decade in the youth development field at IUPUI, the Marion County Commission on Youth and Peace Learning Center, and has diverse experience as a digital communications manager and strategist with community-focused organizations and businesses. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Indiana University. She spends her free time reading children’s and grown-ups’ books, enjoying Indianapolis’ cultural and food scenes, and listening to music with her husband and son Emerson, who is somehow old enough to be in kindergarten.