“Social studies” is just a complicated way to say “learning about people.” And now is a great time to help your child understand that he’s part of a community. That sense of belonging, responsibility and the world make up pre-k social studies!
Because he lives in a democracy, it’s important that he knows what voting is, and why we do it. This idea may come easily to him if he’s ever “cast a vote” for a certain dinner or special treat!
It’s also about studying the environment around him. The earth affects a lot of what we do, and we affect it, too. The sooner a child understands that, the better.
One thing that may or may not be happening in your child’s head is an understanding of history. Just as we live in a certain place, we all live in a certain time, and the past has influenced the present in all kinds of ways. Speaking with older relatives offers great chances to learn about this.
But until your child is comfortable with the idea of personal time—how things change for him from day to day—it’s too soon to expect him to really understand things that happened long, long ago. We’ll get there, though. It just takes time.
I’m Part of Something Bigger.
She already knows a little about how your family celebrates things, like birthdays or holidays. Now she’s starting to see that the larger community has its own way of recognizing events, too. (For example, your home probably doesn’t host parades!) It’s all part of learning the world beyond the people she knows and sees regularly.
I Can Imagine The Past.
Understanding before-and-after can be as simple as knowing why we pick up our toys: so Mom or Dad doesn’t trip over them later! While soon he’ll be able to point to a calendar and know what each page means, for now it’s more about these simple connections. This also helps kids get an appreciation for why we have rules.
This Way Ahead!
“Okay, so this rock is our house, and this stick is the tree. Now, I’ll run around here…” At this age, play is getting more complex as your child makes maps in her head and explores the world around her. It’s not only fun; it’s the beginning of knowing, and improving, the environment we all share.
We All Play a Part.
A firefighter needs a hose. A farmer has a tractor. Here it’s your child’s time to recognize people in the community by what they do and how it helps. (Acting out these roles is pretty popular, too.)
Together We Can Do It.
What happens when we all vote for something? What jobs need to be done around the house or in the classroom? And, most importantly, how does it help if we all work together? These are the current questions in your child’s journey from great kid to great citizen.
All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.