The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Prepare Your Child for Their Career
As parents, we regularly find ourselves looking at our kids and wondering what their life will look like in 10, 20, 30 years. Will they be happy? Will they pick a partner who will be kind and loving and supportive? Will they choose a career that both fulfils them and challenges them? More importantly, will they remember to brush their teeth and eat vegetables? I have my doubts.
As our children grow up and enter their senior years, the “what do you want to do after school?” becomes a hot topic at the dinner table. However, as parents, this isn’t the first time we’ve thought about this question. We’ve been preparing for it since the day they were born. Maybe we send them to a private school or invest in tutors, maybe we register them for sporting teams and send them to holiday camps, maybe we choose to read them a book before bed instead of allowing them to use a device or maybe we download intellectually stimulating games for the device instead. We are constantly looking for interesting ways to guide our kids on the path of life.
Some studies have estimated that Australians will make 17 changes in employers across 5 different careers. By 2030, automation, globalisation and flexibility will change what we do in every single job. This is quite different to our parents’ generation and even our own. So how can we better prepare our kids?
We know that sport is great for teamwork. We know that school is great for critical thinking and problem solving. But sometimes, school and sport don’t cover all the bases, and we look for other ways we can facilitate the growth and development of fundamental skills.
The great thing about skills-based learning is that what is being learnt is transferable across industries. So, no matter whether they want to be a firefighter or a dancer, or whether they change their mind every 5 seconds or have absolutely no idea, if they are equipped with the right skills, they will be able to transition into a career smoothly.
Things like critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, curiosity and effective communication are some of the seven survival skills that education expert
While yes, our kids are well versed in the act of curiosity (get that snail out of your mouth!) and collaboration (stop trying to get out of chores with your sister!), there are ways in which we, as parents, can introduce our kids to these concepts in other contexts.
which, at its core, is immensely valuable for the future of work. However, it is exercised and practiced in an environment that teaches kids that coding is as much a mindset as it is a practical skill. This mindset will change the way they engage with problem solving, collaboration and entrepreneurship, especially if they grasp the unlimited possibilities of code.
Not just skill acquisition, but skill practice.
It’s not simply a matter of acquiring these skills, but ensuring our kids know how to use them. Instead of pushing our kids in the direction of a particular career path, make sure they’re confident and good at problem solving, are curious and agile. This will help them transition into whatever career path they choose later on.
1. Get creative with Minions
What is it?
Kids go bananas for Minions (pun intended) and these school holidays they can express their fandom making a Minions movie using stop-motion animation techniques. Over 2 days, kids create their own Minions clay characters and design their own film set. The magic begins when they see their characters come to life by taking multiple images of objects and stitching them together to look like they’re moving! - It’s incredibly fun!
If they watch their favourite animated movies on repeat, they’ll love creating Minions clay figurines and developing their own story, taking lots of still frames and stitching them together to create their very first movie!
2. Become a DJ
What is it?
Children will take their first steps into the exciting world of mixing music to create their own DJ set.
Kids will love mixing their favourite pop tunes using beat matching and transitions on real DJ decks. Plus, they will design their own DJ brand, develop branded merch, and even perform a DJ set to their friends!
3. Pilot a drone
What is it?
Kids learn to pilot a drone using coding to design a flight path and watch in wonder as the drone takes flight!
If your kid shows an interest in drones, they can learn more than just the basics of flying. Kids get a taste of cutting-edge technology and learn about coding, problem-solving, engineering, design, and more. They’ll learn about drone tech and safety, movie making, and discover how drones have a positive social impact when used to fight bushfires, rescue koalas, spot sharks on the coast and loads more!
4. Become a YouTuber
What is it?
While they may not end up with YouTube stardom, we’re sure kids will have a new lens on screen time. They will be equipped with the skills to start producing and directing their own ideas instead of simply watching other people's! Plus, they’ll gain confidence ‘performing’ in front of audiences and on set and importantly, learn about staying safe online.
Taking a YouTube fixation and turning it into something incredibly productive where kids will learn planning, storytelling, filming and video editing to become the star in their very own YouTube-style videos.
5. Produce a LEGO movie
What is it?
Turn hours of playing with LEGO characters into an even more creative pursuit, by teaching kids to create their own LEGO Movie.
They can use their favourite LEGO characters and sets, come up with a fun storyline and use stop-motion techniques to produce a short animation film. It will transform the way they play at home and offer endless hours of creativity for the rest of the holidays.
6. Code a game
What is it?
Kids can design their own arcade-style video games (like Super Mario Bros), jam-packed with cool characters like zombies and unicorns, and awesome gaming features such as invisibility cloaks and shrinking potions. They’ll learn drag and drop code and logic to connect all the design elements together and bring their games to life!
Kids are spending countless hours on Roblox and Minecraft these days. Get them to spark their creative side instead, by producing their own original games, using a combination of creative level design, storytelling and problem-solving to bring their creations to life. It’s so much fun, they won’t realise they are actually learning some very important coding and tech skills for their future.