Once a Toddler ages up (whether through time or whether because you manually gave the order), they will jump into child age.
The first screen we are presented with when Anna reaches the child age is this one...
We are to give Anna a Childhood Aspiration and one Trait. Her list of traits is not complete; some, like Romantic, wouldn't make sense, but most of the list is available.
Childhood aspirations are simplified versions of several normal Aspirations. All four are focused on building the children's skills, and can give the child a huge headstart on adult life if we plan ahead. For Anna National, we will have her focus on being a professional painter once she hits adulthood. As such, we'll give her the Artistic Prodigy aspiration.
Now that she's a child, the bassinet is no longer used. Christine uses Build Mode to place it into the family inventory, then outfits one of the two spare bedrooms with a child bed and an activity table. The activity table is usable only by children and will develop one of their skills. Christine also places an easel in Anna's room, but this is pointless; children cannot use most adult objects that increase skills. Maybe Christine does this just to inspire her?
Children who are born during the week get a full day before they have to show up to school, so Anna takes the day to draw some pictures and work on her skills.
Children use a different set of Skills than adults. Child skills are all temporary and will vanish when they age up, but their skills will give them a headstart on the normal skills. If Anna develops her artistic skills this early, she'll be able to blaze through the first few levels of Painting in very little time once she becomes a Teenager.
Children have only four skills: Creativity, Mental, Motor, and Social. They all have a maximum level of 10, but it's unlikely that you will be able to max all four before they grow up. However, specializing in one or two is advised, especially because adults can help them out. While Anna sketches on her activity table, Christine uses the “Encourage” social command on her, immediately giving her a huge boost and allowing Anna to quickly roll through her levels of Creativity.
Still, during childhood, remember that skills are less important than aspirations. If a child manages to finish her childhood aspiration, she will permanently gain an incredibly powerful Trait that cannot be activated any other way. For Anna, it would mean earning a trait that would significantly boost the gain rates of all adult creative skills, which would give her a huge boost to her future professional artistry career!
Unfortunately, children cannot spend their entire day learning skills or playing with friends. There is school to attend each day in the morning, and for all intents and purposes, it's their job. Anna even has a performance meter in her Career Panel.
Like with adult jobs, Anna's performance meter climbs if she goes to school, and it goes up further if she goes to school in the right mood and/or with her homework done. She can do homework while home by interacting with the yellow book in her personal inventory, and her parents can help her.
Or... she doesn't have to. Although school is important for kids who are aiming for mental skills later, getting on the honor roll is not necessarily a high priority. If Anna ignores her homework but still shows up to school in good moods, she'll often maintain a C average, possibly even a B average. It's partly about your priorities as the player. As with reality, your Sim kids will get out of school what they put into it: getting those high grades means a significant amount of micromanaging, which may be challenging with a large family. Christine still keeps a close eye on the meter though; she doesn't want it falling too far, which would cause Anna to start losing grades!
When Anna goes to school, she can slightly affect her performance with job strategies similar to her parents'. While at school, her little portrait gets an icon of two people. Click that, and we can change whether she slacks off, works hard, makes friends, or even skip.
Unlike in previous iterations of the franchise, telling Anna to make friends doesn't actually increase her relationships: it only affects her Social need, so that strategy would only be enacted if she goes to school feeling especially lonely. Kids never come back from school with friends, and any “friends” they make are not actually reflected as new contacts. In fact, even if we tell Anna to make friends on her first day of school, and even if her Social meter ends up being maxed out by the time she comes home, the only two people she'll know are her parents.
If Anna wants to be social, whether just for the sake of being social or if she wants to work on her Social Child Skill, she can go to the park or even just talk to strangers who walk by. The Sims 4 does not require babysitters or any other adult to be present on the lot, so she can stay home alone or travel freely if she wishes to make some friends.
Sometimes in The Sims 4, you might not feel like making a sexy vampire, trying to get a ghost pregnant or using cheat codes to get unlimited money (or to make your Sims die of embarrassment). No, sometimes you just want to raise a virtual child into a good, productive member of Sim society. To that end, you must make sure they do their homework and do well in school.
If you want your Sims 4 child to be a real overachiever, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your Sim grows up to be the gibberish-spewing adult you can really be proud of.
How to do homework in Sims 4: What homework does
According to Carl's Sims 4 Guide Community poster Pam Marsden, homework is part of the equation in getting your child Sim to get an A in their studies. Homework is a bit like a career for a Sim child, and normally takes a little over an hour and a half of game time to complete.
By doing homework, you help raise that Sim's bar faster. Eventually you'll gain access to extra credit once your child has a B grade in school, which allows you to raise your bar even faster.
How to do homework in Sims 4: Why it matters
Children, much like the adult Sims they become, have skills that can increase in level as you play. For children, these four skills are Mental, Social, Creativity and Motor.
Although you'll need to increase at least one of these skills to level two in order for that Sim to get a B in their studies, it's well worth it to invest the time into maxing some of those skills. For every childhood skill you get to level 10, your Sim gets a 70% boost to the rate at which they complete homework. Max all four for a 208% boost!
In addition, each child skill you max out gives you access to a few adult skills, so your virtual child can get a head start on their adult development.
How to do homework in Sims 4: How to speed up the process
In addition to maxing out childhood skills for a boost to their homework productivity, you can also enlist your adult Sims in their child's development, assuming they're related. Once a child has started doing their homework, you can have one of their parents assist them by clicking on the child.
As previously stated, homework normally takes about an hour and a half to complete, but with parental assistance, that time is cut in half. If you combined that with the bonuses from maxing the childhood skills, your Sims will be completing their homework at a seriously fast rate. Adults can also help their children with the extra credit work they unlock after completing their normal homework with a B. So take advantage of that.
Manage your time and skills training effectively, and your Sims will be more than prepared for high school and beyond.
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