“There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” Henry Ford
Back to school is an exciting time for everyone. Nothing makes us feel quite as focused as crisp new notebooks and fresh pencils. Taking advantage of our children’s enthusiasm of a new school year and all it has to offer can provide us with the perfect opportunity to teach them the importance of setting goals.
While grades are our own way of tracking our children’s progress during the school year, helping them set smaller goals along the way is a good lesson for helping them focus and feel accomplished with smaller steps along the way.
Set Aside 15 Minutes to Come Up with a List of Goals
It may help to have an idea of what some attainable goals are ahead of time. Think about the different things you hope your child will learn this year both in school and as a person.
Some suggested goals:
- Show mom/dad homework once it is finished
- Read for 15 minutes a day
- Do one kind thing for another person
- Practice (piano, cello, handwriting, French, typing, etc) 15 minutes a day
- Lay out my clothes the night before school
- Ask for help in class when I need it
- Eat one piece of fruit at lunch
- Exercise for 15 minutes every day
Give Your Child a Chance to Express What Is Important to Them
Listening to what your child suggests may give you an idea of what they are concerned or anxious about going into the school year. Sometimes, just listening to what your child is focusing on will give you an idea of the areas they don’t know how to directly ask for help with. Likewise, if something like reading for 15 minutes a day seems to make your child anxious, consider altering the goal to be “read with mom/dad for 15 minutes a day.”
Place the list somewhere that they can see it often. You might place it on the front of the refrigerator, or hang it over their desk. For older kids, you can use the Hatchedit shareable TO DO lists so that they can see it when they log into their family account to check the family schedule on the computer or on our free phone apps.
Schedule a Time on Your Own Calendar to Follow-up on Your child’s Goal List
Its easy to get caught up in the business of day to day life. I know I always start the school year with the best of intentions on helping my daughter focus and set goals. But many times work, stress and life get in the way. If I have scheduled a set time once a week on my Hatchedit family calendar to remind myself to talk to Sophie about the goals she has set, it helps me re-focus on following through with her.