As you prepare your little one to head back to school, your to-do list undoubtably is about a mile long. It can be daunting. In addition to your to-do list, as a parent, you’ve got plenty of other school related stress such as how to pay for all those school must-haves and how your child will deal with a new teacher, new classmates, and new curriculum. It can be tempting to just inch a few of those to-do tasks to the bottom of the list and then turn a blind eye to them until after things have settled into the school year routine. However, there are a few items it is absolutely crucial to check off your list now, before the school bell rings, so to speak. One such item is setting back to school goals.
Setting back to school goals is important for a variety of reasons. For one, it helps your child know what you expect of him or her during the school year. In addition, setting back to school goals can help your child get comfortable (and dare I even say it, excited) with the new school year.
Unfortunately, setting bad back to school goals can be just as harmful, if not more so, than not setting them at all. In order to avoid common pitfalls, here are 5 tips for setting successful back to school goals this year.
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5 Tips for Setting Back to School Goals
Tip 1: Make it a one on one. When setting back to school goals with your child, block off a portion of your schedule and sit down one on one with your child without interruptions like the phone or making dinner. You need to demonstrate to your child that you care about setting back to school goals. Showing that you take the process seriously will help your child understand the importance of goals.
Tip 2: Listen to your child when setting back to school goals. When you sit down with your child, remember that you are setting goals with your child…not for your child. This means you need to actively listen and have a two way conversation. For example, ask your child what he or she hopes to accomplish during the school year. You can also ask what areas he or she feels could be improved upon based on last year. If you simply set the back to school goals for your child, he or she won’t feel invested and probably will not attain them.
Tip 3: Make sure all of the back to school goals are measurable. If a goal isn’t measurable, your child will flounder when trying to reach it. For example, you wouldn’t want to set a goal that says “to do good in school this year” because what does good mean? What separates good from bad? Rather you would want to set a back to school goal like “get an A in chemistry”.
Tip 4: Break back to school goals down into manageable chunks. When creating goals detail all of the steps needed to reach each goal. Think of these steps like mini goals. If a goal feels too big and your child isn’t sure exactly what needs to be done to accomplish said goal he or she will probably feel intimidated and struggle through the school year. For example, if one of your back to school goals is “get straight A’s all year” one of your sub goals might be “make the honor roll during the first semester”.
Tip 5: Have a detailed plan. Write down your child’s back to school goals and create a plan to success. Map out how you will measure each goal (what will success mean). In addition, lay out times for reviewing progress throughout the year. You’ll definitely want to measure how your child is doing along the way…rather than waiting until next summer. Measuring your child’s progress along the way will allow for course corrections. In addition, establish rewards for accomplishing goals. Rewards will help your child stay motivated to complete all those back to school goals. Consider getting a reward chart to track your child’s progress towards earning rewards.
This year, help ensure your child’s success at school by setting back to school goals. These goals will not only help them have a great year but also teach them about using goals throughout life to achieve the things they want.
Do you have other tips for setting back to school goals? What are some of your child’s back to school goals? Share your insight and thoughts in the comments.