New Year goals and resolutions are just as important for kids as they are for adults – especially when it comes to academic success!
New Year’s Day and the days immediately following the 1st marks the tradition of new beginnings. According to developmental specialists, this is a wonderful time to assist children ages 4 – 13 in setting goals for their “new beginnings”. This age group is still young enough to initiate new habits, despite having previously formed habits.
It’s the perfect time to help a child become more independent, to understand the importance of setting broader goals, and to help them achieve their personal best.
Maybe you and your child set some goals back in the summer, immediately before the start of the school year. It could have been to improve on certain skills – such as punctuation or multiplication – or, it could have been rather general – such as reading for 20 minutes each day.
In order to effectively help your child set goals for the New Year, review the goals that you have previously set and determine how well your child did. Did they accomplish their goals? Is there still a bit of work that needs to be done? In order to create new goals, a thorough evaluation of previous goals is necessary.
Re-strategize Old Goals
If you find that your child has yet to achieve all of the goals that you set in the beginning of the school year, you should re-strategize.
For example, if your child has yet to master a mathematical concept – such as division – you could break the goal down into smaller, more attainable goals with realistic deadlines – based on their individual learning style.
Perhaps, instead of doing division on paper, for example, you could take the concept into the kitchen and apply real-world learning to help them master their goals.
“The new year stands before us – like a chapter in a book – waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals….” – Melody Beattie
Write and Post
The next step to helping a child come up with New Year academic goals is to have the child write them down and post them. You should also ensure that a strategy is put into place to mark off the goals as your child accomplishes them. This will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment in their efforts.
Praise and Reward
When you find that your child has accomplished a goal, you should praise them for a job well done. Additionally, you should implement small rewards.
For example, if they accomplish one goal, you could allow them to pick out a special movie, give them more play time, or allow them a special treat. If they accomplish several goals, you could go a bit larger. Going to the movies, visiting a local playground, or even having a sleepover. You will need to customize, based on your child.