INSIDE: This post is a guest post by Mattie from Growing the Givens. In it, she’s sharing her top tips for making the most out of the school year. Never tried back to school goal-setting before? This is the year to give it a go! Want to know how? Keep reading!
Back to school goal-setting…
Back to school season is here. And to be honest it can be a bit overwhelming! And just like summer flew by, the school year can go by in a flash as well.
As a mom, it can feel like you are just taking everything day by day and trying to survive the endless cycle of homework, packing lunches and extra-circulars that come with the school year. But if every day is just survival mode, that could mean that come May, you feel like your family didn’t get to make any big advances during the school year.
Back to school goals…
When you think of setting back to school goals, it may be that goals related to reading lists and grades come to mind. But there are some deeper ways to look at back to school goal-setting that will leave you starting next summer feeling like you conquered the school year. You’ll also be able to see just how much your kids and family have grown over this next year too.
How to set goals for the school year…
#1. | Have a family meeting
First, start your back to school goal-setting process by having a family meeting. Don’t make it stuffy – nobody is in trouble here. Get ice cream (and sprinkles) and pizza or whatever your family’s favourite meal is. This is a celebration of a new beginning – so make this meeting fun!
Your back to school goal-setting meeting doesn’t have to be long, but you do need to make sure everyone gets time to share. Every family member should have the opportunity to answer the following four questions:
- What are you most excited about for this school year?
- What are you nervous about for this school year?
- Are there any extra circulars that you want to take?
- How can we, as a family, help you succeed this year?
These back to school goal-setting questions will set the foundation for your school year planning. They’ll help you create an intentional year where you focus on the things that are most important, instead of just going through the motions in survival mode.
#2. | Write down your goals
Let everyone write down (or dictate if your kids can’t write yet) two things that they want to accomplish during the school year. Ideas might be taking piano lessons, or being named the hall-monitor.
This will get even the most negative student to focus on a few of the positives that come along with the end of summer. It also gives you, as the mom, a chance to take note of the things that really inspire your kids.
Think of it as a small back to school goal-setting bucket list. You don’t want to add so many items to the list that it is unattainable, but enough that your kids will feel like memories were made this year.
#3. | Decide on a few rewards
Make sure you have a few rewards in place for when your kids complete these goals. They can be individually focused (e.g. your son gets a new toy for having perfect attendance) or rewards for the whole family (e.g. a family trip to the beach if everyone has great marks for conduct in class).
You can help your kids match rewards to specific goals. For example, if your child wants to make an A on their math test, help them match their ‘gets to choose the movie for family night’ reward.
Write these rewards down next to the goals you set in the previous step and be sure to put both the goals list and rewards list somewhere that the entire family can see it. This can be something that you all celebrate around as your kids hit their goals.
#4. | Pick a word for the year
This is a practice that some people choose to do in January, but if you have kids in school, August can really feel like the start to your year.
I have a full guide on how to go through this process, but the reasoning behind it is to have everyone aligned on the ultimate feeling you want to be working toward. Some examples of words that your family might choose to focus on might be:
#5. | Create a family calendar
You may already have a family calendar that has all of the dates that anyone could ever need saved on it. Or this may be a foreign concept for your family because you are a little Type B like me.
I do recommend getting a paper or digital calendar started that everyone in your family can have access to and see what big dates or dance lessons are coming up.
If any of your kids’ goals have a time aspect to them (e.g. try out for the baseball team), take a minute to write those dates down on the family calendar. You can even set reminders to check in on the progress of those goals – or just to make sure that you don’t miss tryouts!
Seeing the dates written down should also inspire your kids do the work needed to complete that goal or get excited about seeing the results of their efforts!
#6. | Build in some fun days
The school year gets long, especially at the end of each semester (before Christmas and after Spring Break). Put a few fun days on the calendar for everyone to look forward to.
Growing up, if we had perfect attendance entering April, my mom would schedule a day to pull us out of school to have a day of fun with just her.
That may have meant that I didn’t get the perfect attendance certificate at the end of the year party, but I have memories of skipping school to pick strawberries with my mom that will last a lifetime.
You can even just make these fun days unrelated to any goals and call them ‘wild card days‘. Encourage your kids to use them if they need a mental break from school or just want to spend some quality time with mom and dad. The main point of these fun days is to have quality time together even in the middle of all the craziness that the school year brings.
Intentional back to school goal-setting…
By using these back to school goal-setting tips, I hope you’re able to feel less like you’re drowning and more like your family has a lot to look forward to as you wrap up summer. The years go by so fast, and you will cherish the memories you make together by setting intentional goals as a family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi! I’m Mattie – a full-time working mom and wife who loves helping ambitious women find their passions and figure out a way to do it all! When I am not working in my day job, I like to write, read and go for walks and bike rides around our Houston neighborhood. I hope you find the words over on my blog helpful and encouraging.
Back to school goal-setting for students and parents…
Thank you so much for this post, Mattie! I’ve never really thought about setting back to school goals but I shall definitely be giving it a try this year. The school year goes so fast so this is a great way to help give our kids focus. I just love the idea of a back to school bucket list too!
It’s also so important to balance school work with fun time too. I can also remember being taken out of school for a day or two by my mum. We’d go shopping or swimming together followed by lunch out. I just loved that time with her and always went back to school the following day with renewed motivation!
Want to give back to school goal-setting a try this year too? Here are Mattie’s goal-setting tips again:
- Have a family meeting.
- Write down your goals.
- Decide on a few rewards.
- Pick a word for the year.
- Create a family calendar.
- Build in some fun days.
That’s it for this post! Do you do back to school goal-setting with your kids? Has this post inspired you to try it this year? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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