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How to Set Goals for Your Child This School Year

How to Set Goals for Your Child This School Year

Here are 7 tips to help your child set goals for the new school year and how to stick to them throughout the year. 

Back-to-school is a golden opportunity to help your child set some realistic goals for the year. Along with stocking up on school supplies, going school clothes shopping, and wrapping up fun summer activities, goal setting is another way to teach your child what they hope to achieve in the upcoming school year.  

When you teach your child how to set goals and also to chase them, it helps them to understand that they are ultimately the ones who are in charge of their lives. It starts a pathway to help them feel independent, confident, and a more responsible child. It’s important that your child can start to figure out what accomplishments they would like to achieve as they begin the new school year. One of the best benefits of goals setting is that it helps to keep your child motivated to continue learning, doing well on tests and projects, trying a new sport or club, and overall build momentum for them as they grow up to make good choices. This is a good time to set some rewards for accomplished goals as a way to recognize your child’s successes during the year. 

These goals don’t have to just be academic ones, they can also be things that can be achieved at home. But let’s start with some ways you can help your child set goals for the school year and how to stick with them throughout the year. 

Related:  15 Tips to Get Ready for Back-to-School 

Start with brainstorming together and ask some questions about what your child would like to work towards. Some easy questions to start with are:

1. Do you have any academic skills that you are interested in wanting to improve on or learn more about?

2. What do you think your current strengths and  weaknesses are currently in school that you would like to work on this year?

3. Is there a  subject or class that you would like to focus on doing better in this year?

Come up with a strategy that is realistic and concise. By that, I mean,  help them to plan for how to how to achieve the bigger goals by setting smaller ones.  For example, creating to-do list or a schedule for the new school year that is attainable. This is another way that brainstorming can be a great tool to assist with setting goals for the school year

Think about what kind of help they may need during this time in order to make all of their goals a true reality.  

Related: 7 Ways to Mentally Prepare Your Child to Go Back to School

Come up with a visual reminder so your child can see a list or steps they can take to reach their goals.  If your kid is younger, for example, make a poster together with fun artwork and colors to indicated the a growing tree with branches and leaves that show growth as they reach their goals.  

When you make the goals a little smaller and provide a visual example of how they can be reached, it lessens the stress your child may feel as they begin the school year.  In any event, it’s best to at least have them write down their goals so that they can see them on paper and make them feel more real. 

Keep a daily log of how that day went at school and what homework and projects are coming up.  This is a great time for your child to write down what they like about the subjects and where their strengths and weaknesses are each day.  It’s also a good time to keep notes on homework, grades, and track of smaller weekly goals.  

Help your child keep track of their progress. Periodically, take a look at the goal ladder with them and mark off any steps they’ve accomplished. Cheer successes as they happen but also be prepared for obstacles—and praise effort and learning as much as tangible achievement.

Related: 7 Fun Back-to-School Traditions to Start This Year

Practice time management skills at every age level. Whether you have a child in elementary school or a high schooler, it’s important to teach time management with the goal setting.  Setting aside time each day with your child to do homework, work on projects, or even practice their sport or instrument that have taken up is so important.  This is where a daily schedule comes in handy to show what the plan is for that particular day.  

Encourage play time too during the school year. It’s vital to successful school year of making goals happen that your child also has plenty of time to relax and do fun activities.  Always include recreational activities because certainly the whole school year can’t be just school stuff!

Related: Things Parents Should Discuss With Their High School Bound Teens

Congratulate successes as they happen so that the momentum keeps going. Also, it’s so helpful to encourage and recognize the setback so that as a team you can work things out together.  Try to come up with new ways to obtain the goals that haven’t been met so that your child feels involved and continues to build confidence. 

Finally, give credit where credit is due and continuously praise your child as they set goals for the new school year. It’s tough enough with summer ending and school beginning to even get your child on a school day schedule (and tough on Mom, too!) Just the littlest “way to go” and “keep on going” will make a huge difference when school is in full swing and the crazy chaos gets underway! 

Jocelyn Brown

A former school teacher, Jocelyn Brown created Hip Mama’s Place in 2007. Her motto for this blog is: get inspired, create and share! Jocelyn loves sharing about food and recipes, crafts, DIY projects and her random travels with her family. She also loves all things social media, but her latest obsession is Instagram.

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  1. 08/18/2022 / 8:56 pm

    Such a helpful article! I’ll definitely share these tips with my friends who have kids 🙂

  2. 08/17/2022 / 7:21 pm

    I agree with you that making a visual reminder helps. We have been doing that for several years and it’s really effective. It’s a constant reminder for them without the “nagging”

  3. 08/17/2022 / 3:06 pm

    Setting goals is important for a successful school year. This is something that my son and I need to work on. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  4. 08/17/2022 / 12:41 pm

    This is something we need to work on for the year. My kids are in middle and high school, and they should have goals for school and otherwise.

  5. Deanna
    08/17/2022 / 12:15 pm

    This is such a great idea! I’m a huge goal setter, I love the idea of getting kids started early- in a healthy way

  6. 08/17/2022 / 12:11 pm

    Recognizing their successes and encouraging them are important. We should give them our 100% support, as well.

  7. 08/17/2022 / 11:44 am

    I have 3 kiddos in school and it can be very stressful but I realize the more organized we can all get these chaotic are days are. It’s a daily team effort!

  8. Rosey
    08/17/2022 / 8:54 am

    My teen rolls his eyes for the protest but I can still see that he’s listening, when we have these kinds of conversations. Goals and actions. 🙂

  9. 08/17/2022 / 8:29 am

    Yyyeeeaaahhhh…having a visual reminder around does the job so well. I used it back in the day, as I went to boarding school.

  10. 08/17/2022 / 8:27 am

    I don’t have a kid though but I am going to send the amazing article to my cousin who struggles with her two kids. I think the article is really helpful

  11. 08/17/2022 / 5:59 am

    I like the idea of keeping a daily log. This would help keep track of things and make my life easy. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  12. 08/17/2022 / 5:24 am

    Love these tips! I alway set goals for myself, as a teacher, at the beginning of each school year, why am I not helping my kids do the same?

  13. 08/17/2022 / 1:27 am

    Daily life can easily make things get carried away. One thing for sure that will help keep goals in check is time management and the rest can easily fall in place.

  14. Richelle Milar
    08/16/2022 / 11:35 pm

    Teaching our kids to learn how to properly manage their time is really important! These are all really great ideas! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  15. 08/16/2022 / 11:08 pm

    These are great tips to how to address the school year. My son always loves school and we’ve practiced some of this ways. Congratulate their success is as important as encouraging them to do their homework.

  16. Jesusa Gilliam
    08/16/2022 / 11:07 pm

    I love the idea of keeping a daily log. This will help me keep up with what area my child is struggling with in school.

  17. Catalina
    08/16/2022 / 10:35 pm

    This post is exactly what I need. Now I have it clear how to help my kids to start the new school year and to improve themselves!

  18. Irena
    08/16/2022 / 10:03 pm

    Time management is the best skill they can learn from a young age for sure!

  19. 08/16/2022 / 6:14 pm

    My daughter will be starting kindergarten soon! Thank you for these helpful tips. Time management is something my whole family needs to work on together!

  20. 08/16/2022 / 4:07 pm

    I didn’t think about setting goals with my boys for school. This is such a great idea. Even though they’ve already started school this year I think we should set some goals together.

  21. Melanie E
    08/16/2022 / 4:03 pm

    We do try to work on making improvements with some subjects where needed. Mine are working on time management and seem to be doing well.

  22. Monica Simpson
    08/16/2022 / 3:48 pm

    This is a great way to start the school year off on a positive note. I think it’ll help my kids look forward to the school year and what they can accomplish.

  23. 08/16/2022 / 3:46 pm

    Great tips and things to make kids ready for school new year. Thank you for sharing!

  24. 08/16/2022 / 3:34 pm

    These seem like great steps to keep both the parents and their children goal-oriented in a positive way!

  25. 08/16/2022 / 2:30 pm

    Having a great strategy and rewarding the results you want are both excellent tips. It’s important for children to feel like they’re doing an amazing job when they reach their goals.

  26. Carmen
    08/16/2022 / 1:33 pm

    These are great suggestions for a successful school year!

  27. 08/16/2022 / 1:16 pm

    I agree that we have to congratulate them on their successes, even if they’re small ones. This is very encouraging for them! 🙂

  28. 08/16/2022 / 12:25 pm

    I’m reading this post at the perfect time. Definitely sharing this with my friends/family who have littles that are going off back to school.

  29. 08/16/2022 / 8:11 am

    I love the idea of visual reminder to keep my boy on track as to where he is already from his goals. Love these tips. Shaping them early gives them the courage to chase their goals with perserverance.

  30. 08/16/2022 / 1:57 am

    We had to meet the teacher night tonight. It’s bittersweet because he is growing fast but it is hard to believe that he is going into 6th grade. We will be using these tips as he comes home with school work. He isn’t ready to go back to school yet. 🙂

  31. 08/15/2022 / 11:05 pm

    I think that’s a great idea to ask kids if there is a subject they would like to improve on during the school year. That approach empowers them!

  32. 08/15/2022 / 10:18 pm

    My boys just started high school. In high school goals are very important.

  33. 08/15/2022 / 6:38 pm

    I think creating a visual reminder is a great tip. The child will usually get more involved in the activity if he can take part in the creation as well.

    • 08/16/2022 / 2:32 am

      So important to set clear goals for a successful school year

  34. Amber Myers
    08/15/2022 / 5:18 pm

    Time management is something my daughter needs to work on. She’s in high school and gets distracted easily.

  35. 08/15/2022 / 4:22 pm

    I think a lot of us forget to congratulate the successes. It seems natural but I guess it’s not always.

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