The new school year is ripe with opportunities for growth and exploration – a new grade with new friends to make, new topics to learn about, new abilities to test. Encourage your kids to look forward to achieving goals they set for themselves both in and out of the classroom. And don’t leave all the anticipation to the kids. It’s also a great time to set your own goals.

For Kids:

  • What I’m most looking forward to in my new grade at school…
  • On the playground I want to…
  • This school year I want to join…
  • In gym class my goal is to…
  • At lunch this year I hope to…
  • When it comes to homework, a new thing I want to try…
  • This year at school I want to become known for…
  • The person I would like to get to know better …
  • Before I finish this grade, I would like to be able to …

For Tweens and Teens:

  • Being a [grade/year in school] will be great because…
  • A school activity I would like to experience for the first time (picnic/social, dance, game, performance, etc.) is…
  • I think I’m ready to take the role of…
  • I would like to hang out more with…
  • At lunch this year I hope to…
  • This year at school I want to become known for…
  • The club/team I plan to check out or try out for is…
  • When it comes to schoolwork, I’d like to try…
  • Over winter or spring break it would be great to…
  • Before this school year ends my goal is to…

For Parents:

Goals for your child

  • My hopes for my child this school year include…
  • The person I would like to see my child interact with outside of school – for the first time, or more often is…
  • The practical life skill (setting the table, taking a phone message, making a grocery list, etc.) I would like to teach my child this year is…
  • By the end of the school year I would like my child to…

Goals for yourself

  • To learn more this year, the book I plan to read or course I want to take is…
  • A child, other than my own, I could consider becoming a mentor or role model to is…
  • Another parent, co-worker, or neighbor I would like to work on building a closer friendship with in the coming months is…
  • When it comes to volunteering, this school year I would like to…

For Families:

  • On a weekend we would like to try…
  • A family we would like to invite to hang out with us is…
  • At least once a week/once a month our goal is to…
  • Together we want to learn…

Writing a school year goals list not only builds hopes for what will come in the school year, it also creates a sense of purpose and encourages kids to push themselves to reach their targets. It’s a chance for learning what is important to your child and an opportunity for you to show your support.

Ways to Use a School Year Goals List with Your Family

  • School year goals make great conversation topics. As the year goes on, check in about how your child is progressing toward goals. “How’s it going on the playground? Have you made it across the monkey bars yet like you hoped to?” Talk about goals in the car or over dinner.
  • Look at your child’s list when signing up for parks or YMCA programs or other lessons. Has he expressed a desire to try something new or is it time to register for one-on-one training to improve certain skills?
  • Let your child’s teacher know what he is looking forward to about school this year and bring the teacher on board in helping him reach any academic goals he has set.
  • Sneak a note into your child’s lunch encouraging him to step out in fulfilling a goal.
    Use report card time as an opportunity to celebrate goals, successes and refocus energy for those not yet fulfilled.

Ways to Remember the Goals You’ve Set

  • Post them on the refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  • Write them in the back of an assignment notebook or planner.
  • Use a goal-tracking app such as Nozbe or GoalsOnTrack.
  • Set a reminder on your smartphone to pop up regularly (weekly, monthly) to check on goals.

– Lara Krupicka

Try Setting these Goals for the New School Year
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