We’re pleased to welcome all our new and returning students and their families to the 2015-2016 school year. We hope it’s gotten off to a wonderful start for all.

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time for a confidence boost. Sometimes children have a limited view of their own abilities. This school year try setting goals with your child to help them remove those limitations from their way of thinking. According to Education World (in a series of articles called Goal Setting 101) and other sources, “We have to teach them to believe in themselves, because without that belief, they aren’t likely to achieve their goals.” In other words it comes down to that age-old adage—in order to achieve, you must first believe.

You can start by sharing success stories with children about how others have achieved goals by overcoming obstacles. Your child might even already know some, like the children’s classic The Little Engine That Could and others.

When introducing the goal-setting process, you want to ensure your child knows what a goal is and the difference between long- and short-term goals, like doing well on the spelling test this week or reading 20 books this school year. One key is to make sure that the goals are measurable. Education World’s Secrets of Goal Setting also suggests posting a reminder, such as a poster or chart. Keep it someplace where it can easily be seen.

Secrets of Goal Setting (Source)

  1. Write clear and measurable goals.
  2. Create a specific action plan for each goal.
  3. Read your goals daily and visualize yourself accomplishing them.
  4. Reflect on your progress to see if you are on target.
  5. Revise your action plans if needed.
  6. Celebrate your accomplishments.

A fun way to accomplish #6 on the list is with an achievement tree. Draw a tree trunk with a lot of branches on a piece of paper or poster board. Then cut out some green or colorful leaves. Every time your child accomplishes something, either a goal or some other success, he or she can write it on the leaf and attach it to the tree. By the end of the year, your child will have a lush tree that is a visual reminder of just how much they have accomplished.