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If you haven’t set New Year’s goals with your kids in the past, this is a great year to try it out and have some fun with your kids. Setting New Year’s resolutions doesn’t have to be painful, boring, or a chore. It can actually be a really fun family activity and a way to get them excited about the New Year.
Before your kids head back to school next week, set some time aside in the next few days to create new goals that your kids can work toward in the upcoming months. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to help them set their goals as long as they are achievable and realistic. If you are feeling really ambitious, feel free to create some short and long-term goals.
The best way to get your children involved is to set goals with them. This way they can see it is just as important for you to achieve and work toward New Year’s resolutions as it is for them.
Making a list of goals just sounds tedious and boring, especially for kids, so try and jazz it up a little. Instead of having them write a list, why not have them draw pictures of the goals they want to create. They could even paint them and you can post them on the refrigerator where they can see them every day.
Education in the New Year
A little competition and reward with your child’s New Year’s goals is all part of the fun and gives them something to work toward. This is a great one you can participate in as well to encourage reading and show them how much fun it can be. No matter their reading level, help them choose some fun books that will catch their interest while escalating them to new reading levels. Take them to the library or the bookstore and help them select some easier books to start with and then some books that will challenge their reading level as they progress. Pick out some books of your own and set a timeline (maybe three months) of when you want to have read the books. Whoever reads the books first, wins a fun prize. Read with them if some of the books are at a level they aren’t at yet so they can become more familiar with bigger words and can practice decoding words and phrases. Ask them questions about the books so they can talk about what they have read, which also gives you a hint about their comprehension levels.
Make sure they know it is not a race. Even though there is a timeline for the content, help them achieve their goals in a timeframe where they can pace themselves and achieve their goals easily instead of scrambling at the last minute. If your child tries to accomplish the reading challenge too fast, this opens them up for skipping words, lack of comprehension, and poor vocabulary.
Math in Real Life
Your kids are probably already learning decimals, multiplication, and addition in school, so let’s give them an opportunity to apply their math skills in real life. Most kids, unless they go into engineering, don’t use calculus in their every day life, but they will use money on a daily basis. This year, help them set goals that will help them apply their math skills in real life situations. For example, set a goal to help them learn the correct way to tip the waitress at a restaurant, or how to take away 10 percent of what they earn and put it toward savings.
If your children are older, have them set a goal to create and maintain a balance sheet for one year. You can also find some fun games and apps that will help them learn how to start a 401(K) or learn how to trade in the stock market.
Become a Writer
Get your kids excited about using their creative side by setting a goal for them to write a book this year. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to take a lot of thought. This is merely an exercise to help improve their writing skills, encourage them to open up their imagination, and give them more opportunities to advance their sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar. They can take the whole year if they want, and you can even include a prize for motivation when they complete their book. If your child is younger, let them create some pictures to go with their book. Help them create their own booklet and let them write about any topic that interests them.
If your child is older, help them develop correct grammar skills and encourage them to include emotion in their stories. This may help them build more self-confidence and express themselves better at school and with their peers in the classroom (much like journal writing).
At the end of the day, you can apply many different goals to help advance your child’s education. The important thing to remember is to make it fun and easy for them to achieve. Keep encouraging them throughout the year and don’t forget to review their goals every few months to see where they are at and what more you can do to help them accomplish their goals. Setting goals can really help them learn important life lessons and can give them motivation to work toward advanced degrees and work harder on projects in their future careers.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs