In January, many of us set goals for what we want to accomplish in the New Year. Goal-setting is also a useful exercise for young children to practice. It can be a fun, rewarding learning experience for children to set their own goals for the year ahead and work towards achieving what they want.
You can start the “goal-setting” discussion with your child during a meal or car ride. In fact, everyone in your family can participate. You can even write the answers down in a journal or poster board to help track your child’s progress over the coming months.
Here is a sample of some the questions you can ask and discuss with your child:
- What would you like to learn about this year? (subjects, topics or skills)
- What are the top three things you would like to accomplish this year?
- What will you need to do to accomplish these goals?
- What activities in school are fun and make you feel good? Which ones are not-so-fun?
- What are you most grateful for? How can you show appreciation for that?
To keep your child motivated, you can set up two checkpoints during the year to review progress and make adjustments as needed.
Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori approach to child development and education, believed that children learn more effectively when allowed to discover and explore their own strengths and interests–independently and constructively–to help build self-esteem and self-reliance. Thoughtful goal-setting helps motivate your child to take responsibility for shaping their future and the world around them, while learning the necessary skills to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.
“Our care of the children should be governed not by the desire to ‘make them learn things,’ but by the endeavor always to keep burning within the light which is called intelligence.”
–Dr. Maria Montessori