Helping Your Child Set Achievable Learning Goals (+ 5 Goals You Can Set Today)
All parents want to see their child excel in the classroom.
For some students, it comes naturally. Others need a bit of a push.
No matter which category your child falls into, every student can benefit from learning how to set goals to achieve his or her full potential.
The Importance Of Goal Setting For Students
Setting goals is an important part of keeping students motivated and always improving themselves. When students set goals, it encourages them to think about what they want to achieve and how they can do it.
Helping your child set educational goals isn’t just about improving his or her academic success (though that’s a big part). It will also help your child achieve greater self-confidence and motivation that can be used beyond the classroom.
How To Help Your Child Set (And Achieve) Learning Goals
- Set “positive” goals
- Be as specific as possible
- Break big goals into small steps
- Set realistic goals
- Write down your goals
- Track your progress
- Schedule check-ins
- Discuss the purpose of the goal
- Celebrate when goals are achieved
Phrasing goals in positive ways helps your child approach tasks in a positive mindset rather than a negative one. Instead of “I won’t do anything after school until I study”, try “I will study every night for one hour before starting other tasks”.
When setting a goal, help your child be as specific as possible. The more specific the goal, the better chance you child will be able to achieve it. When setting a goal, decide what your child wants to achieve and when he or she should achieve it by.
Big goals can be overwhelming. Outlining smaller steps your child needs to take to achieve his or her goal can help make it less intimidating. Try using a goal ladder to break down these steps. Write down the big goal at the top of the ladder, and list the steps it will take to achieve it underneath. Your child will start at the bottom and work his or her way to the big goal step by step.
Setting goals that are too challenging can leave students feeling overwhelmed—not to mention discouraged if they don’t achieve them. Help your child set goals that are high enough to be valuable, but reasonable enough to achieve. Rather than aiming to be a straight-A student, aim to improve your child’s grade from a C to a B.
Write down goals with your child and work through them together. Actually writing goals down encourages your child to think through them and start making a plan to achieve them. Record his or her goals in writing and revisit them from time to time to help remind and motivate your child.
Once your child has set his or her goals and knows what steps need to be taken to achieve them, start tracking your child’s progress together. This will help you keep track of any obstacles your child has encountered and what steps he or she has been able to take toward achieving his or her goal.
Monthly check-ins of the progress your child has made toward his or her goals can help keep motivation and momentum high so your child stays on track. These check-ins will also let you know when your child has achieved his or her goals and it’s time to set a new one.
When setting goals, talk about how it will benefit your child. Will it help him or her achieve a better grade? Result in fewer stress-filled nights trying to finish a project at the last minute? When your child knows the “why” behind his or her goals, it helps keep him or her motivated to achieve it.
When your child achieves a goal, look back on his or her accomplishment together and what he or she achieved to get there. Celebrating achieving his or her goals (whether they are big or small) will help encourage and motivate your child continue setting and achieving new goals.
5 Learning Goals You Can Set With Your Child Today
Now that you know how to set effective learning goals with your child, it’s time to start setting them!
To get you started, here are 5 learning goals that you can set with your child today:
- Raise my grade in _______ (subject) to at least a ____ (grade)
- Get at least a ____ (grade) on my next _______ (subject) test
- Read 1 chapter of a book each night
- Review my notes for _______ (subject) for 30 minutes each night
- Use my agenda every day for a whole month
Remember to personalize these goals based on what your child wants to achieve or where he or she is struggling. Your child will be on the path to success in no time!
If your child needs help reaching his or her learning goals, contact a GradePower Learning center near you to learn more about our tutoring programs.