Goal setting for the new school year
By Fiona Baker |
Goal setting for school

Want to help your children be motivated about school? Help them set some goals. Several studies have shown improved academic performance when parents help their children set some educational goals.

Now these goals don't need to be competitive, says family counsellor Tahlia Mandie, like being the best at something, or topping the class in a subject. Nor do they need to be academic goals but more personal learning goals.

"Education goals should be achievable but aspirational," she says.

"Ask children what they'd like to do differently this year compared to last year. With your children you may need to ask some leading questions."

She says explain to children that their goals at school don't need to be world-changing.

"It could be as simple as improving their hand-writing, or aiming to get their homework done before dinner, or getting dressed in their uniform as soon as they wake up, or listening better in class," Tahlia says.

"Then write these down them somewhere so throughout the year the kids refer back to them. And then helps your child work out a strategy or plan on how they will go about trying to achieve them. "

What's really important, says Tahlia, is that kids are empowered by their parents to come up with their own goals.

"Children will be more motivated to achieve their goals if they've set them themselves because these goals will be important to them," she says.

An important part of this whole goal-setting exercise is celebrating your child's success when their goal is attained. Some experts don't recommend offering rewards or enticements to help children achieve goals, but parents know what motivates their child best.

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This story was written by Fiona Baker for Kidspot, Australia’s leading Back To School resource, from sources including Early Life Foundations, Australian Government Department of Education, The Federation of Parents and Citizens’ Associations of NSW , NSW Public Schools, Vic Department of Education and early Childhood Development, WA Department of Education, Tas Department of Education, Qld Department of Education, Training and the Arts, SA Department of Education and Children’s Services and ACT Education and Training and NT Department of Education and Training.

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