Thursday, September 13, 2007

Goal Setting for Kids

Goals Must be Measurable

When you are pursuing a goal, there is nothing more frustrating than not knowing whether or not you are getting any closer to attaining it. So it's important to teach your child to set goals for which he can clearly identify his starting point and his ending point, and for which there will be evidence, as he works on his goal, that he is progressing.

For example, if your child wants to improve his reading skills, ask him how he will know if he is on the right track - how is he going to know if he's getting better? The difficulty is that most modern primary schools give the children little feedback in the form of specific marks. Usually, children are assessed very subjectively: "James read well today" in the margin of his exercise book may give brief pleasure, but tells James very little about how exactly he is progressing. So really it's up to you, the parent.

One suggestion might be that you would ask James to read a chapter from a book he chooses, each week. You could then time him, and set 10 questions at the end to test his comprehension. The two of you could then create a graph showing James' reading speed and one showing his comprehension, measured as the percentage of questions answered correctly. Most children get very excited as they see the graph, over a period, getting closer and closer to the level that they have assigned as their goal.

Happy Goal Setting with your Kids,


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