I have to admit, I’m a back to school junkie. Just a glimpse of that giant bin of glue sticks and crayons at the store gives me goosebumps (especially if they are only 10 cents a piece)! One of the things I love most about this season is that it is the start of a fresh new year. And as with every new year, it is a great time to make New Year’s resolutions…New School Year’s resolutions, that is. So, as you think about setting New School Year’s resolutions for your kids this year, what comes to mind? Funny enough, one thing that just popped into mine is getting my seven year old to put her toothbrush back in the holder. Now, for my sanity, that may certainly be a goal worth pursuing. However, I know my daughter has much deeper and more important needs in her life, so my goals will certainly need to go deeper than bathroom etiquette!
When my husband and I set goals for our children, we like to think through several different categories of their lives. Here are some examples:
- SPIRITUAL - How do they need to grow in their spiritual lives?
(i.e. start a daily devotional time, read the Bible, serve others)
- ACADEMIC - What do they need to learn academically?
(i.e. learn how to read, know their multiplication tables)
- LIFE SKILLS - What life skills do they need to develop?
(i.e. tie shoes, cooking, balance a checkbook)
- RESPONSIBILITIES – How do they need to grow in responsibility?
(i.e. new chores to take on, consistency in current responsibilities)
- SOCIAL - How do they need to develop socially?
(i.e. manners, conflict resolution, time with others)
- ACTIVITIES – What activities should they do to develop their talents and abilities?
(i.e. sports, music, other interests)
In each of these areas, we have developed a long-term goal or vision for our kids which serve as “north stars” for setting yearly goals. Every school year, we decide what needs to rise to the top, write out a handful of goals, and decide how we are going to achieve these goals, including the when and where of how it will happen.
For example, one school year we set a goal for our two oldest to memorize the books of the Bible. This was a short term goal that went along with our long term vision for them to have a solid knowledge of Scripture. Then we purchased a cd with a couple of songs for the books of the Bible. We kept this in our car and at least once a week when we were travelling, we listened to these songs. In just a few months, the kids had the songs memorized and therefore, the names of the books of the Bible! It was a fun and easy way of moving forward on our goals for our kids. However, it would not have happened if we hadn’t set the goal and planned the steps for achieving it.
So, grab some of those new school supplies and get to work! Write out some new school years resolutions and see how a little purpose and planning can help your kids blossom this year!