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This School Year I Want To...


A new school year. It seems you either dread it or embrace it. For those of us who embrace it, a new school year is ripe with possibility and opportunities for growth and exploration. A new grade with new friends to make, new topics to learn about, and new abilities to test.

But not everyone jumps up and down to go back to school. Rather than bemoaning the start of school as if it equals the end of fun, why not poise your child for success by helping them frame it in a positive light? Encourage them to look forward to achieving goals they set for themselves both in and out of the classroom. And don’t leave all the anticipation to the kids. It’s also a great time of year to set your own goals.

Ways to Use a School Year Goals List with Your Family

  • School year goals make great conversation topics. As the year goes on, check in about how your child is progressing toward goals. “How’s it going on the playground? Have you made it across the monkey bars yet like you hoped to?” Talk about goals in the car or over dinner.
  • Look at your child’s list when signing up for programs or other after-school activities. Has he expressed a desire to try something new or is it time to register for one-on-one training to improve certain skills?
  • Let her teacher know what she’s looking forward to about school this year and bring the teacher on board in helping her reach any academic goals she has set. Your child will have support both in the classroom and at home. 
  • Sneak a note into your child’s lunch encouraging him to step out in fulfilling a goal.
  • Use report card time as an opportunity to celebrate goal successes and refocus energy for those not yet fulfilled.

Writing a school year goals list not only builds hopes for what will come in the school year, but it also creates a sense of purpose and encourages kids to push themselves to reach their targets. Plus, talking through these prompts with your child allows you to learn what’s important to him, what concerns him, and who he sees himself becoming. It’s a chance for growing closer and an opportunity for you to show your support. Achieve these goals and you will strengthen your family. 

When the school year ends, you’ll have more to celebrate than the grades on their report cards.

Goals for Kids

1. What I’m most looking forward to about my new grade at school…
2. On the playground, I want to…
3. This school year, I want to join…
4. In gym class, my goal is to…
5. At lunch this year, I hope to…
6. When it comes to homework, a new thing I want to try…
7. This year at school, I want to become known for…
8. The person I would like to get to know better …
9. Before I finish this grade, I would like to be able to ...

Goals for Tweens and Teens

10. What will be great about being a [grade/year in school] is…
11. A school activity I would like to experience for the first time this year (picnic/social, dance, game, performance, etc.)...
12. I think I’m ready to take the role of…
13. I would like to hang out more with…
14. At lunch this year, I hope to…
15. This year at school, I want to become known for…
16. The club/team I plan to check out or try out for…
17. When it comes to schoolwork, I’d like to try…
18. Over winter or spring break, it would be great to…
19. Before this school year ends, my goal is to...

Goals for Parents

For Yourself
20. My hopes for my child this school year include…
21. The person I would like to see my child interact with outside of school–for the first time, or more often…
22. The practical life skill (setting the table, taking a phone message, making a grocery list, etc.) I would like to teach my child this year…
23. By the end of the school year, I would like my child to...

For Your Child
24. To learn more this year, the book I plan to read or course I want to take…
25. A child, other than my own, I could consider becoming a mentor or role model to…
26. Another parent, co-worker, or neighbor I would like to work on building a closer friendship with in the coming months…
27. When it comes to volunteering, this school year I would like to... 

Goals for Families

28. On a weekend, we would like to try…
29. A family we would like to invite to hang out with us…
30. At least once a week/once a month, our goal is to…
31. Together, we want to learn…

Ways to Remember the Goals You’ve Set

  • Post them on the refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  • Write them in the back of an assignment notebook or planner.
  • Use a goal-tracking app such as Nozbe or GoalsOnTrack.
  • Set a reminder on your smartphone to pop up regularly (weekly, monthly) to check on goals. ■

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01 Aug 2017


By Lara Krupicka

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