The new year is almost here! Scholars at Compass Charter Schools (CCS) have been working hard in their classes and finishing up their assignments and projects before the end of the year. Now is an ideal time for scholars at all levels to reflect on their accomplishments thus far and start to think about the goals they would like to achieve next year.
Setting specific, detailed goals can help scholars stay focused and plan their time efficiently so that they can achieve their goals. This week, we’re sharing four tips that parents can use to help their scholars set SMART goals that they can achieve in 2020:
Define and Explain
Scholars will likely ask, “what’s a SMART goal?” SMART is an acronym that stands for:
Creating SMART goals can help scholars design realistic academic and personal goals. When done correctly, SMART goals are meant to include a brief plan of action and also a clearly defined method to determine whether or not the goal was completed. SMART goals are commonly used in the workplace, so learning about these types of goals at an early age can prepare scholars for their future!
Brainstorm and Create
Parents can ask their children to brainstorm a few goals that they would like to achieve. We encourage parents to allow their children to do most of the brainstorming so that the goal comes from the child! Some children may find it fairly easy to think about their future and the goals they would like to achieve, while other scholars may find the brainstorming process a bit more challenging. Setting goals can help children start to think about their future, and parents can encourage this process by asking them about their favorite classes, subjects or hobbies. Reflecting on what they’re learning can encourage children to think about what they enjoy studying and what they may want to learn more about. Answering these simple questions can help scholars start to think about goals for the future and make creating defined SMART goals a bit easier. After discussing the meaning of SMART goals and spending some time brainstorming, parents can challenge their children to create goals on their own and see what they create!
Refine and Implement
SMART goals have several parts and parents will likely need to help scholars refine their drafted goals to ensure that they meet each part of a SMART goal. Parents can also review their scholar’s goals to give them suggestions and ideas to create meaningful goals. While all parts of a SMART goal are important, parents may need to remind their scholars that these goals are meant to be attainable, or realistic. If a child is earning very low scores in their math class, they may not want to set a goal of earning a perfect score on all math tests this semester. Instead, perhaps a more realistic goal to consider might be increasing their grade by 10 percent, or improving by a whole letter grade. It will feel even more special if a scholar surpasses the details within their SMART goal.
Once the goals have been refined it’s time to put them into action! Parents can support their scholar by helping them turn their big SMART goal into smaller actionable steps. This process can help scholars feel less overwhelmed and more motivated to achieve their goals. Younger scholars can write their smaller action items on a whiteboard or poster and hang them somewhere visible. Older scholars may want to track their goals using an app or a mobile device. As time progresses, parents can set aside time to check-in with their scholar to see how their goals are coming along and help them make any revisions if necessary!