Thursday, 16 May 2013

School Success Enhanced by Goal Setting and Journaling

School success is vital to a child’s present and future happiness, and goal setting can help enhance a child’s chances of succeeding in school. Goal setting, however, is hard for most of us.
Sometimes it is difficult to clarify for ourselves what our goals are and how we intend to achieve them. This is especially so for young students and their school success aims. Like adults kids also face challenges when it comes to setting goals but if they learn to write down their goals and to record each step of their goal process the job can be much easier. Journal keeping is a great tool to do this.
Children who keep regular journals might automatically write about their goals and how to achieve them. But kids who don’t keep a journal or who don’t keep journals which are that specific might not know how to go about journal keeping as it relates to goal stetting and school success. This is true especially if a student tends to keep a journal focused on the boy or girl they like or the music they’re currently into.  Suddenly switching their journaling gears and focusing on goals can be a bit of a shock to the system.
To ease a student’s transition from general to specific journaling we suggest an emphasis on hobbies or special interests to begin with and eventually graduating to a focus on specific school success or academic goals. To do so just use the following tips.

School Success Tips

Here are three steps to teach kids how to use a journal as a tool for goal setting for hobbies and, eventually, for school success goals.
School Success Tip #1 — Make a list
One unique and useful aspect of a journal is that all the ideas, thoughts and other things included in the journal are in one place and likely won’t get lost. So making a list of goals is an ideal way to start learning how to track them. On one page of the journal, a child might decide to make a list of five goals for the next year or the next six months or the next five years. The list initially might seem unrealistic or it might seem a little too safe, but the idea here is to get the ideas on paper in some organized fashion. Once the list is made, a child can look at the list and determine which of the goals are realistic and which aren’t.
Perhaps a child will title a page “goals I want to reach in six months” and it will become clear from looking at the list which ones will take much longer than six months. Writing goals down in a journal like this gives the child an opportunity to see what can be done, what can’t be done and where changes need to be made in the overall plan.
School Success Tip #2 — Make a list of how to achieve a goal
On a separate page of the journal, a child might take one of the goals he or she has identified and devote an entire page to it. Here, the child might make a list of how to achieve the goal. For example, if a child sets a goal to make the school baseball team, a list might include things like “practice swinging bat 10 minutes a day”.
By making lists, the child is not only learning how to dream about the goals but how to put steps in place to make the goal a reality.
School Success Tip #3 – Begin to chart progress on goals
On another page of the journal, a child might chart the progress that he or she has made by writing down things he or she is actually doing to achieve the goal. For example, the child might note when and where and how he or she practices that baseball skill. The child might note when private lessons are acquired or when casual play takes place with friends. All of these things, when charted out over time, will allow the child to see how things come together.
School success can be ensured through setting achievement goals, but goal setting can seem overwhelming at first. Yet when a child practices goal setting with their hobbies and interests, the specific aspects of achieving her goal and the goal-setting process becomes much more inviting to learn.  Thereafter using a journal as a tool for school success goals (and achieving them) doesn’t have to seem quite so overwhelming after all.

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