Q. How can I help my child review and set goals?
January is a great time to review and set goals for the remainder of the school year. Set aside some time soon to review the first semester of the school year with your child. After the review, you can look ahead to the new year and what he hopes to accomplish then.
"The School-Savvy Parent," by Rosemarie Clark, suggests asking these questions:
Can you tell me about a time this year when your hard work really paid off?
What have you learned about yourself this semester?
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Did you have any goals for last semester? How do you think you did in meeting them?
What do you wish you had known when you started this school year?
When it's time to talk about next semester, you may want to have pen and paper handy. Research shows that you are far more likely to achieve goals if you write them down. When setting goals, the following steps should help:
Define the real goal. Identify the specific skill needed to get the improved grade.
Think of sequenced steps for meeting the goal. What will you do first, second, etc.?
Think about timing. When is the best time to carry out the steps? How long will each step take? When would it be too late to take certain steps? (For example, waiting until the night before a paper is due to do research.)
Put the steps on a calendar. When will you do what? What days and times? How often? For how long?
Consider possible obstacles. What might get in the way? How might you remove or go around the road blocks?
Revise the plan as needed. Make changes when something doesn't work.
It is important that your child feels ownership for their plan. He/she will feel more in control and more confident in the new year.
School resumes in Norwalk on Tuesday.
Wayne Babcanec is the superintendent of Norwalk City Schools. His column appears every other Friday. For more information on Norwalk City Schools, call (419) 668-2779.