New Year’s resolutions are one of those things people tend to either love or hate. For some, a resolution is a motivator. For others, it’s just an annoying reminder of good intentions that never turned into anything more.
So you may not be enthusiastic about having your children make New Year’s resolutions. It’s fine if you aren’t! But do keep in mind how helpful it can be to have a game plan when you embark upon anything new. That’s true for a New Year the same as everything else!
Identifying problems and defining goals for improvement can give anyone a better sense of direction, kids included! So as you look ahead to the New Year, ask your children these questions. Don’t make the mistake, however, of scribbling answers on a scrap of paper that is then tucked away never to be remembered again. Post your kids’ responses in a prominent place or store them somewhere where they are likely to be seen often. Actually, running over a list like this one wouldn’t be a bad idea at the start of every month, not just at the start of the New Year!
What character trait do I most need to work on this year?
Though some kids may be quick to recognize their faults, most will probably need a little help in this department. Not to say this is the time to pull out a laundry list of their shortcomings! Instead, gently remind your children of areas where they struggle, whether it is with obedience, diligence, patience, compassion, or whatever else, and let them pick ONE they know they need to work on.
What steps can I take to do better in this area?
This isn’t always an easy question to answer, but just getting your son or daughter to think about it can make a big difference. Sometimes there are steps we can take to discipline ourselves and make improvements.
In what area of my life could I be better organized?
Apply this to schoolwork, extracurricular activities, or the condition of your child’s bedroom. Most kids need work in one department or the other, or all of the above!
What can I do to organize this area of my life better?
Establishing daily routines can make a world of difference, but if storage containers could be helpful to contain clutter in a bedroom, be willing to buy them! If they think a daily student planner or a better calendar app could help with organization, make them available and teach your child to use them.
What school subject do I most need to improve in?
Most kids will know this one right off, and it’s generally the subject they like the least!
Are there any steps I can take to help myself improve in this subject?
Granted, some kids will roll their eyes at this one, but sometimes a difficult subject just needs a new approach, and kids might be able to offer some insight. A little extra practice could be all that’s needed, or changing the time of day the subject is covered, or lengthening or shortening the lessons. Sometimes just allowing your children to have a say in the matter can make all the difference in the world!
Broaden your scope on this personally, moms, and you might be surprised how much your kids want to learn! Maybe they want to learn about butterflies, or how to play the flute, or how to make their own clothes. Maybe they’re interested in sign language, or they have a fascination with orangutans, or they’re curious about the Northern Lights. Sometimes allowing them to choose some of what they learn can drive an interest in learning that spreads even into those necessary, but less-than-exciting subjects. Give kids the option of learning other things, and it may be just the inspiration for learning they’ve been looking for!
If you’d like a printable list of “7 Questions for Your Homeschool,” just click this link to download your own copy. We made the printable so that it can be used on a monthly basis, or you may choose to use it on a yearly basis. It’s up to you! NOTE: The printable can be used monthly or yearly.
Call it a game plan for the New Year! Sometimes just knowing where there are problems and thinking about ways to deal with them can be the first step toward positive changes. Giving our children the opportunity to think their struggles through and offer some of their own ideas can give them a much-needed sense of direction that is all their own – not merely something we, the moms, are forcing upon them.
Are there any questions you would add to my list? How do you help your children set goals for the New Year?