Goal Setting for High School
Yesterday I sat down to put the final touches on Collin’s 9th grade plan.
First of all, I can’t believe that my baby (14 year old baby) is going to high school. Actually, none of us can believe it and I’ll dare say – none of us are dealing with it very gracefully! We’re all walking around talking about it like it’s some kind of tragedy or something. But, regardless of how we all feel, it’s happening, so on I must go with the planning!
So yesterday I had the whole day to work on everything that needed to be done in order to be prepared for the upcoming year. I had curriculum to choose, a notebook to put together for record keeping, and books to order. But there was one thing that needed to be done before any of that even mattered…….setting goals. I needed to think about what my goals are for Collin in this upcoming year – upcoming 4 years, really.
High school is such a pivotal time in a child’s life. Expectations need to be set in order to help them reach their potential, just in time to move into the adult world of work and families. High school, in my opinion, needs to be about so much more than sports or clubs or peers. It’s your last 4 years of teaching academics, life skills, responsibility, good citizenship, and so much more. Not that we don’t teach our kids after graduation, but there is an invisible line that instantly gets drawn after someone graduates from high school. It’s the unsaid word, yet looming knowledge, that they have just moved from child to adult in a matter of minutes. It’s exciting and scary – for all involved!
So the first thing I had to do before I began my planning for the day was jot down the main areas of growth I want to see in Collin over the next few years. These are the top four goals I came up with:
#1 – Grow in the Lord –
I want him to grow daily in his walk with Christ – first and foremost. My goal for my kids has always been for them to rely so heavily on God that they even filter what I say through their relationship with Him. (I’ve been known to make a mistake or two 🙂
#2 – Grow in time management and priorities –
It’s such a challenge to teach kids to prioritize (at least at my house it is)! I want Collin to be able to look at a day’s or week’s worth of assignments or duties and put them in order of importance, time factors, common sense order, and then of course carry them out in a productive way.
#3 – Grow in self-governing (discipline) –
I’ll admit, this one is even tough for grown-ups! The kind of discipline I’m referring to is the kind that tells you that even though you would rather sit down and play a game or kill some time, if there is work to be done – it needs to come first.
#4 – Grow academically –
This one is last on the list because honestly, it’s last in life. No, I don’t want my kids to be ignorant; I want them to be educated. However, we will not turn academics into an idol, as so many do today. Education is a tool. It’s not a superpower. It’s not a deity. It’s simply a tool to help you through life. The fact is, I know plenty of well-educated people who don’t have one ounce of common sense! And common sense will rule over a degree any day in my book!
So, while we will persevere in the academic department and even pursue a higher education, if that’s the path God has for Collin, we will not make it our life. Education will not take the place of God, and it will not take the place of real life and relationships. It will remain a tool that we use to gain knowledge of the world around us. But ultimately, we are in charge of it – not the other way around.
Have you set goals for your children? It’s a good way to know where you’re going and why. Happy planning!
**”When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13**
Debbie is the mom of 2 sons – one a homeschool graduate and one entering high school. She has been married for 24 years and homeschooling for 16 of those years! She has to have a daily dose of coffee and chocolate and must feed her addiction to organizing and rearranging furniture at least once a week. She treasures books, music, and most of all, being at home with her husband and boys. But the biggest treasure in her life is her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For without him, she wouldn’t have any of the above.
This are great goals. Some other things I did with my now college kids was at 9th grade we did a ‘life plan’. I met with them and asked them (1) What kind of life do you want? (home, car, clothes, things) (2) We made a monthly and yearly budget based on the place they wanted to live, the expenses for maintaining it, the wife/husband they wanted, the car they wanted and for miscellaneous things – even a Student Loan if they would need one. (3) Then they selected 3 careers they were interested in. We mapped the pathway and cost to gain those careers, we also looked to see how many jobs were currently opened in those fields, the salary was recorded for each. (4) We compared the career salary (minus taxes) to the monthly bills and usually the kids were shocked at the reality of their careers. They either decided to keep their top 3 (and work a part-time job for the things) or they downgraded the ‘things’ they wanted. It was an eye opening exercise.