The transition from summer to school is almost here, and there are a lot of mixed emotions going on in the hearts of moms. We find ourselves thinking things like…
“I can’t wait for my kids to go back to school…freedom!!”
“I am not ready for my baby to start school yet!”
“Will my kids be successful in their classes this year?”
“Will my child make good friends?”
“Will my son hold to his convictions when confronted with peer pressure?”
Whether your children attend a neighborhood public school, a homeschool co-op, or a private Christian school, most moms have their reservations about how their children are going to handle the school year. Our children are growing up, but they still need our help to navigate the world and make good choices.
Rather than taking more of a passive role and worrying but not taking steps to help them along the way, if we are INTENTIONAL to guide them in making good choices from the beginning, I believe they will have a greater chance at doing well and following God’s ways.
One way to be intentional with our kids is to help them create goals for the school year. This can be done as a family, providing more guidance to younger or less mature children. For younger kids, you can fill out a goals list with them giving them ideas, and keep it simple! For older kids, let them be a part of coming up with the goals with a few suggestions from you. My husband and I will be making goals for the school year along with our kids, reviewing them on occasion to help keep us all accountable and motivated to pursue the important things in life.
Here are five important areas to focus on when your children are making goals for the school year!
Spiritual: Choose goals to encourage your kids in their faith. Goals such as reading the Bible each morning or doing family devotions are a few examples. My children read their picture Bibles in the morning when they have home days, and we do family devotions on nights we are all at home. Praying together as a family is a another great spiritual goal, and sharing prayer requests each week will encourage openness as well as increase our children’s faith in God’s provisions. By praying together, we can create strong bonds with our kids and grow deeper with them spiritually.
Academics: Encourage your children to make goals to help them work hard and try their best in their studies and grow in their weak areas. Remind your children that God desires for us to try our best and do our work to bring Him glory. Stay away from goals that your children cannot really control such as getting all A’s, and make objectives like completing homework before playing outside, checking work before turning it in, and paying attention in class. If your child is a perfectionist, remind him that his hard work and perseverance is much more pleasing to God than seeing a perfect grade on a test, and that is what you as parents value too.
Extra Curricular Activities: If your children are in extracurricular activities, encourage them to set realistic goals for these areas as well. My daughter wants to learn to do a backbend and the splits in gymnastics, so she knows she must practice every day in order to reach this goal.
Making Friends: Help your children think of goals related to choosing friends that will lift them up rather than bring them down. Some examples include looking for character traits in classmates and being intentional to spend time with the ones of good character. We can remind our children that the number of friends we have isn’t what is important, but the quality of friendships that are made. Asking them questions at the dinner table such as, “What was the best character trait you saw in a classmate today?” and “What was the worst character trait you saw?” will help build their awareness of which classmates are better to spend quality time with and which ones they can be an example to and pray for.
Sharing God’s Love: Because we always want to focus on sharing our faith with others, talk with your children about being a light for Jesus at school and find goals that will encourage this. Even at a private Christian school, there are children that need to see and hear what it means to follow Christ. Some examples include choosing a child to pray for and encourage each week if your child is spiritually mature enough to do so. Another goal idea is choosing one or two character traits that will demonstrate God’s love to others such as compassion, being a good encourager, and having a sharing heart. If your child is little, even just giving hugs to their friends and practicing sharing are great ways for them to grow in sharing God’s love. Encourage your children to be leaders and not followers, and remind them that it is okay to be different. It is those that rise above the crowd and are confident in who they are in Christ that really make an impact for Jesus! Encourage your children to be ready to share God’s love when given the opportunity to do so!
Click here for my FREE Devotional & Goal Writing Planner you can discuss and fill out with your children to help them be motivated to do their very best for God’s glory this school year!