First semester is over. It’s time to look back over the last five months of school to determine what went well and what needs work. In reflecting on accomplishments and areas that need work, a child is better able to celebrate success and determine how to improve. Here are the keys to self-reflection and goal setting.
WHY? To help your child see where he did well and where he needs improvement.
Self-reflection and goal setting are important skills for students. The end of the semester is a perfect time to do both. As adults it is usually clear when we’ve done well and when we need to work a little harder. This is not the case with most children. Mom and Dad, it is your job to guide your child to recognize why he did well and how he can improve to change his behavior to succeed in the future.
Have your child print out the end of the semester electronic grades for each class. (If your child does not know how to do this, teach him.) Reflections and goals can be recorded on the printed grade reports. Store them in the home file for future use. Use this packet of grades during the next quarter as a concrete example of what is discussed.
HOW? Schedule to meet with your child during a regular homework meeting.
Walk your child through this process if it’s new. Another option is to assign self-reflection and goal setting as homework, with the child presenting the findings to you. Schedule this discussion during a neutral time, not at a time of anger or frustration if the child’s grades are not what you had expected.
1. What did I do well this quarter?
2. What did I not do well this quarter? What do I need to improve?
3. What is my goal for next quarter? Include the desired grade for each class and action steps to achieve goal.
The way you talk with your child will make all the difference in this interaction. The child will assume you will be telling them what they did wrong, so he may be defensive. I suggest allowing the child to do most, if not all, of the talking. Ask him what he thinks before EVER asking him a question regarding grades. (You will be shocked at how perceptive kids can be and many times how tough they are on themselves!) By allowing your child to point out the problem areas it causes less frustration and conflict between the parent and the child. It also forces your child to think about his own actions. As a result, the child will take more ownership of those actions in the future. Remember with ownership comes pride and with pride comes harder work.
By Megan Stone
Wife to Rick, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member, Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.