Setting achievable goals is really important in helping your child to meet their full potential. The best way to set goals is to do this with your children, and using a set formula. Once they understand the SMART learning goal system they should be able to set all sorts of goals for themselves. SMART goals are often used in sport, but they are good for setting goals in any aspect of life. Let’s break it down.
S is for Specific
Be specific in what you are looking for from your child. It could be a specific number of words from a word list or a certain number of symbols from a NVR test. So long as your child knows what they’re aiming for, there can be little ambiguity in what you both want them to reach for at the end. It also means you have an idea of what the prize is at the end. Whether the prize is just getting into a grammar school or a more immediate gratification, your child has something to which they can look forward.
M is for Measurable
Having something to measure against is a really good way for your child to understand their progress. It also means that you will know how you will know when they have achieved their target.
A is for Achievable
There is no point in setting goals that are inachievable to your child. This will only upset them when they are unable to meet the goal set and could see them demovtivated in other areas of their education. It is also important that the goal isn’t too easy. Firstly, an easy goal will do your child no good in getting them to grammar school as they entry requirements are tough. Secondly, it will mean your child could have had further challenges for which they now haven’t set aside time.
R is for Relevant
Goals should be relevant to the task in hand. If you want your child to go to grammar school, then it is important that you set goals around trying to improve their abilities in the areas specific to the 11+ examination. They will work on maths and English skills in school so perhaps try setting goals around non-verbal reasoning.
T is for Timebound
It is really important to have an end date in mind. Setting a deadline will mean that your child will know when they need to accomplish something by, and also when they can expect the reward for doing a good job. Having this level of focus should improve their motivation.
SMART learning goal setting summary
Setting a SMART learning goal or two can really help your child in their quest for a place at grammar school. Looking at your child’s strengths and weaknesses can help you asses where you might need to set goals together. So this new year, why not try and set some goals with your child?