Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Years Resolutions! Helping Our Children Set Their OWN Goals!

Setting goals helps me to be purposeful about where I’m going, where I’ve been, what’s worked and what’s not. It helps me to figure out what my priorities are in my life. Without goals I can become watered down and create the habit of coasting by. Goals help me to keep my vision STRONG!

“I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I don’t want to look back on my life with any regrets. I only have so many years to help my children lay the foundation of who they are going to be for their entire adult life. I don’t want to waste it watching cartoons or sitting in front of our gaming systems. Though we do those things, without goals we do them too much.

A Priority is a pre-determined decision about where we are going to spend our time. It helps us to create discipline in our lives. Discipline is doing what I ought to do, instead of what I want to do, so I can do what I want to do. For me, homeschooling is an opportunity to teach my children (from a very young age) how to be purposeful about their lives. I want to raise adults who know how to pursue their PASSIONS!

In our home we set goals twice a year, January and July. I find that doing this in six month increments is more practical then when I try to set annual goals. Setting goals allows me to evaluate where I’ve been, what worked, what didn’t and why. Once I have that information I can then begin to evaluate where I am, where I’m going and what I want to change. I always set my own goals first because I can’t teach what I don’t own myself.

The four area’s we concentrate on in our home are:

1- Spiritual
2- Physical
3- Personal
4- Educational

How do I help my children set their goals?

1- We have a family meeting where we talk about the past six months. I will often pull up my blog and go through my favorite pictorial posts with my kids as we relive field trips, biblical stories we’ve read, academic achievements we’ve accomplished, as well as area’s we’ve struggled in.

2- We pray together as a family. (and then individually when we sit down for our one on one time)

3- I look at where we are in life and what’s coming up so that I can be realistic in our goals. For instance, my oldest son is graduating this May so I know that we have a lot of academic and financial requirements. This helps me to know that this next six months would not be a good time to invest in new activities.

4- I meet with each child individually and help them set their goals. I actually just include my first and third grader in my goal setting process for them. I show them what they’ve accomplished and what I’d like to see happen over the next six months and then tell them the plan we have in place. I give my older children the absolutes but ask them to create their own personal timelines and action plans. Sometimes I will need to stop and ask them questions to help them re-evaluate a portion of their plan that they might have overlooked. However, I try very hard not to take over.

Since this is what we are working on this week I will share with you our goals on Friday.

How about you? Do you set goals, New Year Resolutions or do you skip it entirely?

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