Whether school is out, almost out or your child is in school all year, the end of the term or school year is a great time to reflect on the year with your child and set goals for next year.
While report cards can be one way to look at progress made in certain subjects or learning skills and work habits (skills such as organization, responsibility, independence, collaboration, etc.), other areas to think about include friends made, challenges overcome, initiative taken and skills developed. Taking time to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better, is a great way to end the year.
Research on what parents can do for their children to support success in school, has revealed that how we talk about school with our kids can be more impactful than helping them with homework. Want to reflect with your child and keep the conversation positive? Try this:
1. Start with what went well.
Did they show progress in an area that they worked hard in? Were they kind to a new student? Did they try a new sport? Did they master a skill or strategy? Some children can easily come up with positives in the term or year, and others may need support in remembering or identifying positive moments. It's not just about grades or marks so help your child see the other positives in the year where they showed creativity, collaboration, kindness or critical thinking.
2. Ask your child what they feel they would like to improve for next year.
Was there an area they wish they had progressed more in? Is there a skill they are still working on? What can you (as a caregiver) do to help them in that area? Do they need some strategies or extra practice? Help your child see, whatever the challenge is you can work together towards a solution. While we may want our children to WANT to do better in a specific area, letting your child guide this part of the conversation is great way to allow them to take ownership and feel motivated.
3. Set goals for next year (don’t worry they aren’t set it stone)
It's important to keep goals reasonable in that they are appropriate for your child's age, stage and abilities. Be sure to break down larger goals if they are lofty (i.e. to get an A in Math requires note taking, practice, review, etc.). Write down the goal(s), as you may want to revisit them in the fall before school begins (look out for back to school tips on what to do with these June goals). Again, as hard as it is, letting your child take the lead in setting the goals, and guiding them through the process will give your child a sense of ownership over their progress.
When reflecting on the year, whether it was great, so-so, or a roller-coaster of ups and downs, it's important to keep the conversation positive and remember that reflection is more important than perfection. If you or your child needs help setting and reaching goals, get in touch!
Happy Summer :)