The first week of school rush is behind us now. We’ve met our teachers, bought our supplies, hugged and laughed with old friends, welcomed new families and teachers to our school, and started to settle into our new school year routines. The year is so full of possibility and promise. Now’s a good time to sit down with our children and talk with them about what they’d like to learn, what they’d like to accomplish, and what they’d like to be able to say about the school year on June 10, 2014.
What if we invited them to write “New School Year Resolutions? ” What would they look like? Making resolutions can help our children understand long-term goals and how to prioritize what’s most important to them when life gets busy. It can also help parents guide children in choices they might make throughout the year. What kind of plan will help them reach their goals? Could a specific Science Share project help them learn something that’s important to them?
One way to help children understand a resolution is to explain it as a promise you make to yourself. Here are some questions to help children get started:
- What do you hope to learn (in school or outside of school)?
- What would you like to be able to do at the end of the year that you cannot do now?
- What would you like to change?
Have them take a few minutes to think about these questions and come up with at least one answer for each. Their resolutions can focus on themselves, on their relationships with family or friends, or on the community. Some examples:
This year . . .
I’d like to learn how to make a model volcano (self).
I’d like to read Harry Potter with my parents (family).
I’d like to help reduce litter in my neighborhood (community).
Have children write their resolutions (keep them short!), date them, and put them in a place where they can see them.
Be sure to help them think about how to turn these hopes and wishes into plans. Create an action plan with clear action items. How will they accomplish their resolutions? What do they need to do at school/home/community? What support do they need from home/school/self? When?
And resolutions aren’t just for children! Families can make resolutions together as well. What would families like to learn? What would they like to accomplish together this school year? How will they go about reaching those goals during the year?
Let’s embrace the feel of a new year and of new possibilities. . . .
Fall is here, hear the yell
Back to school, ring the bell
Brand new shoes, walking blues
Climb the fence, books and pens
I can tell that we are gonna’ be friends
I can tell that we are gonna’ be friends . . .
—We’re Going to Be Friends (Jack Johnson, Sing-a-longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George )
–-By Jennifer Ahern-Dodson
Got a great resolution to share? Want to start a Forest View Community resolution list? Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org