EF at Home: Goal Setting, Part 1

Pathway leading to top of blue mountain with red flag at the top

To children, goal setting may seem like one of those things that adults do—and maybe only those highly successful adults that children see on television or in the movies. Many adults, in fact, simply have dreams (goals without deadlines!), and very few adults truly understand how to set effective goals and implement them. How then can we possibly expect our children to become good goal-setters?

Goal setting may not be part of the school or homeschool curriculum—but it could be. Either way, goal setting is something you can practice with your children at home. Here are some suggestions.

Teach a Goal-Setting Strategy

Start with suggesting a goal-setting strategy that is both easy to remember and effective. In the SMARTS Curriculum, we teach CANDO goal setting, which includes the following five criteria:

  • C – Clear: Goals must be clear and specific. Avoid words like “better” or “more” that simply show a direction. What, actually, do you want to accomplish?
  • A – Appropriate: Goals must be realistic, based on where you are starting, and also relevant to what you need or want. Make sure goals are next steps rather than “pie-in-the-sky” ideas of what you think might be nice.
  • N – Numerical: Goals must be measurable, so you can check whether or not you are meeting your goal. Can you use a number or percentage or some other amount to quantify what you are trying to do?
  • D – Doable: Larger goals must be broken down into short-term goals so that you can reach (and celebrate) those short-term goals along the way. What are the steps you need to take to accomplish what you want?
  • O – Obstacles Considered: Goals must be considered in terms of obstacles that might arise and possible solutions to those obstacles. What is likely to get in the way? What do you have going for you?

By teaching and modeling goal setting, your child can learn an important life skill. To learn more about the SMARTS Curriculum and information for homeschoolers and parents of school-aged children, we invite you to attend the 37th Annual Executive Function Conference on November 3 and 4, 2022, to hear from Michael Greschler, M.Ed. and Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.

Wearing Your Shoes: Teachers Collaborating with Parents to Promote Executive Function at School and at Home

In this workshop, Michael Greschler, M.Ed., and Mindy Scirri, Ph.D., will explore the impact of differing perspectives between teachers and parents/guardians, as well as practical strategies for collaborating with families to support students. Participants will learn strategies from the SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum, review strategy instruction materials developed to support EF at home, and explore hands-on activities for bridging the gap between school and home.

Tune in next week for Part 2 of this blog post to learn practical tips for goal setting and monitoring progress toward goals.

  • Mindy Scirri, Ph.D., Educational Consultant and SMARTS Trainer

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org

Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org

The Institute for Learning and Development: ildlex.org



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