The new year gives us a chance to think about everything we want to accomplish in the next 365 days — and that can be daunting. Most of us are still recovering from the sugar comas of the holidays. Instead of making grand, year-long goals that you and your child will fall behind on by the time Family Day rolls around, come up with something simple to accomplish in January. Small goals that are easy to complete can make us feel accomplished and motivate us to take on another challenge.
Perhaps you want to make more time to spend together with family. Try scheduling a board game night or family movie time. Maybe you want to learn a new skill.
Watch at least one how-to video on YouTube or borrow an instruction book from your local library. Goal-planning books like Goals: Ten Rules for Achieving Success by Gary Ryan Blair can help you hone a plan to achieve your goals for the new year.
Shorter goals are important for children as well. A new year means getting older and gaining new responsibilities, but too many new things can be overwhelming.
So start simple: give your child one extra task a week. Look for tasks appropriate to your child’s age and ability that they can proudly complete.
For older children, that task could be helping you make dinner or taking out the garbage. Complete Junior Chef Cookbooks contain child-friendly recipes that allow kids to take charge in the kitchen and create delicious food while having fun.
For smaller children, it could be making their bed or tidying up their toys. You can keep track of your child’s tasks with handy lists and charts, like our My Responsibility Chart. Charts and schedules displayed prominently will help your child see their progress. Use colourful markers and reward your child’s completed tasks with fun stickers.
January also means it’s time to get back into the rhythm of school, whether that be virtual classrooms or in-class learning. Taking some time before school starts to recap skills your child learned in the last term can be beneficial.
Try using flashcards to quiz your child on letter sounds, math concepts and spelling. But don’t forget to have fun! Memory matching games and other card games can help your child exercise their memory and think strategically while you have fun together.
You can also ease back into learning by helping your child with some areas they struggled with last term. Completing even a couple of exercises a day can be great for your child’s improvement. Engage with your child and support their learning.
If your child is struggling with reading, try incorporating more reading into your bedtime routine and have them read to you.
Look for everyday activities that allow your child to practise their math skills like baking, dealing with money, or counting toys while they tidy.
Have your child write to-do lists, grocery lists and letters to their friends to practise their writing skills. Perhaps one of your goals is to write a grandparent or family member a letter once a month. Letter writing will help your child connect with those family members they haven’t seen in a while, while also practising letter forms, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
There’s so much potential in the feeling of the new year.
We hope you have a great start to 2021!