My 5 year old will be starting Kindergarten in a few short days. I received a packet of papers to fill out from her soon to be teacher and one of them was a Parent Survey. One of the questions was "List two goals you would like to set for your child this year". It got me thinking about what we really expect from Kindergarten.
What I would love to see my little girl accomplish this year is, 1) to make life long friends. you know, when you can say "We've been friends since Kindergarten" kind of friends, and 2) that she will love school. For her to know that her friends and teachers are waiting for her and she can't wait to dive into new experiences and all school can offer her.
I posed the question to some of my very favorite mommy and kid bloggers from all over the world. Here is how they answered this question. If you aren't familiar with these blogs, I highly recommend checking them out on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. You will not be disappointed. They totally ROCK! If you click on the blue title it will take you to their blogs.
Hands On As We Grow :
My main goal for my kids as they start school is for them to learn appropriate behavior, social behaviors for interacting with other kids as well as with adults, learning to listen to authority, pretty much learning how the school system works.
Adventures in Wunderland:
I want to see growth...in behavior, social skills, attention AND education. So much of going to school doesn't revolved around what they learn on paper and includes skills such as self discipline, teamwork, sharing, listen skills, patience (the list could go on). Often you will see your child bloom in an area that you wouldn't have even considered at the beginning of the year.
The Measured Mom:
My daughter entered kindergarten reading fluently and doing other work above grade level -- while I would have liked her to be challenged, my goals were mostly nonacademic. Since she didn't attend preschool, I wanted her to learn to be comfortable at school and enjoy it. I wanted her to learn to interact appropriately with kids her own age.
My Buddies and I:
The goals that I like my buddies (my daycare kids) would be: To learn to love school and to be excited about learning, everything else will come with those two.
No Time for Flashcards:
I used to ask my parents that at the start of the year too. The answers were usually the same and my answer even in 1st grade for my son would be similar. 1. To love school, to be interested, engaged and committed to the school community . 2. To learn to ask for help and not be embarrassed about it. <--- obviously these goals are for school and home to work on together.
Me and Marie Learning:
While academics are also at the forefront of our minds when we think of school, there are so many other things going on! My daughter does start k this year and I want her to have a love for learning. I also would like her to learn/practice how to react appropriately to other children when issues arise. I feel like both of those goals help her not just in K, but the rest of her life!
1. To leave his kindergarten year feeling confident in his ability to make friends, make good choices, learn new things, and be creative.
2. To love to learn.
1. That he will come home talking about how much he loves going to school and about all the fun things he gets to do with his friends.
2. That he thinks his teacher is the greatest person in the world (next to mommy and grandma:) .
The Educators Spin On It:
I used to ask this question too as a K, 1, and 2 teacher. I feel it's the easiest insight to a parents concerns and struggles with their own child, as well as an insight to their expectations of the grade level. For my own personal children I always wanted them to be in an environment that encourages them to love school and learning, to be a good friend to others and to be in an classroom setting that provides positive challenges and high expectations.
Mama Pea Pod:
For my daughter starting kindergarten last January, our goal for her was to not let her perfectionism prevent her from trying things. (She has a problem with not attempting things or giving up immediately because the result is not perfect the first time she tries it.)
Moments a Day:
My son would be starting kindergarten according to US terms in January (though we will be homeschooling and live in Australia) - and I will want him to (1) Learn about the qualities of being a good friend - giving him time to be with people of all ages and interact with them, (2) Giving him ways to learn about how his skills can serve others and make the world a better place by participating in service projects, fun projects that help the environment, etc. - letting him learn that what he chooses to learn and do can have a big influence on himself, his family, and his community.
Paint on the Ceiling:
For my daughter who is currently in pre-school my goals for her are 1. Learn to be more assertive and communicate thoughts, wants and needs verbally, 2. Have the opportunity to follow her own interests and passions.
Projects for Preschoolers:
I have kids going into 1st, 5th and senior year of high school... and I think my answer to that question almost always is more related to emotional/personal growth than it is academic. That said... I has answered with comments such as "Build confidence and make new friends" or "Love reading" or "Explore new areas of learning and learn to try new things".. or something similar. I personally think Kindie is an opportunity to learn to stand without mom near by to help - especially for kiddos have stay home or work-at-home parents. So my goals have always been relating to their gaining some insight into their own talents and skills.
Plain and simple my goal for all three of my kids is the same as it was for my students when I was in the classroom. I want my kids to love school, to love learning, and to feel comfortable and confident going to school each day.
Mess for Less:
Twins going into K. My girls are ahead on academics but behind on social skills so my goal for them would be to interact more with their peers and make friends.
Mouse Grows Mouse Learns:
My answer was one measurable (overcome her reluctance to write) and one social (reach out and make friends). Our K teacher was awesome, and I think both goals were met.
A Kindergarten Lifestyle:
As a mom and a kindergarten teacher, my goals are to make sure children 1. learn to love school and 2. learn to love reading.... I want my children and my students to think of school as a good place, full of excitement and positivity. And a love of reading is so important - now I'm not talking about whether they are actually reading (majority do) but I mean enjoy the process of reading and thinking.....
For my twins our goal was for them to do at least some things apart! For my middle boy our main goal was to make friends and learn to join in socially.
As a teacher I ask that question to get a little insight into any areas the parent may feel their child is struggling and also an idea of what they expect from the preschool year.
My 3 year old is starting preschool next month and I had never thought of goals for her. I suppose our goals are social ones. She is very outgoing in many situations but in groups or "loud kids" situations she closes up, to the point of going to an empty room and sitting on the floor. I'd like to see her improve in these situations.
I would love to hear what your goals for your school age kiddos are.