Editor’s Note: Thanks to Ashley Leeds from Thinking Caps Tutoring for this guest post, written exclusively for The MomTini Lounge. I took the liberty of putting some of her key ideas in bold. We love relevant, timely, tips-oriented guest posts!

Set Goals for the School Year

Now that everyone seems to have gotten into the back-to-school mindset, it’s time to take all of our hopes for our kids’ academic successes and put them into action. The first step in making progress this school year is to help your kids establish goals that will keep them motivated throughout the school year. While new markers and a new backpack may get your child revved up for the first day, we want that excitement to last the whole year.

It begins with setting goals. Sit down with your child and have a discussion as to what he or she wants to achieve this school year. Maybe your child wants to improve his or her test scores, or maybe become a better note-taker during class. Whatever you child strives for this year it begins with a desire to succeed and a plan of action.

Once your child has decided what elements of studying and homework he or she wants to improve on, it is time to set a game plan as to how to make school more successful. If it is better test scores that your child strives for, discuss what areas need to be improved on specifically: does your child have a habit of making erroneous mistakes on multiple choice or have trouble remember vocabulary and dates? Talk about ways to specifically improve those areas. Improving a student’s school performance is not as simple as “study harder,” but rather it involves honing in on specific trouble spots and taking the steps to make them stronger.

As your child slowly begins to make changes to his or her study routine to make room to focus on the problem areas, check in periodically to assess progress and to make sure other academic struggles do not arise.

The goal-setting process should be continuous throughout the school year: as a student makes strides in one area, he or she might find difficulty in another. It is important to consistently assess and reassess a student’s progress in order to help them achieve the academic successes they are capable of.

Ashley is a writing and study skills specialist at Thinking Caps Tutoring in New York City. new school year