Reach for the Goal


Today was quite a stressful day for Coby and I. He was asked to review Section One of his Language Arts Lifepac booklet after which he would take a Self Test. After giving him time to go back on the previous lessons, he quickly answered the first test. Unfortunately, upon checking, he did not make  the cut. I was disappointed because I thought he learned the lesson well enough to pass his first test.

So I told him to review again because he might be missing out on the important words or terms. The second review took longer than the first and I was getting impatient. So I pulled out the Alternate Test and asked him to answer it again. When he handed me his paper, I saw that he was tense while sat quietly on the floor behind me. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m praying, Mama that I pass the test.”

After hearing this, the overacting mom reacted. I scolded him because I knew he was unsure of his answers. He was unsure because he did not focus on his work at that time and that he did not “Read and Understand” the topics covered. Before I could continue to nag him, the Lord convicted me. I was focusing too much on his mistake instead of helping him making it right and improve his study habits.

God made me see that I failed to teach him goal-setting. Before the school year started, my husband and I created a list of goals for Coby for his fourth grade. It was a general objective of what we want him to accomplish for the year. For example, in Math, we wanted him to master the multiplication table and practice addition and subtraction facts using the iPad. For Filipino, our goal was for him to be able to comprehend the stories in Filipino, increase his Filipino vocabulary and be able to converse well with others in Filipino. For all his subjects, there were specific goals to be met.

Forgetting that Coby likes structured learning and craves for a schedule and a to-do list, I couldn’t blame him for losing focus. There were days when I fail to put up on our board what pages he would do or what chapter he would read and Coby would be in a daze that day. He is confused and has no direction at all. But when I do make his to-do list, he would be successful at completing the tasks.

But aside from giving him tasks to do, he should be able to set goals for himself. So this morning, I guided him on how to set them for himself.

For example, in Science, he has to read the lesson on Earthquakes. His goal could be, find new words and look up their meaning in the dictionary. Another goal could be search for examples of earthquakes in the Philippines and how it affected the people, the community and the country. All of these, he has to note down in his notebook.

After explaining how it goal setting works, he felt great because he has some sense of control. I added that if he completed his goals for the day, he can put a check mark on it, highlight it or even erase it from his notebook. That would give him a sense of accomplishment because he was able to finish the task on his own.

At first he was setting too high a goal like completing 20 pages in Language. I cautioned him about setting the goals too high because if he failed to do all 20 pages, this will only frustrate him and feel bad about himself. Instead of setting unrealistic goals, I urged him to make realistic goals. Goals that he knows and I know he can complete. If after setting, let’s say 5 pages a day and he still has time for more, he can just add more pages to his goal. And if he did this, I told him, he was able to push himself and do more. Provided he has understood the lesson 🙂 It doesn’t matter how many pages he completed as long as he was able to imbibe and learn to heart the topics assigned.

Tomorrow is his first day at goal setting. I pray that I would be able to guide him well and this would be part of his daily routine.