Summer of Purpose: Help Your Kids Set Goals (FREE chart)

By May 11, 2010Summer Planning

The first posts in this series are here, here and here. Today we have a few more tips on setting summer goals with our kids.

No one wants to feel overwhelmed by work in the summer so the key to setting a good summer goal(s) is to make sure the activity is something they love and are passionate about. (Grammar geeks: I formally apologize for ending that sentence in a preposition.)

Next, help them pick a goal that seems just out of reach and impressive to them. It needs to be a realistic goal, but one that will require a good bit of determination.

Passion and Perseverance

When we set out to accomplish something, we require two characteristics: Passion and Perseverance. At the beginning we’re very passionate, but soon it gets hard and that’s when we need to choose to develop our ability to persevere. This is where the real growth and character building happens.

Then comes the joy of accomplishing something that seemed out of reach. There are few things that can build confidence in a child like perseverance followed by victory.

Younger Children

Even very small children can set fun goals. For example:

  1. Learn all the letters in the alphabet.
  2. Learn to count to 5, 10, 20.
  3. Learn to ride a scooter.
  4. Learn to swing.
  5. Learn to swim.
  6. Learn to read.

The idea is to make sure they know that they’re working towards something so that when they accomplish it they can really value all the effort and relish the sense of accomplishment.

Trouble Shooting

If your child is having a hard time getting motivated, re-evaluate their goal. Is it truly in line with what they love to do. Is it too high of a goal? Do they have the proper tools, instruction, guidance?

How To Keep Them Motivated

It’s important to help them break down their goals into small, daily steps and individual milestones. Milestones will help keep your kids feel motivated rather than overwhelmed. When they are reached, reward them.

You can also motivate them by specifically working with them on their goal. They’ll cherish the opportunity for some special time with you.

Make It a Family Event and Make It Super Fun

Create a chart for the whole family. Each day or week have everyone log their goal progress. This is a great visual motivator.

Have an “awards ceremony” at the end of the summer where each person showcases their new or improved skill and receives a homemade certificate of accomplishment and a word of praise from mom and dad.

A Handy Dandy Form/Chart

Some people like to read, rock climb or spend the evening on the town. Me? I spend my Saturday nights making charts and forms. That’s right. You walk with me, you walk on the e-d-g-e.

So here’s a handy form that will help you create your goals and track your progress throughout the summer. Enjoy!

Summer Goal Setting Form

(This post is part of WFMW.)

Leave a Comment



  • Elaine says:

    Charts!!! I tweak my charts so often I have to remind myself the purpose of the chart is to hold me accountable for doing something and not just to look pretty on my motivation board.

    My summer goal is to get in shape. My daughter is turning 1 tomorrow, and it’s high time I lose the last 10 pregnancy pounds and then work back to wedding weight. In a way, it’s her goal too because she’ll have to walk and swim with me. Thanks for giving me something to get excited about as I get started.

  • Becky says:

    Charts are always helpful! We did a simple chart a few years ago called My List of Fives that helped us have a productive summer. Thanks for sharing your idea.
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..WFMW – Freezing Leftovers =-.

  • Brianna says:

    This is great, Kat! Thank you.
    I have a question for you — my 8-year-old daughter realy wants to read through the entire Bible in one year (I’m currently working on this for myself — footsteps, right?). I’m wondering if your daughter (the one who’s reading through the Bible for the second time) has some kind of pace-setting schedule for herself or whatever. I LOVE that she wants to do this. And she wants to do it with me. I just don’t know where to start. Any ideas? Should I just bring her alongside the schedule I’m on, you think?
    .-= Brianna´s last blog ..Of Weeds and Vigilance =-.

    • Kat says:

      You know, I’ll have to ask her about that. I know she didn’t have a formal plan of any sort, but I don’t know if she had a plan in her head. I kind of think she really just read it like a book. You pick it up and read whenever you have a few minutes and read until your mom tells you you need to go do something. 🙂

      You could also just read it book by book or use Natalie Jost’s “Guilt Free Bible Reading Plan” – It’s a little one sheet printout with all the chapters of the Bible, and you just bubble in the ones you read as you go along. That way she can skip around if she wants to our what not.

      I’ll ask my daughter tomorrow and see if she has any input.

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  • elizabeth c. says:

    shared this idea with my husband yesterday – he is not only on board but excited…last summer really flopped (many reason’s but pregnancy with bedrest was a major factor) and i really hope to make this one different and meaningful and a ‘spring cleaning’ of sorts…your ideas and encouragement really help me to keep moving toward my goal!

  • stacy buck says:

    My husband has made a few comments about having a schedule and some responsibilities that he wants our children to have. I am not a chart creator and have a hard time being a schedule keeper -however, my oldest daughter thrives when I do. Thanks for all your help. We are going to have a family meeting today to discuss routine, responsibilities and rewards (places and things todo as a family). I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.