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Your child will be most motivated to reach goals if they're personal and meaningful.  She should write them down, along with steps needed to accomplish them.  These ideas will help:

  • Ask you child what is important to her.  What would she be proud to achieve?  For example, "I would like to raise my grade in math.
  • Help her set reasonable and specific goals.  Have her choose an attainable, defined goal.  "I want to get a B instead of a C on my next report card.
  • Have her note steps from start to finish.  "I will review math for 10 extra minutes a night."  "On Tuesdays, Dad will tutor me."  "I will study for three nights before the test."  Have her use a calendar to stay on track.
  • Help her plan ahead for obstacles.  "I have soccer practice two nights a week.  If I want extra time to study, I will have to start earlier those days."
  • Encourage her to post her goals in a spot where she can refer to them.  At least once a month, she should review her progress and make any necessary changes.
Source: Lawrence J. Greene, Improving Your Child’s Schoolwork, ISBN: 0-7615-0163-0 (Prima Publishing, 1-800-733-3000,