Setting Long Term Educational Goals for K-12 Students

Mar 15, 2023 | Centreville

When it comes to your child’s math education, it’s important not to remain passive when it comes to goal setting. While teachers can set students up for success during a single school year, it’s unlikely that any one teacher will be able to set goals with your child that last for the duration of their education, or even for a few years at a time. It’s up to you as their guardian to work with your child on long term goals to help them succeed and meet their full potential.

Long term goals are exactly what they sound like - goals that won’t be achieved in a matter of weeks but rather in months or years. For example, a long term goal in math might be:
⭐Ending the year with an A+
⭐Raising your grade by a letter grade
⭐Mastering Algebra 1
⭐Getting into an advanced math class

While a short term goal might be:
⭐Finishing a homework assignment
⭐Learning how to solve a specific math problem
⭐Memorizing the Pythagorean Theorem

Long term goals help students to work with intention, define and understand success, make better decisions, and stay motivated (Asana). Happily, the setting of long term goals for math education can be broken down into 6 easy steps!


Setting Long Term Math Goals

Define Success / Visualize Your Ideal Future

Talk with your child about what “success” looks like to them when it comes to math. For some, success could mean a high grade on their report card; while others might define success based on their stress level when it comes to approaching homework and tests.

Set SMART Goals

In this acronym, SMART stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.” There is a plethora of research available on this model for setting goals (we highly recommend this video for setting SMART goals for K-12 students). At this point, you might work with your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, etc. to discuss potential goals - but make sure to include your child in the conversation as well.

Identify Educational Gaps & Potential Challenges

Identifying the obstacles that could be hindering your child’s progress is a valuable step in the goal setting process. Some gaps might be apparent based on conversation with your child and their teacher, but others won’t be. Schedule a risk-free math skills assessment with Mathnasium to identify additional gaps in your child’s math understanding.

Break Long-Term Goals into Smaller Goals

Calculus can’t be learned in a day, and significant gaps can’t be filled all at once. To ensure a solid foundation for mathematical success, make sure your plan allows for prerequisite skills to be mastered before moving on to harder topics.

Families who have taken advantage of Mathnasium’s math skills assessment will be able to discuss prerequisite skills and the optimal order to cover topics as part of their initial assessment.

Find an Educational Support System

Depending on how you’ve defined success and the goals you’ve set with your child, you may need to seek out additional support from a teacher, tutor, or educational center. Make sure to weigh all options carefully when determining whether a traditional tutor will meet your needs or whether they would receive a greater benefit from an individualized program such as Mathnasium.

Check In and Adjust Goals Regularly

Is your child regularly meeting their short-term goals? What’s working (or not)? Make sure to regularly take time to check in and reinforce the importance of your long term goals, and to adjust your short term goals as needed.


For Help Setting Math Goals, Contact Your Local Mathnasium!

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