Thank you so much Merit! Here is the meta tag.
Teach Your Teens to Make SMART Goals

Teach Your Teens to Make SMART Goals

It is NEVER a bad time to create goals and a plan to accomplish them. Want to change the world? Want to change ANYTHING?! SMART Goals will get you there! What are SMART goals?

These types of goals are an excellent tool to teach your tweens and teens; a skill that will travel through time with them, allowing them to go farther, faster! And if you happen to live with a teen who lacks inspo, or can’t quite get on board the mom train, having them set their own goals using this method might just be the thing! Together, let’s walk through what makes a goal SMART so that you can impart this simple, but powerful skill, to your teens!

To create S.M.A.R.T. goals means to create goals that are:


Creating crystal CLEAR goals means you know exactly what you want to accomplish.


How can you measure this goal?  I like to start with where I am and create a path that will get you to that goal.  Other people like to start at the end and work their way backward.  Whichever way helps you create measurable steps for your goal – do it!


Accomplishing ANYTHING takes action, so just consider this part of the process of creating your awesomeness. Take each step on the path towards reaching your goal and create an action plan for it.


It’s important to have goals that are realistic enough to be achieved. Unrealistic goals, by their very nature, are going to be impossible to reach. Teens, in particular, might not have the life experience necessary to know what goals are realistic or not. It’s good to dream, but when it comes to goals, realistic goals will allow the goal setter to hit the mark! 


Lastly, put deadlines on each step of your path.  For all of the procrastinators out there – having deadlines will keep the wheels turning. Some people love completing tasks right before they are due.  Not gonna lie, I kind of give myself an invisible shiny star when I meet my deadlines.

Attain Your Goals With These FREE Printables

We created a worksheet for your teen to work through.  State the basic goal idea at the top, go through defining parts of their goal and then at the end, they rewrite the goal using the information they added with date and time for their stated, time bound goal.

Keeping an eye on your goal helps you stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish.

Once your teen understands these types of goals, have them complete the worksheet. When it is complete, have them put their S.M.A.R.T. goal where they will see it everyday. 

Accomplishing goals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, sometimes creating new goals is a matter of finding clarity on what you are truly striving for. 

Teens are developing adults and one of our goals is for them to have self agency- the ability to start and complete a goal on their own. Learning the fine art of goal settings, particularly SMART goal setting, is one giant leap towards maturing as a young adult! 

Goal Setting – Dreaming

Before we can set goals, we have to dream a little; giving time and space to our hopes. Setting SMART goals will be a great reality check for your teens as they’ll have to create actionable steps to reaching and achieving their hopes and dreams. The very act of creating these types of achievable goals will help them develop Critical Thinking Skills!  

And while some teens have specific and clear plans about where they want to head and how to get there for most, it’s probably a bit more vague. For those teens, check out our New Year’s Teen Reading Challenge. We’ve curated twenty-four great books that will equip your teens academically, scholastically, spiritually, and socially-emotionally and created a fun Bingo Challenge that they can use for a month, or the year! These books will equip and encourage your teens, building their skill-set muscles! 

Practice Setting Goals

The BINGO Reading Challenge is a fun opportunity for your teen to practice setting goals in the new year while gaining skills and information from the books on the BINGO list.

Download and print the challenge out. Your teen might want to take this challenge with a homeschool group, co-op or their friends.

Need Help With Goal Setting?

Not sure how to get started with dreaming big and creating SMART goals for your homeschool? Our Academic Advising team to the rescue! Our experienced Academic Advisors understand the challenges and benefits of homeschooling and are ready to help you create an actionable, personalized smart plan for your teens high school career and beyond, saving you time, money and frustration! 

We hope you find the resources here on the True North Homeschool Adventures Blog helpful – please let us know if you do!

The Remarkable Gift of Grit

The Remarkable Gift of Grit


In New Mexico, it’s wryly referred to as “Enchantment” (think deserting pebbly dirt blowing around!) and can be defined in one of two ways: As small, loose particle of sand or stone, or as courage, resolve and strength of character. Grit is simply the combination of passion and perseverance. In this age of snowflakes and easy offense, it’s something to consider. Are our kids growing in grit? Are they becoming courageous, resolute and developing strength of character? The remarkable gift of grit will stand our kids in good stead as they face an increasingly secular world that tolerates very little in terms of strong convictions.

Angela Duckworth

In her excellent book, aptly titled, Grit, Angela Duckworth, takes on the task of developing the idea of grit in our children. She advocates for making Grit development a part of kid’s life skills curriculum. I couldn’t agree more. Our kids need grit. It’s what allows them to go out and compete, take risks, fail and try again. Grit is the strength of character needed to actually do hard things. We can want to do hard things. We can hope to do hard things. But without grit, those dreams and desires never make it to reality. In the same way we can want and hope for our kids to do hard things, but if we make it too easy on them, they won’t develop grit. If we protect them from failure, make excuses, buy their way, coddle and protect them, they won’t develop grit. Their determination to succeed and their grit development will be stunted.

Duckworth goes on to explain the necessary ingredients for developing grit:

  1. Practice– Practice is what lets us learn as we go. To practice and develop well we must get assessment and feedback.
  2. Purpose– Grit is not always about pursuing those things that we might have a natural inclination in, but rather pursuing something that we can develop an interest in over the long term.
  3. Hope- is as much about what you hope for as the ability to fail and keep trying, working and pursuing one’s goals despite set-backs.
  4. Time– time to practice, purpose, fail and succeed.

In the homeschooling world you hear a lot of verbiage about making school “Fun” and allowing your child to pursue their passions. While I love fun and have pursued a whole lot of passions of my own, I believe this is a skewed understanding of education. When we focus on “fun” we lose sight of the satisfaction that comes from really hard, difficult, at times painful work. We cheat our kids from the joy of knowing they’ve conquered, maybe having failed along the way. Fun is entertainment. Success is hard work, sweat, tears, pain, failure and then, accomplishment.

I’ve also learned that our passions develop as we take an interest in something and learn more about it. We often like what we are good at. We don’t usually get good at something until we work at it a bit. Some of my passions in life have developed as I’ve faced challenges, failures and set-backs. An interest in something does not equal a passion. A fanatical pursuit does. Often those pursuits require learning new skills, overcoming hardships and road-blocks, looking somewhat foolish, asking hard questions and displaying humility.

Teaching our kids that life isn’t always fun is a really valuable skill. Teaching our kids that passions often require sacrifice is also a very valuable skill.

Grit Goals True North Homeschool Academy

Grit Goals

Duckworth’s recommendations for bestowing the remarkable gift of Grit Goals to your children are requiring them to:

  1. Choose something that requires deliberate daily practice.
  2. Commit to doing this activity for 2 years.
  3. Finish what you’ve started for specified interval.

In our homeschool, we utilize grit goals. For the past two years, it’s been about tackling Latin. As a result, both of my kids have developed a true love for language learning and acquisition. Both have goals for tackling their next language and beyond. My daughter even picked up the little gem of a book, “How to Learn Any Language in 30 Days” at a thrift store recently.  The point is, our last grit goal developed their understanding of what they could do and given them the tools and skills to hope in what’s possible. They know they can learn a second language because they learned a first. Is learning Latin “fun?” Not at the beginning. It’s grunt work. It’s memorizing declensions, and vocab and grammar. But it’s fun to de-code and translate. That, however, doesn’t come until after some of the grunt work.

Our grit goasl for this coming year will change, as our family changes, and kids grow. Our oldest son is at Boot Camp, as I write this. A program, paid for by our tax dollars, that bestows on thousands of young people the remarkable gift of grit each year. We, as a society, should be grateful for the thousands of young men and women who are tough enough to endure this intensive grit training on our behalf each year!  Our second son is participating in a demanding memory work competition and our youngest, like I mentioned, is intent on studying languages even more in-depth.

Grit goals can be academic, physical, social, mental, spiritual. How do you determine which area to focus on? Start by considering what areas are your student the most vulnerable in? It might be time to think about some grit goals so that they can develop the courage needed to face whatever’s up ahead. Sometimes our biggest obstacles are where God wants to grow us the most. We often hear of world class athletes who overcome insurmountable physical odds to win beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

I also think it’s helpful for our kids to see us as parents setting and accomplishing difficult goals and challenges. We’re never too old to learn, grow and overcome! If you set Grit Goals for your students (or self!) I’d love to hear about it!

Our Essential Academic Advising package is develop to help you develop appropriate goals for your Homeshool. Are you overwhelmed or afraid that you are failing your student? We have the tools, skills and experience to come alongside of you and bring you peace of mind so that you can bring your homeschooling vision to fruition. Check out our complete Catalog!