Note to parent or teacher: Here is a 20- to 30-minute lesson plan that highlights the lesson objective: “Identify ways to practice perseverance: learn to finish what one begins, to ask for help when needed, and to persist despite difficulty.” (Character Building: Personal Responsibility: Perseverance-1c)
Read “Setting Goals.”
Discuss how the boy (pages 10, 12) was hesitant to start memorizing his poem for school because he thought it would be too hard, but because his dad encouraged him to do it a little at a time, when the boy did this he was able to reach his goal. Talk about what would have happened if the boy had waited to start memorizing the poem only one or two nights before he was meant to recite it at school.
Ask your child what he or she thinks would happen if the girl who had to do the book report (pages 10, 12) had waited to read the book just a day or two before the book report was due. What kind of result would she have had then?
Encourage the children to talk about ways they can relate this lesson to their scholastic studies.
Read and talk about Luke 14:28–30: Explain to the children how Jesus used this anecdote to encourage those who wished to follow Him as His disciples to first stop and make sure they would follow through on serving Him and not quit partway through.
Talk about how it’s the same with any goal in life. When we are setting out to reach a goal, the first step is to decide which goal to reach for, and what steps need to be taken to reach the goal. We then must decide whether or not we are willing to do what it takes to reach that goal.
For example, if the girl who was saving up for a fish tank and fish thought at the beginning, I want a fish tank with pretty fish in it, and I want to go to the store and buy the fish right away. I don’t want to be bothered with all of the steps of preparing the tank for the fish, then she wouldn’t have been able to reach her goal.
Read “Skills Exhibition.”
Tell the children what skills you have gained in your life, and how this has helped you find fulfillment in this particular area of your life. Talk about any new skills you are working on acquiring as well.
Discuss with the children how each child in the story faced a challenge that they had to overcome, or how they learned other important lessons while acquiring their new skill. For example, Manch had to learn to be diligent in attending his coach driving classes; Nansel wanted to quit after she created her first work of embroidery; Tinshi needed to be attentive with her other studies, and not only concentrate on perfecting her skill of playing scurry ball; and Merchy learned that while he needed to do his best, he didn’t have to do better than others in order to find satisfaction in his work.
Decide on a goal and fill in a printed copy of the chart found at the end of “Setting Goals” (either page 15 or 16, depending on whether you’d like to use the colored version or the black-and-white version for the children to color). If the child is aiming for more than one goal, print out a chart to fill in for each goal.
Celebrate! Plan a way to celebrate reaching the goal. If your child is reaching for a goal, such as setting up a fish tank, then the celebration could probably be directly related to reaching the goal, such as buying the fish to put into the tank. But if the child is reaching for a goal such as learning to not bite his fingernails, then an unrelated celebration might be useful as an encouragement to help him persevere.
You might want to write at the end of the chart a plan for celebrating once the child reaches the goal he or she has decided to aim for.
For some goals, it also might help to celebrate as each step is reached, such as in the example of helping a child to break a habit of biting his fingernails. In that case, the first goal might be going one day without biting his nails, then one week, then one month, then two months, etc. In that case, it might be helpful to have small celebrations for reaching each step, and then a bigger celebration once the full goal is reached.
Memorize Psalm 37:5. Help your children write this memory verse on a card to post next to the “Setting Goals” chart, to encourage them in how God is helping them to reach their goals.
Remember to praise the Lord for His help in reaching the goal. (Read Psalm 150 for ideas on how to praise God for His help.)
Additional material for older children on working toward goals:
If you have other suggestions of supplemental material, or additional activities in teaching this topic, please share your ideas and tips by commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Compiled by My Wonder Studio staff.
Copyright © 2011 by The Family International