I Tried Creating A School Year Bucket List For My Kids

Bill Gates once said:

“What’s amazing is, if young people understood how doing well in school makes the rest of their life so much [more] interesting, they would be more motivated. It’s so far away in time that they can’t appreciate what it means for their whole life.”

And just like most parents of young school-age kids, I hope that my little ones will make the most of each year to enrich their future. There are so many opportunities to learn new things, meet new people, and grow in exciting ways, and I’m eager for my children to experience all that they can. And to make sure that my kids take advantage of every moment and don’t miss out on anything important, I decided to create a school year bucket list for them.

While making the list, I considered various aspects of what the following months could offer. I was hopeful that my kids would do their best to participate in academics, recreational activities, and their community, so I tried to come up with bucket list items that touches on each of those areas. I also made sure that the list is specific enough to keep my kids on track while leaving a bit of flexibility when it comes to each item so that they can choose things that both interest them and keep them motivated.

I decided to put the list together on a sheet that I could snazzy up a bit and print out so that my kids could refer to it whenever they wanted to try something new. They can even add a check mark or cross out an item each time they tackle it to keep track of their accomplishments.

With a plan in mind, I set out to create a school year bucket list for my kids. Read on to find out what I decided to include.

Work Hard Enough To Be Proud of Your Grades (No Matter What They Are)

What children learn, how they develop, and what they’re able to accomplish during their school year is obviously more important than an actual grade. But I still hope that my children will strive to do their best when it comes to their schoolwork, so I want them to work hard enough to be proud of whatever grades they get. That made it an obvious first choice for their bucket list.

Stay on Top of Homework

Homework can be pretty overwhelming, especially as your child starts to get older. That’s why it’s so important to schedule time wisely, avoid procrastinating, and stay on top of assignments. Getting into the habit of managing homework not only helps your young student succeed, but it also sets up good work habits for the future, so I felt like it was another great choice for the bucket list.

Create a Project on a Topic That’s Totally New to You

Some projects that are assigned in school have a specific subject, theme, and format, but others are more open when it comes to what they can focus on. When it comes to the latter, I wanted to make sure that my kids explored new topics that might lead to new knowledge, new ideas, and possibly even new interests.

Work on a Special Project for Earth Day

Earth Day takes place annually on April 22 and is the perfect time to plan an activity that helps raise awareness about environmental issues or to take part in an eco-friendly endeavor. While many schools schedule Earth Day-related assignments, I wanted to make sure that my kids did something to mark the special occasion by including an Earth Day project as an item on the bucket list.

Read One New Book Each Month

My kids adore reading and go through books quickly. I love to encourage their literature-loving habits, and one way to keep that up throughout the school year was to add it as an item on their bucket list. They can choose whatever kind of book piques their interest as long as they make sure to finish it before the month is over (of course, older kids who read longer books could take a couple of months per book, if needed).

Learn One New Word Each Month

One thing that kids can pick up from their reading is new words. To help my little ones absorb a little more of what they’re reading while at the same time expanding their vocabulary, one bucket list item is to learn (at least) one new word each month. And if they don’t pick up a new word from reading, they can always take a quick look at a dictionary.

Write One New Kind of Poem Each Month

I also like to encourage my kids to write, and over the years, they’ve tackled both journals and fiction. This year, I wanted them to try poetry. I popped an item on their bucket list that will have them writing one new poem every month. I plan to introduce them to different kinds of poetry so that they can try a new kind of poem each time.

Make One Piece of Art Each Month

I definitely like my kids to indulge in creativity by making plenty of art. During the summer, we have lots of time to tackle crafts and DIY projects, but when our schedule starts to fill up throughout the school year, our artistic activities aren’t always a priority. To make sure my little ones are getting a fair share of time to paint, draw, and play with clay, I added an item to their bucket list that will see them making one piece of art each month.

Learn One New Fact About the City/County/Area You Live in Each Month

It’s important to know the history of the area you live in while also being aware of what’s currently going on in your own community. To help my kids do just that, their bucket list prompts them to learn one new fact about the city, county, or area where we live each month.

Learn One New Fact About Another Country Each Month

I also want my children to know about the wider world. There are so many other places and cultures on our big, beautiful planet that we can learn about and learn from. So another item on my kids’ school year bucket list is to learn one new fact about another country each month.

Try at Least One New After-School Activity

The hours after school can offer just as many opportunities for your children to explore possible interests. Whether it’s a sport or other competitive activity, music ensemble, or theater group, I’m hopeful that my kids will find something outside of school that will give them more chances to engage in something interesting as well as socialize with a wider group of kids.

Make a New Friend

Whether it’s a classmate who has just moved to the area or someone they connect with at an after-school extracurricular activity, my kids usually meet someone new during the year, and they absolutely adore playing with their ever-expanding group of pals. That’s why it seemed like a good goal and a great item for their list.

Help a Classmate Out With Their School Work

Along with being friendly, I also want my children to be helpful. I used the bucket list to encourage them to give their classmates a hand with their schoolwork whenever someone is struggling and my kids feel like they can be of help.

Volunteer To Help at School

Being helpful to others extends into volunteering, which is an important way to stay connected and contribute to your community. I encouraged my kids to help out at their school by opting for one of the opportunities to volunteer, such as acting as a crossing guard patroller, a classroom tidier, or a cafeteria helper.

I can’t wait to see the excited expressions on my little ones’ faces when they find an opportunity that piques their interest and makes them proud, just like every other item on their new school year bucket list.

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