SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids

At the start of a new year, adults often take time to reflect and think about positive changes they want to make in their lives. This is a wonderful time for children to do the same.

Here is a list of 10 simple resolutions that young students can choose from to increase their academic, physical, and social/emotional well-being for the new year.

Students should choose at least five that work for the family:

  • Read (or read together) at least 15 minutes each night.
  • Do a specific chore. On a daily basis, make the bed or take out the trash, match the socks from the clean laundry, feed a pet, etc. A consistent, simple chore helps a young child learn responsibility.
  • Write a short letter (with help, if needed) once or twice a month to a grandparent, favorite aunt or uncle, cousin, or friend. This is purposeful practice of a needed skill while bringing joy to a loved one.
  • Pick up toys. Help your child understand the importance of everyone cleaning their own mess.
  • Drink more water, instead of fruity or sugary drinks.
  • Say “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” more often. Help him understand that good manners count.
  • Share more. Let a brother or sister use toys, books, crayons, etc.
  • Start a word jar. Pick a new spelling word, or word from a story. At least once a week, write the word on a small piece of paper and add it to the jar. Periodically pick a word from the jar, and have your child use it in a sentence.
  • Always brush teeth before bed and wash hands after using the bathroom.
  • Save coins in a jar or piggy bank. Once a month, empty the jar and sort the coins. Then count the coins to find the total number.


By helping children make realistic and attainable resolutions, you’re also teaching them a lot about goal-setting and self-discipline—skills that will serve them well their entire lives!

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