The Boys’ Goals: Teaching Math, Eating French Fries, and More


Caleb’s long-term goals, at age 7

Each week at tutoring, the boys are required to give a presentation. Some weeks we are super prepared for this, and other weeks we are not prepared at all.

Last weekend, Alan and I talked to the boys about goals. Then we asked the boys to write their goals down and use that as their presentation at tutoring on Monday. I thought they did a great job with their goal papers.


1. (Become a) math teacher.

2. (Become a dad.) Have someone to play catch with.

3. Go to Lego Land.

Sooooooo… I went to Caleb’s class for tutoring last week. (Some weeks I go to Joshua’s class. Some weeks I go to Caleb’s. The babies are, thankfully, in child care during that time.)

Presentation time came, and I saw Caleb snatch three Lego men out of his book bag and head to his seat.

“What!? Caleb, aren’t you going to share your goals?? You worked so hard on it.”

“No, I just want to talk about my Lego men.”

He pretty much does this to me every week. The boy loves to talk about his toys. So that was that. One of the other moms said, “Maybe you should present Caleb’s goals, April.”

haha  Oh, you have no idea how badly I want to jump in there and perfect everything they do. I am constantly having to hold back my inner control freak.

I was THAT kid, you know? My papers were always neat, orderly, and I was always finished way before most of the class. I sat up straight in my seat and listened. I LOVED school, sharpened pencils, and …….but wait.

Classical Conversations, the boys tutoring service, is actually nothing like that. I would have been much like they are in class, especially if I had just moved to a new place, as we have.

The boys, especially Caleb, are very quiet and withdrawn in class. They don’t want to answer questions, even when they do know the answers. You know what? I was exactly like that. I lived in mortal fear of being called on, even though I had straight A’s most of the time, so this is a very different environment, not so simple for shy extroverts.

I know: shy extroverts, that makes no sense. Actually, I think it does, but that is a topic for another day’s blog post!

But do you know what Caleb does WAY better than I would have done in this situation? Presentations. Sure, sometimes he looks at the floor and mumbles, but not usually. Usually, he is eager to get up there and tell all about his toy, and he talks and talks and fills up his time slot. I never had to do any presentations like that until the 4th grade, in Talent Pool, and I can remember being so incredibly nervous.

I try to remind myself of these things when I am tempted to feel exhasperated….so I sat back and enjoyed Caleb’s Lego Man presentation.

Meanwhile, I think his goals and drawings were fantastic.  Caleb said that the insect/monster drawings at the bottom were just for added fun. He is such a cutie.

Also, I learned that maybe I should play catch with Caleb more often. The one day I did, his brothers took over. That happens a lot when you have this many brothers.


joshua's goals

Joshua’s long term goals, at age 9

Joshua actually did follow through with presenting his goals to his class, and his tutor said that he did a very good job.  Hurray!

I loved both boys’ illustrations. 🙂

Joshua’s goals:

1. Climb Mount Everest.

2. Win a year’s supply of McDonald’s french fries.

3. Become a comic author.

4. Get a Powerade pool.

5. Be a famous band drummer.


The picture of Joshua at a desk with a giant stack of papers is a realistic drawing. This is what his room looks like now. Joshua reads, writes, draws, and jumps on the trampoline all day, every day.

I told Joshua, in reference to the french fries and Powerade, “Ugh, Joshua, everyone’s going to think that all I feed you is junk, and you know people are very healthy here.”

He giggled.

I enjoyed doing this activity with the boys. I think having both short and long-term goals are very important. Writing goals down makes them feel so much more real, too.

Now MY biggest goal for the next 24 hours is to get photos of the boys with their grandparents before they leave! I have been terribly negligent with the camera this visit, but I do have a good excuse. Joshua keeps running my camera battery down, making movies with his brothers and his friends. That kid has lots of hobbies!

I did take ONE picture during this visit, at Point Lobos:

JD, our smallest hiker

This was the FIRST time we let JD walk the trails, rather than ride in a baby carrier. Woohoo! Go JD! He did a great job!

We have had a wonderful time, as always! I hope y’all had fun too, Mom and Dad! You will be missed!

Hope everyone has a great week!!


Go ahead…you know you want to click it. 😉




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