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In part one you learned how to set expectations and establish a presence with your child’s teachers. In part two learn how your home and your child’s social circle contribute to their academic success.


Yes, I know this is a controversial way to look at it. But, I believe it is important for our children to understand that once they are in senior high school, it is a clear competition. They are competing for high school leadership opportunities, college admission, and scholarships.

Since my children were in primary school, I’ve reinforced the point to them that they have one job—to obtain a full college scholarship.

Obtaining this scholarship requires four pillars: academic excellence, extracurricular leadership, outstanding recommendations, and great scores on standardized achievement tests (e.g, SAT, ACT). Their job from junior to senior high is to maximize each of these three areas. They don’t have to work any other job. By doing chores, they earn a very modest allowance so that they have a little spending money. They can do whatever extracurricular activities they want. But, it cannot compromise any of the pillars.


One of the most important things that you can do as a parent to encourage your child’s academic success is to create a home atmosphere that is positive and encouraging. Many children have so many socioeconomic challenges at home that it is practically impossible to focus on being positive at school. Sadly, so many kids are in survival mode.

I think it is sad when school districts are celebrating that half of their students are graduating. Call me crazy (my kids do) but I don’t think this is as much a problem with the school system as it is with the home system.

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