Family environment and support are more important in determining educational outcomes than the quality of schools and teachers.

The Coleman Report. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare 1966


Students who learn good organizational skills and use their time wisely will do better in school and also establish habits that will help them in their personal and work life.

Set Boundaries and Limits

  • Children need structure. Rules and routines provide security, safety, and well-being. Discipline contributes to effectiveness and efficiency. Expect resistance...this is normal. Keys to teaching discipline include establishing boundaries in a clear manner. Enforce with patience, firmness and  kindness. Corrections should be appropriate, timely and consistent. Set the example! Children learn by example. If you do not want your children to do something, do not do it yourself.

  • Guide, Don't Control

  • Listen carefully! Try to understand. Children see their world differently than do adults.  Speak to children (and others) as you would like to be spoken to. Don't fight but do not give in. In other words, when a child resists or argues back, do not engage...just re-state what you want your child to do, then disengage. If the child does not respond as you requested, apply a consequence (time out, removal of a preferred activity) without nagging or scolding. A good strategy is to give choices. Youngsters want to be independent (sometimes). This is part of their learning. Little Jane wants to wear a dress not quite appropriate for an occasion. Mom then takes out two dresses that are appropriate and allows Jane to choose. More often than not she will forget about  her first choice and choose one of the two Mom picked out.
  • Children must learn to solve their own problems. This involves identifying decision making options and understanding consequences...positive and negative. Give responsibility, provide guidance, assist, correct gently, reward, and apply "natural consequences". By "natural consequences" I mean allowing the child to learn from their actions and inaction's. For example, if your kiddo does not come to dinner when called, rather than nagging or scolding, just let the food get cold. To re-warm the food is re-enforcing the behavior. Using natural consequences is more effective than scolding or punishing...which often results in a power struggle.
  • Include the child in the decision making process. Johnnie wants to go his friends house but has homework to do. Mom says something like this. "Do you want to watch TV this evening?" If so, if you go to your friends now you will have to do your homework this evening. Which do you prefer, going to your friends now and do homework later, or do homework now and watch TV this evening?"


  •  One of the most powerful tools parents use to motivate is to lavish praise. Choose battles! Focus on what the child does right not just mistakes or misbehavior's. Re-enforcing strengths, progress, and  results. "The carrot always wins over the stick." Correct in positive manner. Do not mix corrections with praise. Praise in public, correct in private.


  • Assist with organization. Establish a place for homework and study. Proper lighting and free of distractions. Insure your student has everything he/she needs...pencils, erasers, computers.
  • Help your student manage their time by establishing a schedule. Assist in prioritizing...most important things first....not necessarily what is most preferred. Mark due dates, test dates, school holidays, extra-curricular activities, special events. etc. on their calendar. When your student does not manage their time appropriately, allow them to experience the consequences. One or a few missed assignments or even a poor grade will do more to encourage than nagging. See Chapter 7 in "Student Success with Less Stress" for more TIPS.
  • Help to set goals! They must be achievable and realistic. That is, straight "A's" might be achievable but not realistic for a student struggling with certain subjects. As they gain confidence and improve then the goal of straight "A's" is more realistic.
  • Assist with effective study skills as described in detail in Sections "D" and "E" of Student Success with Less Stress. Too much to share here. Subjects include: "Communication Strategies to Get Ahead", Sensible Notes", "Dynamic Reading". "Improve Vocabulary and Spelling". "Awesome Papers", "Memorization Made Easy", "Quizzes and Exams...No Problem", "Extra Credit and Class Attendance, Why Bother?", "Secrets to Mega Learning: What Schools Do Not Teach", "Increase Retention and Reduce Nervousness", "Getting the Most From Pre-class Prep and After-class Review". Chapter 33 addresses "learning Differences".  Different learning preferences are described and how parents can help identify their child's preferred learning style. and assist their student to best study and learn according to their learning style. 
  • After graduation from high school few students have a clear idea on what career path to take. Regrettably, school "career days" fall short of adequately providing guidance to youth options for prospective careers that best meet their interests and passions. Parents can help their child make what could be a life-long avocation.  Chapter 34 provides suggestions on how parents can facilitate their child's choices. Chapter 25 provides students with considerations for choosing a career path. For those who choose to go to college guidelines on the college search and admission process is provided.
  • For students who choose to go to college, Chapter 35 provides options on how to pay for college.
  • Questions? Go the "Blog" in the menu.