The principals identified several things parents can do that could make a dramatic difference in how well students achieve.
1. Reinforce self-esteem. Principals say this is the most important thing parents can do. Kids need self-confidence to raise their hands in class, ask a question, or say they don't understand. Parents can help by listening to children . . . and by praising them for a job well done.
2. Develop good work habits. Parents need to help kids develop a willingness to work hard. They do that by praising effort as well as results. And they do it by expecting children to take on some responsibility at home . . . and then following through.
3. Support learning at home. Let your children know how important education is. Ask about their schoolwork. Set up a regular time and place for homework.
4. Participate in learning activities. Play board games with your children. Go for walks and talk about what you see. Read to your children regularly. All these develop a love for learning.
5. Emphasize language. Talk with your children as you go about your daily chores. Have books and magazines available for your children to read. Sometimes, let your children read to you. If you see a word you don't know, look it up together.
6. Set high expectations. Tell your children you know they can do well in school. Review their homework. Attend school activities. And, again, praise your children for a job well done.
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