But what can busy parents do that will have the most impact on their child’s education? Try using the C.A.R.E.S. model:

C Communicate constantly. One of the most important things you can do is to be aware of what your child is learning in school. Look over homework at night. Ask your child what he learned in school. If you have questions, get in touch with the teacher.

A Advocate. You are the best advocate for your child. If the school needs after-school programs, go to the school board or the city council. Find ways to help your child’s teacher, too. The less time she spends in front of the school copier, the more time she’ll have to work with students.

R Read regularly. Even sixth graders love it when parents read to them. Plan a regular family reading time. Look for audio books to enjoy, too.

E Evaluate excellence. Every school does some things very well. Help your school build on those strengths. If there are areas for improvement, find out how you can help.

S Seek success. Send your child to school each day with an “I can do it” attitude. Let him know that by working hard, he can learn anything. As he masters each goal, help him set another one. Eventually, he’ll climb the ladder of success.

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