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The Secrets of Getting Good Grades

Forget mystical formulas and acronyms. Two veteran teachers say parents who want their kids to do well in school should focus on six basic things

Kids all around southeast Michigan are starting school this month. And, naturally, their parents want them to excel! What can you do to give your young scholar an academic edge – even if he or she isn't a "genius"?

First off, don’t believe for a minute that your children have to be brilliant to get mostly A’s and B’s! This is an absolute myth. What most need is a willingness to work hard, persistence in completing difficult tasks, self-discipline, a sense of responsibility – and a focus on doing their best. As parents, you are the mentors who can instill in them these habits that lead to success in school.

You're also the ones whose involvement in their education is essential. It has been shown repeatedly that what families do to help their children learn is more important to their success in school than family income or education. To be involved, you will need to focus on these six things:

1. Know what your children are doing at school. Talk with them each day about school. Look at all the work they bring home, whether they are in kindergarten or high school.

2. Expect your children to do homework or school-related work every day for approximately 10 minutes for each year in school – starting in first grade.

3. Show interest in your children’s education by attending as many school functions as you can.

4. Handle academic difficulties and behavior problems when they first appear to resolve them quickly.

5. Praise your children’s efforts so they know you are proud of the work they are doing in school.

6. Help your children get organized, so they arrive at school on time and ready to learn.

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