What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?
Read to young children.
Talk to adolescents.
In her book "The Smartest Kids in the World," Amanda Ripley talked about the survey of parents associated with the international PISA tests, assessments that form the basis of international student comparisons. She states:
When children were young, parents who read to them every day or almost every day had kids who performed much better in reading, all around the world, by the time they wee fifteen (p. 108).
I then went to the PISA test site and looked at their report, Let's Read Them a Story, and that report, in chapter one, said:
Reading books to children when they are just beginning primary school and talking with adolescents about topical political or social issues are shown to have a positive impact on children’s learning. Even just reading at home benefits children, because it shows them that reading is something that their parents value.
Amanda Ripley sums it up nicely:
Parents who read to their children weekly or daily when they were young raised children who scored twenty-five points higher on PISA by the time they wee fifteen years old. that was almost a full year of learning.
What's the take away?
Read to your children!
Talk to your adolescents!