"Kids can't be given self-esteem. They have to earn it. They know the difference deep down. So, save the praise for when he really deserves it, and he really will feel proud."

Studies have shown that parent-teacher-child collaboration is critical for academic success. This is partially because it demonstrates to children that school is important; however, it's also because parents who take an active interest in their youngsters' education can help them achieve their full potential with educational activities outside of the classroom. In this jam-packed reference book, the authors prove that it is indeed possible to convince children that learning is fun.

This comprehensive guide to the elementary years is organized according to academic area for easy navigation. It starts with discussions of common issues parents may encounter, such as creating a study space, defining academic goals, and establishing good habits. The authors also offer tips for parents on communicating with teachers (written communication encourages thoughtful replies); dealing with problems such as forgetfulness (let the child decorate a homework folder); and even Internet safety (keep the computer out of the child's bedroom). From there, parents can read a slew of helpful teacher secrets regarding mathematics, reading, creative writing, spelling, and critical thinking.

Although this book is primarily geared toward academic success, it offers so much more for busy families struggling to balance family life with obligations. The authors bring their extensive professional knowledge regarding childhood development to help parents nurture their youngsters' self-esteem and reach a harmonious balance between achieving itself and simply enjoying childhood. Parents are also likely to learn quite a bit about child psychology—such as motivating lifelong learners—along the we way.

For busy parents, it can seem all but impossible to meet work obligations, get dinner on the table, and still have time to help the kids with their homework. With this readily accessible book, parents can carve out just a few minutes each day to help their kids grasp key concepts that will enable them to excel. Since each activity is self-contained, parents can pick just one activity each day to focus on. Families are highly likely to see a noticeable difference in their kids' academic progress well before reaching the end of the book.

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