1. See that your child has periodic physical examinations to learn whether he has health problems that might interfere with top performance in school.
2. If your child is upset because a friend gets better marks than he does, let him know that someone else's marks are less important than the fact that he himself is trying to bring up his grades. Also, point out to him the things that he does very well.
3. See that a child has a place where he can study quietly without the distraction of television or siblings.
4. Help a child organize his day so that he has time for play, hobbies, and homework.
5. If you have a beef about your child's teachers, take it up with the teacher. Criticizing the school in a child's presence only hurts the child's attitude toward learning.
6. Find ways for a child to use at home what he learns in school. Let him double-check your grocery tape to see if it adds up correctly. Give a teenager the job of checking your bank statements against canceled checks.
7. At the dinner table, guide children into a "bull session" on serious topics, and do as much listening as talking.
8. Take some adult education courses. How can you give your child better proof that education is important?