Don't get it twisted (in my D'Banj voice), school success begins at home. This goes to all - uncles, aunts, intending moms and dads, moms, dads and grannies.
Interests are important. Interests well groomed translate to skills. Skills become passion. Passion drives perfection. The Chimamanda Adichie's, Asa's, Mikel Obi's, Bez's, Mary Onyali's etc...imagine Nigeria full of skilled and passionate citizens.
Let the child find books that interest them. Don't overlook graphic novels, magazines, recipe, cook and comic books or even books that will not interest you BUT interest them (books that are informative). The idea is for them to keep reading. You should chat about what they are reading in /out of school topics and get more books to support. The best gifts for children/teenagers are the gifts of books, you should try it.Encourage critical thinking. Help them succeed by asking questions, make them give examples and assist in understanding concepts taught but please DO NOT force answers. We (the teachers) can tell at the 'bat of an eyelid' who supplied those answers.......yes, we can! Watch out for those 'elusive' lesson teachers too! Some just want to get gone, so always find out yourself what the kid knows. Critical thinking helps children perform well in school at EVERY age.Have routine talks with the school counselor and teachers. Ask a lot of questions that will throw more light to the child's personality. Create a challenging academic schedule that would deepen success skills but make sure to strike a balance. Do not put too much pressure but encourage them such that they gradually master skills that will help further studies. In summary:
- be involved
- reinforce at home - 20 minutes a day will make a huge difference
- communicate concerns and questions
- lead by example