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More kids graduating from high schools

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Leading kids to academic success

More students are graduating from high school today. But how does this mesh with the Obama Administration's goals for graduation rates? And how can parents encourage academic success?

high school graduautes

A new report shows that some of the schools once labeled as, "dropout factories" are now graduating more kids than ever and shaking their stigmas. According to an article on MSNBC, the reason for the change in graduation rates is varied but identifiable -- from restricting driver's licenses to raising the age to which kids are required to stay in school. Basically it all boils down to giving kids a reason to keep going to school.

Obama's goal

One of the goals of the Obama Administration is to graduate nine out of 10 kids in high schools by 2020. Experts say that the turnaround in some schools hasn't brought the national average to that point yet.

Students in high-poverty urban districts are still facing schools where the dropout rate exceeds the national average. But, experts say, it is fixable. Kids need education so that they can go on to successful futures -- and once they get to graduating from high school, the natural next step is to point them toward college.

How to encourage academic success in your kids

Ultimately as parents, we all want what's best for our kids. And in the modern business environment, a college degree is essential.

Of course, this begins with studying and utilizing good study skills. But how do you encourage your kids to be academic successes (and go onto college!)?

We asked the experts. Here's what they told us:

  • Have your child think to the future. "As early as 8th grade, you can start taking your children on side-trips to different universities. This does not necessarily mean you will be locked in to any particular college or career, but it is always good to keep the end-goal in sight," says Jamie Puntumkhul Program Director and Instructor for JLP Education Services, LLC.
  • Making learning a way of life. "I encourage parents to enroll their child into summer programs so that the learning never stops. Summer programs are both educational and fun. High school kids love these programs too because they get to experience college life (and get away from home for a while)," says Stephanie Espy, Founder and President of MathSP, a math enrichment, tutoring, and test prep company based in Atlanta.
  • Be positive and encouraging. "Talk to your children about their accomplishments and recognize the skills they use to be successful, such as perseverance, time-management, responsibility and independence, which are the same skills that will help them succeed in school," says Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist with Kumon, an after-school enrichment program.
  • Encourage passions. "Let your child pursue her own singular passions, not yours. When they discover that passion, encourage it beyond all else," says Jordan Dotson, founder of a Chinese college prep training company and author of "Show, Don't Tell: How Average Chinese Students Earn Admission to Americas Best Colleges."
  • Help them organize their time. "Make a schedule or create a study plan with your teens. This will help promote a routine that can become a habit to study at a particular time on a daily basis," says Yolessa K. Lawrinnce, an attorney and Brain Education Instructor.

Read more about succeeding in school

10 Steps to school year success
Preventing high school dropouts
Set your kids up for homework success

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