Have you ever wondered how you can best help your child succeed in school? What the most effective parenting tactics are? Recent research from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the O.E.C.D.) has found several practices that parents can incorporate into their child rearing to increase academic performance.

By interviewing parents about their child-rearing habits and comparing these habits to their children’s PISA scores (a test administered every 3 years to 15-year old students of leading industrialized nations) the following parenting habits have proven to lead to increased academic performance for children:

1. Read with your child at least once a week during her first year of primary school

2. Take genuine interest in your child’s learning“Students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child ‘every day or almost every day’ or ‘once or twice a week’ during the first year of primary school have markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child ‘never or almost never’ or only ‘once or twice a month.’ On average, the score difference is 25 points, the equivalent of well over half a school year… Even when comparing students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, those students whose parents regularly read books to them when they were in the first year of primary school score 14 points higher, on average, than students whose parents did not.”  – Andreas Schleicher, PISA overseer for the O.E.C.D “Just asking your child how was their school day and showing genuine interest in the learning that they are doing can have the same impact as hours of private tutoring. It is something every parent can do, no matter what their education level or social background.” – Andreas Schleicher

3. Talk to your child about your day and tell them stories about your life “On average, the score point difference in reading that is associated with parental involvement is largest when parents read a book with their child, when they talk about things they have done during the day, and when they tell stories to their children. The kind of parental involvement matters, as well. The score point difference is smallest when parental involvement takes the form of simply playing with their children.” – Andreas Schleicher

4. Support at home learning “Parent involvement can take many forms, but only a few of them relate to higher student performance. Of those that work, parental actions that support children’s learning at home are most likely to have an impact on academic achievement at school. The study found that getting parents involved with their children’s learning at home is a more powerful driver of achievement than parents attending P.T.A. and school board meetings, volunteering in classrooms, participating in fund-raising, and showing up at back-to-school nights.” – Patte Barth, Director of National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education

5. Monitor your child’s homework

6. Make sure your child gets to school

7. Reward your child’s academic efforts

8. Talk up college to your child

“Monitoring homework; making sure children get to school; rewarding their efforts and talking up the idea of going to college. These parent actions are linked to better attendance, grades, test scores, and preparation for college” - Patte Barth