Make a Date to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Of the many items that land in my inbox on a weekly basis, one of my favorites is the Teaching Moments e-zine from John Bishop.  John's mission is to help students take personal responsibility for their educational success through goal setting.  I  shared John's book Goal Setting for Students with my 7th grade son Adam this summer in anticipation of his entry into Junior High.  I was amazed by Adam's response to the book and how it impacted upon his attitude with school starting up this week.  Adam has established personal goals for the year and is discussing them with his teachers and his family.  He seems poised to make this his best year of school yet.

I'm happy to share the following article, written by John Bishop:

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
                                          —  William Butler Yeats

"Knowledge is power and enthusiasm pulls the switch."
                                          —  Steve Drake

These two quotes underscore the importance of a quality education. As parents we want our children to succeed. We want them to understand that education is their springboard to their future success.

The key is educational ownership.

When they take ownership students take more personal responsibility to do something meaningful and positive to change their educational experience. Students learn how to overcome challenges, the importance of being positive, and how to measure their progress and how increase their chances for success in the classroom. And, when that happens you will see a positive impact on their attendance, class participation, personal decision making, and academic achievement.

How can we help our children learn more about educational ownership? Mr. John Bishop, the Executive Director of Accent On Success®, has identified ten areas to discuss with your child before the new school year begins. Here are a couple of helpful reminders when talking to your child about this important subject. Don’t lecture – facilitate the discussion! Your responsibility is to listen and direct the conversation in a positive direction.

10 Educational Ownership Topics to Discuss With Your Child:

1.   How can you help your teacher succeed?

2.   How can five words (yes, I can and I will) help you in school and in life?

3.   Discuss how goals setting can help you succeed in the classroom.

4.   How do you define success and what elements are needed to achieve it?

5.   How can you stay focused and positive?

6.   How can these six words (no, can’t, won’t, never, if and maybe) hold you back from reaching your full potential?

7.   Why is helping others so important to your success?

8.   How do you measure your progress toward reaching your goals?

9.   Identify five potential roadblocks to your success in school activities.

10. Why is life long learning so important?

At Accent On Success®, they believe that helping children learn the importance of educational ownership will make a significant, long-term difference in their success in the classroom, in the workplace and in life.

After a life changing event, John Bishop became a social entrepreneur and started Accent On Success®, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teenagers succeed. The organization’s website,, offers free character development life skills ideas for teenagers and the people who love them.

Home-work for Today:

  • Make an appointment with your child to discuss educational ownership.
  • Check out Goal Setting for Students – you will find a great return on your investment in this book.

Reading Room Resources:
Blog posts from this week related to Family Life


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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  • Guest

    God loves you .

    I am shameless – I am stealing this whole thing to post as a blog on MySpace.

    Don’t try and stop me . . . 😉

    Yes, I will place a link right up front to this Catholic Exchange posting. I’m not all ‘BAD’

    Remember, I love you, too

    Reminding that we are all on the same side – His,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell or …

  • Guest

    That's great, glad you enjoyed it!!! Lisa


    Lisa M. Hendey – Celebrating Catholic Motherhood