Children are taught 1 + 1 = 2, reading, and writing, for an equal start in life. But where and how they are taught is far from equal and varies greatly on the school they attend.

The notion that a university education ensures more success in life is quite ingrained in society, education being fundamental to prosperity. So how do you provide your children with the opportunities to excel and fulfil their potential?
 
Catherine Stoker is an Education Consultant who advises parents how to choose a school best suited to each child’s personality and ability. “Their educational focus is not just on academic excellence, but on offering pupils diverse opportunities to develop their capabilities in Sport, Music, Art and Design, or The Arts.”

The right school may not always be the best private institution money can buy, “…as a shy child may need to build their confidence through the small, nurturing environment of a private school, while a sibling may be out-going and confident, so attending the right state school may suit them just as well,” she suggests.

Another avenue to consider is joining an after-school or weekend club. A US study from Brigham University reports, “...teenagers who take part in extracurricular activities with students who achieve good grades, have double the chance of going to university”.

It reinforces the notion that peer groups do have an impact on behaviour, both positive and the not so desirable.

“Students who mix with bright students are more motivated and do achieve more highly. They will be mixing with kids with high aspirations and talking about university as a given, opening up a whole range of possibilities”.

Apparently the club or activity does not need to necessarily be academic to improve school grades, as the focus is to “hang out” in chess club, ballet classes, tennis coaching, or even art lessons with the smart kids. If your child is interested in coin/stamp collection or astronomy, the internet is a good place to start to find other like-minded enthusiasts, and maybe start your own club.

“Children who are with other high achievers will always tend to achieve higher because they are aware it’s possible and that they too can do it,” says the co-author Lance Erickson.

It may take more time and energy in your day to help motivate your children or simply drive them to and fro, and Mr Erickson warns that if you don’t “… they are more likely to end up living at your house because they won’t be going to university”.

“How long?”