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Stephen Schmitz "Gradebusters"

Throughout his long and varied career as an educator, Steve Schmitz has been told one story, and asked one question, more than any other: “I know my child is in grade trouble at school, Dr. Schmitz, and it’s making my life hellish at home. I’ve tried everything, and nothing works. What do I do now?”

From three decades as a counselor, Schmitz knows that most parents deeply want to help their children at school. But he knows all too well how powerless most parents feel in turning their lackluster learners around.

And he knows, from long experience, how often, and how bitterly, parents clash with their children during “you’ve got to do better” periods.

To keep household conflict from escalating, and to show concerned parents how to be part of the solution, Schmitz put down in book form all the successful advice he’s been dispensing for thirty years. In Gradebusters: How Parents Can End the Bad Grades Battle, he shares his practical methods with parents disturbed about their kids’ low levels of academic achievement.

Schmitz knows from hundreds of real-life cases that his methods work. “There is a way out of the bad grades mess,” he says, “if you’re really fed up with excuses, blaming, moping, guilt, and anxiety. And, once you finally admit to yourself that you’re sick and tired of rotten grades and ready for a change, substantial progress may be easier than you think. If you’re also willing to take certain steps, you can take charge of your child’s education, and save your own sanity in the process.”

Schmitz offers parents a structure and a formula that allow them to take charge without bullying. He offers parents practical solutions for their children’s academic success, even in less than wonderful schools. Step-by-step, he guides parents through the process of forging productive alliances with teachers, recapturing lost opportunities for academic growth, and motivating their children to learn. It is a highly readable prescription for ensuring school success.

Among other things, Gradebusters:

  • Shows how parents inadvertently perpetuate their kids’ bad grades cycle, and provides a step-by-step guide to breaking it
  • Demonstrates why many underachieving children don’t know why they’re getting bad grades
  • Explains how parents should go about discussing grades with their children
  • Debunks the myth that grades are purely a reflection of a child’s intelligence
  • Makes clear that certain skills, like organization, may be the most important, and walks parents through the process of helping their children develop the academic skills that will prove useful for a lifetime after school
  • Discusses rules and consequences, and how parents can successfully handle this area in the context of improving grades.Each child, Schmitz believes, has the potential for academic achievement. Parents, he emphasizes, are the key to unlocking their children’s school achievement. Because it patiently, and in plain language, explains how and where to begin, continue, and finish, Gradebusters fundamentally empowers parents.

So, if you’re a frustrated parent whose children are working below their potential at school, read and apply Gradebusters. It will forever change your attitudes about parenting, your beliefs about your role in schooling, and your children’s future.

To Buy "Gradebusters: How Parents Can End the Bad Grades Battle"

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About Stephen Schmitz

During an extremely varied career, Stephen Schmitz, Ph.D., has directed curriculum development projects, substance abuse programs, and social service agencies in the U.S. and abroad. He has also worked as family therapist, parenting coach, case manager, health educator, mental health specialist, and chemical dependency counselor in various clinical and social venues.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, and his master’s degree from the University of Colorado. His Ph.D. is from the University of Florida, where he earned several fellowships and the College of Education’s prestigious Outstanding Dissertation Award. He was a University of Florida President's 1993 Outstanding Student.

For more than 25 years, he has taught classes at schools such as the University of Florida, Spring International Language Center, the University of Guam, the Micronesian Language Institute, and Colegio Nueva Granada.

In addition, he has trained teachers, nurses, researchers, and social workers around the world. His academic research has appeared in such world-class international journals as Child Welfare and Journal of Education, as well as popular magazines like Mothering. His professional interests include adolescent outreach programs, parenting education, adolescent values, at-risk youth, and teenage chemical dependency.

Gradebusters: How Parents Can End the Bad Grades Battle is his first book. His next book, Strike Back! How Parents Can Bust the Teen Drug Culture, will tell parents how to detect and handle their children’s problems with drugs and alcohol.

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