When I test children for possible special education services, one of the parents' first questions is usually about IQ scores. While this overall measure of intelligence is important, it's not the most important part of academic success.
Researchers at Stanford and Florida State University have determined that motivation and learning strategies are more important than "smarts". These techniques can be divided into six categories, including self-regulation, organization, mnemonics, seeking help and reviewing.
Self-regulation includes the ways the learner plans to learn. Individual goals, plans, and self-evaluations are all part of this category.
Organizing includes time management, which ensures all assignments are completed. It also includes managing supplies and information.
Mnemonics are devices that help you remember information. "Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally" helps students recall the order of operations (parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction).
Seeking help is critical to learning. No one can learn all subjects independently. Knowing when you are lost and how to get assistance is critical for a well-rounded education.
Reviewing is just as it sounds. College students who spent more time going over new information with their peers and studying made better grades.
The short version is that strategy use was more important for student GPA than SAT scores or IQ.
So, teach your children how to learn for success.