Written by Kathleen Burns

"Every child can be a top student, and a happy, successful adult, given the proper beginning and
continued support."

Learn more about this book


All Children have the potential to be top Students! Parents are their most important teachers, yet they have no training for their responsibilities. Kathleen teaches parents how to give their child a head start when they begin kindergarten, and then to continue to give them the help and support they need to keep them at the top of the class throughout their school years.

What makes this book distinct is that no formal teaching is suggested; parents are shown how to make their daily family life and relationship with their children conducive to learning by the way they talk to them, by making learning experiences out of everyday activities and by setting themselves up as exemplary role models for their children to imitate. They’re taught to recognize learning opportunities as they occur, whether in the kitchen, backyard, car, and grocery store, at a ball game, (or anywhere). Parents are not only taught how to influence the child’s behavior but also to teach the cognitive skills that regulate higher order learning and performance that even many adults never learn, such as honesty, integrity, ethics, empathy, good character, and responsibility.

No other book teaches skills for success to this extent.



Burns’s experience as a teacher shines throughout her debut work, illuminating essential skill bases for young students that promote long-term educational success. This understandable, multifaceted guide, Top Students/Top Parents: A Manual for Parents Who Want to Help Their Children Become All They Can Be, delivers concrete tools for parents to utilize in raising intellectually curious, resilient children, drawing on extensive research in early childhood development and paired with professional expertise in primary education. Burns stresses the need for common-sense approaches to skill building, such as developing personal responsibility and creating functional systems of incentive, consequence, and reward. There’s a significant focus on language and reading acquisition, but Burns also looks at the importance of empathy, self-esteem, and social reciprocity in educational advancement. Burns promotes dedicated parental involvement as the main instrument for educational achievement in youth, Adults seeking sensible, easily implemented methods to stimulate learning and academic achievement in youth will find this guide essential.

Takeaway: Concrete examples, hard-earned wisdom, cutting-edge research, and a supportive tone make this guide to lifelong learning essential for any parent or early childhood educator.

- Publisher's Weekly Booklife

“I just finished reviewing Top Students/Top Parents, by Kathleen Burns. What a breath of fresh air! With all the reform legislation currently being enacted at the state level, I find this book to be extremely timely and informative. Educators are fully aware of the key role parents must play if we are to be successful in educating their children. Ms Burns has managed to capture the essence of their role offering hundreds of ideas on how to be top parents. The belief that all children can be successful is the basis for this book, based on a wealth of educational research and years of experience. Anyone wishing to know what to do and when with their child simply has to access this manual."

- Henry C. Roman, Ed.D.,
Executive Director South Central BOCES
Superintendent of Schools for District No. 60, District No. 70 and Hanover School District

"This is a wonderful book that shows you how to set up your children for lifelong success. I have personally practiced Kathleen's ideas on my own children, and taught these ideas to five million parents in 46 languages and 72 countries."

- Brian Tracy
Author of over 70 books and more than 500 audio/video learning
World Famous Author of Psychology of Achievement programs on personal development. His Best-selling "Psychology of Achievement" has been translated into more than 28 languages.

"If babies could be born with instructional manuals, the Bible should be in one hand and Top Students - Top Parents, in the other! This comprehensive book is organized, affirming, and covers every topic a parent needs to begin a life-long learning journey for their children. The guidebook is full of ideas and practical applications with enough statistics to back up the research without being dry or boring. I've already ordered the first eight copies for my children as an investment into my grandchildren."

- Vicki A. Brady
Author of The Basic Steps to Successful Homeschooling and Quiet Moments for Homeschool Moms and Dads, Former host of National Radio Broadcast, Homeschooling USA!

As a teacher, I found Top Students, Top Parents by Kathleen Burns to be a very easy to read, easy to understand book that has great suggestions for what parents can do at home to help their students succeed at school. The suggestions in the book are simple, down to earth, practical and inexpensive ways for parents to help their students not only be successful in school, but later in life, as well. Every school should have a copy of this book to give to parents.

- Suzanne Ethredge
President Pueblo Education Assn.
Pueblo, Co

A wonderful and brilliant educational manual. A powerfully written comprehensive undertaking of educational value.

This is a wonderfully well researched tool that brings parents and their kids together to fully educate themselves in showcasing what a top process learning can be about. A great collection of articles packed with tons of information.

An educational book that supports and maintains children’s development through academically sound doctrine. This book is for parents, teachers and anyone wanting to learn ways to bring a child up into a top-class student,.
This would make a perfect gift for any parent. A wonderful example of learning from many standout essays by experts flawlessly written to grab the reader, the parent, the educator.

Simply put this is a very informative educational eye-opening wonderment of knowledge and perfect educational values.
Would I Recommend it? Absolutely! This is for every parent, educator or anyone seeking a guidance tool to learn and educate themselves on the Parent, Student reality.

- Abraham Phillips
Four Final Words: Perfection in Knowledge,
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Orginally posted at www. Showcasingbooks.blogspot.com

"We often hear a child's brain compared to a sponge. It soaks up a ton of information (both positive and negative). With that said, Top students, top parents… further drives home that theory. In fact, a child’s brain is most susceptible between its first eight and eighteen months. As a parent of a now 8 year old, I paid close attention to what Burns had to say. I can confidently say that Burns had much to discuss in the book regarding the topic of a child’s educational development.

I was deeply surprised that the book suggests the need to have kids visit the library. I can still remember the joys of going to the library as a child myself and having to learn and use the Dewey Decimal System to locate my favorite book series (which happened to be Artemis Fowl). Nowadays, this is a level of excitement that few children get to enjoy despite it being totally free. Libraries allow for endless opportunities such as career advancement, life skills, and entertainment, of course. In some libraries, children can even rent entire video game systems! Burns was spot on in this assessment and recommendation to encourage and facilitate a familiarity with the local library.

As you can see, there is a WIDE range of topics discussed. This includes reasonable levels of both punishments and awards as well. Another hot topic is bullying. Of course, there will always be the challenge of discovering the best way to deal with a child who is bullied. On the other hand, what if your child is the bully? Burns emphasizes prevention first and how to handle it when the issue is already present.

Overall, this guide is a must-have for anyone that places a high value on a child's education. This applies to, not only parents, but grandparents, teachers, or anyone who takes a hands-on approach to the rearing of children. I can definitely see this being a required reading in any childhood educational degree program. Burns set out to validate the theory that the most critical years of a person’s mental growth occur within a very small window. With Top students, top parents…, the writer was able to accomplish her goal effortlessly and in a digestible format."

- Verified Purchaser
Sept 20, 2020


Most children are born with the potential to become a top student and eventually successful adults. However, the parents and home environment determine the child’s opportunity to pursue this success. Too many parents are not doing their job. They believe that school is the beginning of the child’s education. In reality, Kindergarten is six years too late. According to scientific research, the critical learning period for children is between the ages of 8 and 18 months, and by the time they are 8 years old they are already set in molds that determine their academic futures. While preschool programs beginning as early as age 3 certainly help, the child’s critical learning period is still missed.

School can be equated to a jungle, where the law is “survival of the fittest.” When we send our children to kindergarten, they automatically fall into the top, middle, or bottom of the class. Those whose parents give them the best foundation for learning during their preschool years are the fittest. They begin school with a head start; they’re confident, have the beginning of a healthy self-esteem, have advanced vocabularies, speak in complete sentences, and learn their ABC’s and numbers with ease. Having done a good job preparing them for school, their parents help and support them by making certain they understand their assignments and do their homework. They provide them with an educationally rich home environment, read to them, restrict their TV and games, and plan activities away from home that will contribute to their educational repertoire. These lucky children become the elite of their class. Year after year they receive the best grades and all the honors, and awards. From high school they go on to college, and from there, they work their way into top paying jobs and the upper echelons of society. At the other end of the spectrum are the children who receive little preparation for school. Rather than bedtime stories, their days usually end in front of the television. When they enter school, they’re already at the bottom of the class; they’re shy and withdrawn, have poor language development and comprehension skills, must learn how to follow simple instructions, and have difficulty learning ABC's and numbers.

They can't compete because the top students are learning much more rapidly, becoming further ahead, while these poor kids struggle to learn what the others already know when they enter school. Many of them never catch up, because they don’t do their work, or even understand how to do it. They eventually give up, because no matter how hard they try, they’re always behind, never understand, and most always fail. Dropping out of high school is the easy way out for them, but makes them prime targets for gangs, drugs, and crime, destined to work at menial paying jobs, or to be on welfare the rest of their lives. Why is there such a discrepancy in the manner in which children are prepared for school? The difference is, parents of the top students know how to prepare and support their children, and they are willing to go the extra mile to see that their children receive the best start in life.

For decades, American students have been underperforming compared to other nations. Billions of dollars continue to be thrown away on the same old remedies in hopes of increasing students’ test scores: better teachers, new books, updated curriculum, and expensive studies to determine how to help kids learn. None of these “fix-its” have worked.

It’s time we put our efforts in the right place…the parents and the home environment. There will be some parents who can’t do better for a number of reasons beyond their control, but there would be plenty who would be grateful to learn ways they can help their children get a better start in life. This book is for the parents who are able and willing to go the extra mile in order to help their children become all they can be.

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