There are several things fathers and mothers can do to make learning more likely for their daughters. One of these is setting an example by achieving a high level of education themselves. It doesn't necessarily have to be before the kids come along, either. Children watching their parents go through school can also see that education matters. Another factor is how parents talk about school. If a parent belittles education or places a low priority on it, the child is less likely to go to school. It can go the other direction, too. If a parent uses schoolwork to control a child or places unrealistic demands for scholastic achievement on a child, that child's negative experience can have long-lasting effects. Parents can read to a child and be involved in their children's schools. And lastly, parents can show their children that school is a priority by setting aside money for college and/or encouraging their children to do the same (UESP is one of the best programs in the nation to do this, and you don't even have to live in Utah).
I'm trying to think back to my childhood years (it wasn't that long ago, was it?) and how my parents encouraged me to get an education. My dad was a teacher, so there was definitely an expectation there. And my parents expected me to save, too. They had a little money set aside, but when I started working in high school, half my money was supposed to be saved (Half! That's a lot, but it worked well. I had enough money for the first year of college by the time I finished high school).
And now, we've opened UESP accounts for each of our kids. It won't be enough to finance four years, but it's a huge head start for them. I've been pretty involved in helping my kids learn to read. I've also borne lots of temper tantrums over multiplication tables. So I think I'm doing pretty well.
How did your parents help (or not help) you in your educational pursuits? What are you doing to encourage your kids?