All six of our living children went to and graduated from a technical college. Four from Georgia Tech, one from Emory University and one from University of Texas. They all married college graduates.
As parents, we routinely voiced that we wanted to give them the best start in life each wanted. This is up to a BS degree. We felt that if they got the BS they could afford going the MS, etc on their own. It is essential to maintain and pass on a positive attitude to the kids.
We were interested in the kid's development. We did not nag, but showed interest in their learning and it's process. We did travel to the west coast for Dad's job at times for periods of 3, 5 and 9 months. They also went for 2 years leaving their youngest college student home to care take the home.
One of the kids had a lot of trouble reading aloud. Mom spent much time working with her to improve the verbal aspect. In retrospect, we believe she inherited dyslexia from Dad who grew up with the same problem. All of this was before the days of testing for learning short-comings. She skipped her senior high school year and later graduated from the University of Texas.
We presented a positive attitude. We adopted an attitude that high school was not the end of education. No screaming or yelling should be used, only a calm routine statement imparted when appropriate.
Another item was pointing out that they could skip their senior year of high school and go into college. At that time it was called the JEP (Joint Education Program) where their college courses were applied towards their high school graduation. Four ours skipped their senior high school years and went into college early; two to Kennesaw College and two to Georgia Tech.
One thing we did was to support their effort to own a car. They were members of Dad's company credit union and as such, he co-signed their loan to purchase a car. They made the payments, bought the insurance and bought the gas. Dad initially gave them a gas allowance for the school expense only. This was dropped as they said it was more of a pain than it was worth. To keep their toy, they worked part time and kept their grades at an acceptable level. (One graduated with a 3.97 in Chemical Engineering at GT.) The car was a good CARROT. At puberty, (16) he got each of them a full size Craftman toolbox. This helped to foster interest in mechanical things by working on and maintaining their own cars; yes, even the girls.
We were fortunate to live near 3 colleges; Georgia Tech, Kennesaw and Georgia State. The cost of college was 1/3 for books and tuition, 1/3 for room and 1/3 for board. By the kids living at home, the cost of putting all of them through was significantly reduced. They drove daily or as necessary and sometimes car pooled. A by-produce of this was, even though we treated them as mature people, we still had an invisible string tied to them so if bad happens we can yank them back. They did reasonably good.
One of the approaches we applied to the kid's thinking was to get them thinking of what would be FUN to work at the rest of their life. We started this thinking early, about age 10 and fostered the thinking from there on.
Dad's father died at 47 when Dad's was 16 and his mother was a farm girl. They moved back to her home town where Dad finished his senior year of high school. Neither parent graduated from high school or college. In fact, Dad was the first to graduate from high school and college on either side of his family. He liked math, physics, electricity, (girls and played football). This looked like something an engineer might like. He had no clue what an engineer might do and further, an aptitude test he took indicated that he could possibly be an engineer but it would be very difficult. No joy, but there was a small college in town that had low cost and had basic engine courses. During these two years, Dad's exposure to engineering was increased. It then came time to choose where to go from there; Dayton for electricity and St Louis for airplanes. He choose by looking at drawing of wires on paper and on the other hand, airplanes. What would be FUN to work on the rest of his life. He chose airplanes. This is number one of the key career check points. He passed this on to the kids.
The next check point was to identify which school subject they liked. They were not to get if confused by whether a teacher was good or bad but to evaluate the subject matter. When approaching middle school some choices are possible, they may have a fixed requirements. Take the subject. You might learn the subject matter but you will, at least learn if like it or don't like it. If you don't like history, you probably don't want to become a history teacher.
It may be difficult to get your kids to respond to these points. We were fortunate that our crew was good and selected a good bunch to run around with and responded well to our ideas and as you see, turned out great! GOOD LUCK TO YOU.