You want to aim toward a happy, balanced, confident adult, not "a successful third grader." You're raising adults, not children. You're keeping them warm and alive and happy until they become adults, because they will, with or without you in the picture. We have the power to screw them up to the point of life-scarring, or to just give them some room and peace and security to grow well in. We can't very well make them be what they aren't.
photo by Sandra Dodd, of Kerrin Koetsier