What I Have Learned (so far) about Homeschooling Boys
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I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination. Most of our years of homeschooling have been learning and re-learning as we go. But there are a few things I seem to stand out in my heart and mind-especially when it comes to boys. I can say that I have basically had two goals in homeschooling our kids: 1.) To encourage them to be life long learners(mostly by not burning them out on bookwork), so they will always have a love of learning and 2.) Teach them to be resourceful so that they know HOW to find , everything out that they need to know, to do whatever it is they want to do. My thinking in all of this is that if they have these two things, they can really do anything that they are motivated to do.
I cannot stress enough the importance of giving your little(and big) guys time to explore, experiment and just BE A BOY! “Active, energetic, rambunctious boys are not bad boys and should not be made to feel so. Boys are naturally active. They have energy to burn. That’s why they need avenues where they can be active, burn up that energy, and test their strength. Boys need exercise. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Video games don’t provide exercise. And neither to television or computers. All boys need to romp and learn that even in rambunctious play, there are rules and order. Through sports and exercise, they learn to control their muscles, control their bodies and even control their emotions and their minds. As a boy grows older, he can never learn to control his energy if he is not allowed to experience the fullness of its power. ( You can click here to read more on my blog about boys.) We try to weave this kind of activity into our boys’ schooling. We have a trampoline and the boys will often jump on it in between subjects. It gives them something to look forward to and motivates them to complete their assignment. And, by the way, I have kept “assignments” only to the basic subjects(math, language/reading, handwriting) on a daily basis during the elementary years. Science and History were subjects we did as there was interest, with them mostly exploring on their own(I call it “exposure”) Find out your boys’ currency. Find out what motivates that man child and use it to help him get his responsibilities accomplished each day. Remember to keep your words to a minimum and the boundaries, conversations and confrontations clear and clean. Men seem to really appreciate black and white. But let me warn you, as they approach the teen years, there will be some challenges that I will share in my next post.
The most powerful thing you can do for your son is to PRAY FOR HIM and pray for wisdom in teaching him. God is so faithful to answer very specific requests if we will only humble ourselves and ASK. He knows your son better than you ever will and loves him more than you ever could!
A couple more resources that I have found extremely encouraging along the way:
Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeker
Better Late than Early by Dr. Raymond Moore
The Minds of Boys by Michael Gurian
P.S. If you know that your son has learning issues, such as dyslexia, the playing field changes a bit. My understanding is that they may need to get started earlier than the average boy(earlier than 8). But remember to keep it as relaxed and fun as possible to encourage learning and to keep his love of learning alive. And provide lots of little “carrots” along the way. Our youngest has some learning issues and I am learning as I go along. Fortunately, God has again brought people into our lives to help us along with this as well. He will be equally faithful to you!
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