We all know that men and women are different. But did you know that God has made it so that men and women see differently, hear differently, and even think differently? Because of this, boys and girls learn best in vastly different ways.
Boys and Girls Learn Best in Vastly Different Ways
Many girls enjoy curling up on a window seat to fill out worksheets and read books. Ask a girl to write a story or to tell you about what she has learned and she will blossom. Ask most boys to do these things and you may find that they will rebel. Especially if the worksheet is black and white and the book contains lots of long descriptions and little action.
So, how should we homeschool boys? Is it possible to help them love learning or should we resign ourselves to the fact that most boys hate school… so they’re probably going to hate homeschooling as well?
There is hope!
Fortunately, there are ways that we can teach lessons in our homeschools so that our sons will not only learn more but will also enjoy the process.
Here are 5 Ways to Adapt Your Homeschool for your Son:
- Consider letting him start later – Boys’ language and fine motor skills don’t develop as early as do girls. If you notice your son is struggling, you may want to delay teaching your sons reading and writing skills until they show more sign of being ready. There are plenty of other learning activities you can do with your son that don’t involve him having a pencil in his hand.
- Let him move – Asking your son to sit still is one surefire way to tire him out and frustrate him. Rather than expecting our sons to sit at a desk for long periods of time, come up with lessons which will allow him to move around. Physical play is essential for children’s fine and gross motor development and movement actually helps kids to learn better. When you do want your son to sit down, consider giving him a body ball to sit on rather than a regular chair. Believe it or not, this type of chair which allows him to bounce and wiggle will allow him to concentrate better on whatever else you’re asking him to do. In his book, Spark, John Ratey, M.D., says that physical activity increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine the same way that ADHD medications do. Both of these chemicals play a large role in increasing focus and attention in our kids.
- Incorporate hands-on activities – Boys learn best with hands-on activities and those which incorporate their whole bodies. Building a bridge out of popsicle sticks will teach them so much more than merely reading a book about bridges. Also, when you do want your sons to sit and listen, give them something mindless to do with their hands. Allow them to doodle. Give them worry beads, Wikki Stiks, or squeeze balls. Not having to focus on staying absolutely still will conserve your sons’ energy for focusing on class lessons.
- Choose books boys enjoy – Boys love books with lots of action. They often enjoy science fiction, mysteries, and other fast paced books. Rather than choosing books that we remember reading when we were kids, us moms may need to mine the brains of our husbands to find books our boys will enjoy. There are also many lists on the internet which list books that boys will enjoy. Also, feel free to let your son read his book up in a tree, down by the creek, or snuggled in bed under a blanket with a flashlight. 🙂
- Make it fun – Boys appreciate a sense of humor. Try not to be too serious while you’re teaching your lessons. Inject some surprises. Laugh at your son’s jokes. There is a time and a place for seriousness; but, it can be easy for us moms to be so concerned about our children’s education that we make their lessons dry and somewhat boring… especially in the eyes of our boys.
Remember, our goal is not to remove the maleness from our sons. It’s possible to let your boy be a boy and educate him at the same time!
Boys enjoy learning when it is approached in the correct way. If you’re finding your sons are objecting when you’re trying to teach them, try incorporating some of the above tips into your homeschool and watch them develop more positive attitudes about their studies.