Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On the Education of Boys

Despite what the feminist movement would have you believe, boys are different than girls.  And not just anatomically.  They think differently and they learn differently.  Boys and girls are humans so there's definitely overlapping yet significant differences.  As it stands, how we educate the masses is skewed toward girls. 

Children are made to sit in desks.  Recess is getting significantly shorter.  PE, music education, and art (all kinesthetic ways to learn) are being eliminated.  My husband was surprised to discover that I'd never had a PE class until college.  For homeschooling, some curriculum especially the older ones focus on girl-friendly topics like poetry and the home rather than focusing on career or comic books.  As a result an overwhelming number of boys are dropping out of high school and significantly fewer boys are going to college.

But there's hope.  Some schools are implementing tactics to help boys.  They are using standing desks with tall stools so that boys can stand and move about while learning or sit when they are tired.  More teachers are picking literary subjects that are more appealing to boys.

You see boys like lots of pretend violence.  My oldest today told me that his dad was killed in a fire.  When he's mad he will tell me that he's going to kill me.  He's not serious.  He's just expressing just how frustrated he is.  I can sympathize.  Sometimes I use that phrase too.  "I could have killed him." 

My youngest is right there with him.  While they both like to help me cook and Knee knows how to cradle baby dolls, they gravitate to other things more.  Knee loves dinosaurs and swords.  And sometimes it's difficult to catch which one he's talking about since he says "saurs."  They both also wrestle....a lot. 

Knee with his sword in his right hand.  He's also got his helmet armor on.  Now where is his chain mail....

One of the curriculum I bought was heavy in literature.  The first thing to go was poetry.  If it doesn't have pictures associated with it, my boys (at this point) will ignore it.  One of their favorite books from the library was Tilly Lays an Egg.  It's a photographed book about a chicken who lays an egg in strange places.  The boys like looking for the egg.  Eggs are the hot topic around here especially since HB started eating them and then the other day they saw a duck lay one.  I've had to explain the concept of a fertilized and unfertilized eggs.  He was getting confused about baby chickens.  I'm looking forward to finding a comic-book-styled Bible for HB when he's around 6.  Because that's how we roll around here.  We explore.  We read.  Poetry is not the forte.  And apparently this is true of most boys.

Does anyone have an good books about worms?  That's been another fascination especially since HB keeps finding them. 

Point is, that, we need to meet boys education on their terms.  We need to find ways to curtail education to their interests.  Constantly expecting boys to have the same interests as girls is crippling to boys.  They soon loose interest in reading and find school boring.

So parents, teachers, for the love of mustard, please don't plow through.  If it's not working, pick something else.  Don't leave the boys behind.

For more information about books that boys (and men) might like to read, check out guysread.com Let's not let our young men get further behind.

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