One thing that my house is not short on is BOYS. Of the six kids total, three of them are of the male gender. I’m only teaching two of them now, but our 19 year old had his homeschooling years too. What does it mean to teach your sons?
It means to allow for the wiggles. And the belly laughs. And gas, usually followed by belly laughs. Any type of body function that can be imitated or described using exaggerated facial expressions and noises will be favored over talks about linking verbs or multiplication. I try to make room for their gross humor as long as it doesn’t get out of control. If it does, I end it.
I have learned that math, memorization, grammar, and many other subjects can be studied while upside down. Or while practicing their kicks for Karate. A boy’s memory recall is much sharper if the subject you are asking him about was studied while he was in motion. Teachers in classrooms everywhere cringe when these active boys are moving around, but if they would just let them MOVE they might learn a thing or two also.
Recess around here means “Go run around the backyard”, “Find your helmet and go for a bike ride”, or “Yard clean up time!”. A break for a boy means stopping whatever is forcing him to sit and pay attention and replacing it with physical activity. This same break—for Momma—means a few minute of precious quiet (if you send them outdoors!)
My boys LOVE things that they can DO when it comes to school. Things like SCIENCE. Rocks, testing things, mixing chemicals, making Mentos and Coke fountains… it just doesn’t matter. They love everything about science because science is not a passive subject. It’s not a ‘read and let’s talk about this’ type of thing. They can get their hands dirty! Sometimes their clothes and my kitchen too. Cooking even becomes science when boys are involved, as mine usually ask what would happen if we mixed this and this? Thankfully they enjoy making things that are edible, so we haven’t had any tragic food experiments—yet.
If there is one thing I have learned though, it is that boys are fun. Boys like to laugh, and they like to talk, and they don’t usually get overly emotional (okay I have one who tears up when he’s frustrated). The hormone wave is a lot gentler to ride with boys!
I just love being able to do this homeschooling thing all over again, with boys!
What about you? What do you love about your boys?