How to Homeschool Boys Without Losing Your Mind
You haven’t even had your morning coffee before you hear a loud crash, pounding footsteps of little ones running through the house…only to cause the dog to bark more. And older boys aren’t much better, not during hunting season anyway. My boys have jumped up in the middle of a history lesson only to grab their bow, all while still in jammies, to hunt for dinner. But it is possible to homeschool boys without losing your sanity.
Homeschooling boys can be fun or very frustrating…or both…depending on your perspective.
Boys are wired differently than girls. They learn differently. To succeed, and to remain sober, you will need to embrace it. Just buckle up and enjoy the roller coaster ride mama!
Your boys should be best friends:
How does homeschool differ with boys?
1. Boys crave adventure. You need to tap into their imagination and inspire them. Choose books with battles and heroes, make read alouds about adventure, and watch how they learn to love history through the eyes of a soldier. I remember how Peyton was fascinated with pirates. He built ships, made our paper towel tubes into a spyglass, would create maps to find the hidden treasure and so much more. This opened a huge door of opportunity for learning. We read Treasure Island and Swiss Family Robinson. He built a Lego pirate ship and sailed the great seas in a very large refrigerator box. We studied ocean life, collected shells from the beach, and even visited a Pirate Museum.
2. Boys MUST move. Their brains tend to work better and retain more if movement is involved. We have learned our math facts while shooting hoops and have reviewed our spelling words while taking a morning bike ride. We take many “brain breaks” throughout our day. This includes jumping on the trampoline, running on the treadmill, and even doing push ups. Can’t get them to sit still while you read? Let them doodle, play quietly with Legos, or play with play-doh. Learning about astronomy? Do your science lesson at night when the stars are shining…laying on the trampoline while listening to the soundtrack of Star Wars. Trust me, it will work!
3. Boys love competition and a thrilling challenge. Make learning fun and challenging. Peyton was constantly saying “I’ll read later.” I was getting frustrated, so Operation Superhero Reading Challenge began. I knew what he loved…his Superheroes. So, I got online with Mom Swap and purchased a bag of Superheroes for only $10. For every 30 minutes that he read aloud to a family member he was given a superhero. It worked beautifully!
4. Set clear expectations. I can tolerate my boys wrestling on the floor and full of wiggles while at home. But NOT on our field trips. Talk with your boys before you set out for your trip. Make your expectations clear and watch them step up to the plate. You might be surprised at how all those sweet little angels will make you so proud. (Or not. Having boys will give you a big dose of humility)
Boys do NOT sit still. Nor should they. They are born to move! Often child psychologists refer to boys as “slower” than girls. But this is not necessarily true. They are just different. They need more movement.
The traditional school room sets our boys up for failure. Most boys are simply not capable of quietly sitting still for long periods of time. Recent studies have shown that boys benefit from a more personal learning environment such as homeschool.
Our homes are the perfect educational greenhouse for our little boys (and our bigger boys too!). Since most boys seem to develop reading skills slightly slower and very differently than our girls we can personalize their reading and build their skills with confidence. We can pick literature books that are full of adventure, make science experiments that explode (they love explosions!) and instill the love of God into their hearts.
Some days I feel that I have it all together. My day runs so smoothly. Nothing was broken, all the kids remained alive and I actually have a wonderful dinner on the table for my loving husband. But then we have those days…and you will too…where we are just one tent short of a full blown circus.
But you can do this. You are enough!
Little boys bring you just to the brink of insanity before gently easing you off the ledge with a sweet kiss and laughter from a perfectly timed fart.
You might also enjoy: https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/the-making-of-a-man