Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaching Boys

About a week ago I was doing school with my 6 year old son, and I learned a big lesson about teaching boys.

We were doing his reading lessons. PAL (Primary Arts of Language, from IEW)

With this program your child learns a lot of helpers, such as ee, ow, er, ck, etc...

Anyhow, he has a poem that correlates to his lessons, and in this poem he was supposed to find all of the helpers he has learned so far.

Well, he had been doing this for a while, and he hadn't found them all, so I gently reminded him of one of the helpers...HUGE MISTAKE!

He was so upset. He began crying and he got up from the table and yelled "You ruined it! This was supposed to be a challenge, but you told me the answer, and now it is ruined. I don't like this program anymore!"

Well, I was shocked to say the least, and really quite upset that he was acting this way.

I told him if he did not stop acting like that, he would be in trouble.

But then I got to thinking, yes he shouldn't have got so angry and yelled at me, BUT, he wasn't actually trying to be mean to me on purpose.

He was very upset. I ruined it for him.

I didn't realize how seriously he was taking this. He was looking at it as a challenge.

And I took the challenge out of it by telling him the answers. (sigh)

I recalled Andrew Pudewa's talk Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather be Making Forts all Day. 

I remember him saying that boys look at things so differently. That they look at everything as a challenge.

He was also talking about how boys like to put action into whatever they are doing. This is so true.

I learned a big lesson about teaching my son. Make things seem like a challenge, and he will want to do them. Even if it is something like finding helpers in a poem.

If I didn't let him look at it like a challenge, he probably would find it boring, and not want to do it.

Another lesson learned...DON'T tell boys the answers unless they ask you first! lol

Teaching boys is sometimes a challenge, but boys are oh so sweet, aren't they?

Do you have any tips for teaching boys?

Remember to enjoy this time with them, as they grow up so fast, and we will surely miss those days of teaching them.

I know it is difficult sometimes, even with girls, but I want to encourage you to stay strong, and try not to get too stressed out about teaching your children.

God called you to do this, and He will grant you the strength to do it as well.

Now go give your boys a challenge!!!


Heather Lynn said...

You are so right. My son gets so riled up if I try to "ruin" something for him. He says "Don't say it Mom, I know".

I have no tips for teaching boys except remember they are small men and God designed them to work way differently than we do.

Michelle Smith said...

Wow, thanks for bringing this up, as it gives me a little more insight into my two boys. Sometimes boys are a challenge to teach, aren't they? Yet so worth it! :)

Dawn Chandler said...

Very timely post for me. Rodna! Thank you for sharing!!

Jennifer said...

I've listened and learned from that talk, too. I still want the perfect manual for my son.

Kympossible said...

What a valuable insight! I don't think I've ever thought about it that way, but with three boys I know I've put that principle into practice - maybe without realizing it sometimes. And probably i've ruined it without realizing sometimes too. 8-(

My best tip for dealing with boys - especially as they get older - is to do exactly what Heather said, Remember that they are Men in training. Let them choose their risks and learn by doing as much as possible. Treat them as if they are competent and capable of doing the tasks, and that you are confident in their ability. And when they do it, be impressed at how manly they are. ;-)

Michelle said...

So true! Both of my boys are this way.

Dawn said...

What a great post - thank you! I have heard of that book and am very interested in learning more, especially after reading this post. Blessings!

Our Village is a Little Different said...

I love being a boy mom - and the Teaching Boys lecture really opened my eyes, too! I've always known that they'd need extra encouragement in fostering their masculinity - I've noticed that society tries to beat it out of them young.. but I never knew that they learned differently!

I try to keep the pace of the day varied, let them have some sensory input. if they can get up and use the whiteboard, I let them. If they can use a manipulative, I let them, and if it's something they can race through.. I let them! I

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