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Oh the Joys of Teaching Boys!
I’m sharing a few tips for capturing the hearts, minds and ATTENTION of your male students.
Most any boy mom can relate to the shock and awe that come from stories of the wild and wonderful ways of boys. I’ve personally experienced snakes loose in the house (that weren’t supposed to be there in the first place), fearless attempts by my children to break world records in speed and height by jumping, climbing, and flying through the air.
Snips, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails
I have a constant stream of collected bugs, snails, fish, lizards and turtles brought to my door. I may or may not have had an alligator personally delivered to my porch by a wild-eyed little fisherman who had been watching too many nature shows like “Gator Boys” . . . . . yes, gator.
While such behaviors and tendencies are certainly not strictly male – it has been my personal experience that they are consistently and more frequently, most certainly . . . male. As a homeschool mom of three of such creatures – it has presented its challenges.
From an early age, my boys have shown a fascination with snakes, snails and puppy dog tails . . . and pretty much anything I would consider to be gross.
It has been my job to find ways to turn these interests and predilections into effective learning experiences for our family homeschool. God really does have a sense of humor – yes?
I’ve learned to oooohhh and aaaaahhh over squirmy critters, and as it turns out, have discovered that it truly is fascinating to learn about the important roles that the things living under rocks play in our ecosystem.
Who would’da thunk? Not me. But I was wrong.
Teaching the boys to pull out a field guide and learn more about these important little beings has changed the nature of our schooling experience. By using the wild and wooley things that excite them, I’ve learned to ignite a passion for learning in my boys. And THAT, my friend, is a valuable tool!
Tools of the Trade
Those of you who have met us at the homeschool conventions will be familiar with some of our favorite tools. Using some of these very simple “props” can turn a nature walk or lesson into an adventure, and an unforgettable learning experience.
- magnifying glasses
- nature journals
- field guides & more
Books for Boys
Have you seen our list of FREE Adventure Books? Reading out loud to my boys and even having them take turns reading out loud with me, has been one of my favorite and most effective homeschooling methods.
The trick for holding their attention and interest, has been in choosing subject matter that speaks to them as boys, as young men, as adventurers. And yes, girls most definitely join the ranks of adventurers, as I myself have done.
Books like Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn not only have given us classic and enjoyable reading about adventures, but have also opened up discussions about important topics, such as prejudice and discrimination – obedience and rebellion – history and much more.
We find books about all manner of slimy, gross and interesting creatures as well as explorers and inventors. Topics such as the wild west, American and World Wars, spies, dragons, men of honor and bad guys all speak to the hearts, imaginations and minds of our boys.
Along with our collection of free Kindle books, our personal collection, and the library – I look forward to the Build Your Bundle Sale as a way of collecting valuable books & curriculum at a price I can afford. This year – they have a special bundle dedicated to educating and raising boys!
You’ll be able to see all the various bundles on May 25, but until that time – you can enter to win 3 bundles and pick up an additional coupon to use. The savings you’ll find on these curriculum bundles are up to 90% and though you may not be able to use every eBook in the collections – they are worth every penny – even if you delete the ones you don’t need. I use inexpensive off-brand printer ink to print the ones I want after immediately downloading my bundles. I then will store the rest of my choices in my Dropbox account for later use.
You want to know a secret? The boys LOVE reading in digital format! We use Kindle, laptop, and iPad mini as we travel and at home alike. As much as I enjoy a good old fashioned book, having the digital reading available not only interests the boys, but it saves us a bundle!!
I hope some of these tips help you as much as they have me. Please let me know if you have questions.