Boys….they really do learn differently than girls. I do not have any girls, but as a child my activities were very different than what my boys do. Sitting in school and listening was easy, and I did not have to fidget. At all. If my teacher told me to stop talking, that is what I did. No reason, I just obeyed.
Boys like to test the “homeschool teacher”, who would be mom in a homeschool. If you have a boy, or more than one in your home, you know what I mean. It really is in their nature.
As for immediate obedience, well I think that is a child training in progress. They do listen, just not the first time. Also, I have to remember that boys are impulsive, and action oriented. I am not. Boys mature later than girls. This is understood when they giggle at bodily functions.
Many people ask me “how do you homeschool four boys”? Most days, it is easy. Other days….I want to go have a carmel macchiato and forget the wiggly chaos that ensued school for that day.
On the bright side when we have days where it seems like no one is listening and learning, the school is moved to be mobile. Any errands that day that need to be ran, I will go do them. Change of scenery and pace are detrimental in stabilizing the wiggles.
Grab a clipboard, some paper, homeschool lessons and school will happen in the car, grocery store or on a long walk.
10 Ways To Homeschool Boys
- Buy an exercise ball instead of a chair. It will help them to learn balance and provides an outlet for energy without too many interruptions. Boys need to move, and when homeschooling more mobility can be accommodated. For me, I want my boys to learn how to sit in one spot because when they get up and move around multiple times we lose our place a lot. The exercise ball has helped tremendously.
- If math has 48 problems to answer, try working on only the even’s or the odds. If they get all of those right, then they can quit. More problems does not equal a better math student, it may mean cause a shorter attention span. Try lessening the number needed to be finished if they show mastery.
- Be flexible on time. Starting or stopping homeschool right on time is not necessary. There are no warning bells or late passes so indulge on a few minutes here and there.
- Let them talk. If your son is a talker (all of mine are talkers) then explain that Math needs to get done first then he may tell you the story or whatever has crossed his mind. Boys are impulsive and momentary. Waiting too long may mean that mom missed out on something great in his mind! Then get him to write it down. Use it for a creative writing project.
- 8 minute breaks. Multiple breaks are needed within an hour time frame. When making out lesson plans adjust the curriculum to suit the child. In our homeschool if multiple breaks are not given they will be taken. Every 10 minutes I hear…”Mom, I have to use the bathroom”. I can’t say that enough, plan several breaks.
Make Curriculum An Adventure
- Give them a little control over their day. Even if they are young, they know what interests them most. Math may not always be their top pick. On our lesson plan The first item on the day is phonics. To reward hard work, they are able to choose which subject comes first, and what pages they want to complete. If it is just a few questions then I find another way to get the curriculum completed. That may look like a discussion at lunch, or running the soccer ball and finishing verbally. No everything has to be in a book.
- Rewards are great. Impatience makes children move like sloths. I mean it because the more I am in a hurry, the slower they move.
- Have drawing materials, a stress ball, or play dough ready for down time. Older boys and younger boys need an outlet for built up energy or stress.
- Stand up to do math. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Move around to different spots to do math each day. This creates more of a mystery instead of mundane boring math.
- Discuss a subject with them. Take the time to ask questions, and let them ask you questions. Testing can be done with a little hop, skip, jump game.
Embrace the energy and have fun with your sons. They are creative, energetic and skillful for a reason. Getting through the curriculum can be very adventurous!
What creative ways have you tried in your homeschool?