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Homeschooling our sons doesn’t have to be painful. Boys are full of life, full of energy, and full of laughter. We can and should see these traits as strengths. Even though they are different than their sisters, and sometimes we have a harder time understanding them, we CAN enjoy homeschooling our sons.
If we want to successfully homeschool our sons, we need to make an effort to give them the kind of education that will be the most beneficial to them. Your son may not enjoy learning the same way that your daughter does and that’s okay. If you take the time to study your son and find out what makes him tick, you will both reap the benefits.
5 Things You SHOULD NOT Do
- Don’t Copy the Local School – You may think that you need to copy the local school if you want to give your son an exemplary education. This is certainly not the case. Let your son sit on the couch or in his bed when doing his reading. Allow him to snack while completing a worksheet. Give him permission to take bathroom breaks when needed. Let him choose the order in which he wants to work on various subjects. Be flexible!
- Don’t Expect Silence – Have you ever noticed that your husband will pace when he’s talking on the phone. Or your son will walk laps around the dining room table while talking to you. That’s because boys actually learn better when they are moving. Some boys also enjoy listening to music while they are doing their lessons. Some need to tap a foot or a pencil. Allow your son to move around, to hum a tune, or whatever other movement or sound helps him to focus best. If he is distracting to his siblings, let him (or them) do some of their studying in their rooms or behind a study carrel.
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously – Boys love to make jokes and to laugh. Learn to appreciate your son’s sense of humor. Lighten up. Laugh at his jokes. Encourage him when he says something silly or is having fun. Remember that your relationship with your son is more important than any single lesson. Time goes by fast – try to enjoy it.
- Don’t Baby Them – Our boys are men in training. They benefit greatly from being given physical labor on a regular basis. Teach them to use the riding lawn mower. Let them use the weed wacker. Help them learn how to build a campfire. When we treat our sons like they are capable, they will be much more likely to act responsibly in other areas such as with their education.
- Don’t Compare Your Son to Others – Our boys are all different from each other. Some of them are great at math but struggle with reading. Some are excellent doing hands-on lessons but struggle following directions. God has each of our sons here for a different reason. Don’t compare them to any of their siblings – or to anyone else, for that matter. Comparing your children to each other or to their friends will only discourage you… and them.
5 Things You SHOULD Do
- Listen to Your Son – This goes along with respecting him. We need to listen to hear rather than listening to respond. This goes a long way in showing our sons that their opinions are valuable to us.
- Respect Your Son – Your husband’s number one need is for respect. Your son has this same need. Appreciate his efforts. Let him know that you think he’s capable. Have confidence in his abilities.
- Get His Nose Out of the Books – Books and lectures aren’t the only way that we can learn. Boys benefit greatly from real life learning. Take him on field trips. Help him to find internships. Set up science experiments and other hands-on projects. Find ways to make learning relevant to real life.
- Appreciate Your Son – Your son is a unique individual. Find out what interests him and let him learn about it. Ask him if there are changes you can make to your homeschool lessons that he would appreciate. Be a student of your son!
- Acknowledge that Your Son is Growing Up – Our boys grow up quickly. It’s easy to get into a rut with how we treat them and to forget that they are growing up. Allow your son some freedom. Ask for his opinions about how you do things. Involve him in the process. Our sons love to rise to a challenge.
Traditional learning methods can be pure torture for boys. Expecting them to sit in their seats, to be quiet for long periods of time, and to follow generic lesson plans can kill our sons’ love for learning. Remember that if you aren’t enjoying homeschooling, then your son isn’t enjoying homeschooling.
With these tips in mind, however, you can transform your homeschool into a boy-friendly environment. And you’ll find that your enjoyment will also go way up!
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