Born to Move
Logic tells me that homeschooled boys may be more successful than boys who go to school.
There are no studies I know of to support this, yet, but what we know about the need’s of boys in the early years is enough.
Boys do not sit still as anyone who is the parent of a boy knows. Nor should they sit still. They are born to move a lot during their early years.
This movement is vital to their development. Child developmental psychologists always refer to boys as "slower" than girls. But this isn't the right way to look at boys.
They are different. Boys need more movement and for a more extended time than girls, generally speaking. The kind of play they engage in, like rough and tumble play, is exactly what they need.
But we interfere with this process when we put them into classrooms at early ages, and when we punish them for not being able to meet our unrealistic expectations.
Torture for a Boy
When my son was around ten-years-old, I remember asking him, "What do you love most about homeschooling?"
His reply, without a moment lost: "I don't have to sit at a desk all day."
He'd overheard me over the years talk about what a fundamental error we made in the way we raised our boys. He had imagined that it was him who had to sit still at a desk and in his little ten-year-old world, he'd decided that this was what we meant by torture.
And it would have been except that he was homeschooled.
Boys are not ready to sit in desks when they are so young. Boys still need to be climbing down trees and rolling down hills (girls aren't either, but they are usually ready sooner than boys).
The First Thing Boys Learn
What is the first thing we teach boys when they go to school?
We teach them how to sit still. This is what we teach them first. If they can't sit quietly at their desk, because their little legs are restless and need to move, then the teacher begins to see them as non-compliant and a bit of trouble.
By the time we expect him to read, which can be as early as three or four years of age, he's decided that this "school" thing is not all he was told it would be.
But still, children naturally want to please adults, and even though he's unable to follow the reading lessons, he tries as hard as he can to understand what the teacher wants him to do.
Stuck on Track
While his legs are ready to take him on great adventures, though, his mind is not. It feels sort of stuck like a train hung up on a track and unable to move forward.
The other children start to pass him up and now he begins to feel shame and embarrassment.
"Am I stupid?" he wonders.
And the cycle begins.
Fifty percent of boys who fail to read at the prescribed time will drop out of high school. They literally give up on themselves because of an educational system that gave up on them.
We are setting too many of our boys up for failure.
The solution is so, so simple: homeschool.
Teach your son when he’s ready and at his own pace. Let him experience the joy of learning how to read without being made to feel intellectually incompetent and embarrassed because he can't keep up with his class.
Let him know what it is to taste the sweetness of success. This is what gives him a sense of confidence and joy in academic learning.
As you homeschool him, he discovers the strength and power of his mind; he learns how to use it to learn all sorts of interesting things about himself and the world of knowledge.
He becomes a good student, he's a generally content child, and he has a sense of his academic potential. When it comes time for college, all doors are open for him.
He's accepted into a good college, he figures out his career path because he's had plenty of time to develop his interests; he knows what he's good at, and he has a strong sense of direction about how he wants to spend his professional life.
For boys, homeschooling is the answer. Boys, even more than girls, do better at home.
If you can't homeschool through the elementary and middle years, at least try to keep your son home until he is older and, therefore, ready for academic learning.
Could this not be the difference between a life of success and fulfillment; or one of underachievement and struggle?
You can join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.
Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two successfully homeschooled children in college.