Thursday, February 5, 2015

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5 Facts About Teaching Boys (and Girls)

This week, I listened to a fantastic webinar put on by Woody Robertson of CollegePlus (I know – you have toddlers – stay with me) and taught by Andrew Pudawa of the Institute for Excellence in Writing ( about the differences between teaching boys and teaching girls.

It was FASCINATING! And, as parents to toddlers and preschoolers, you might appreciate knowing some of this stuff before your kiddos get too far along. I sure wish I had known…

There are several factors that make the learning style of boys different from girls, which I will give a little detail on here. I do encourage you to visit the IEW website and look for their free download about teaching boys. It will be very helpful.

There are several physiological differences between boys and girls such as:
  • · Boys hear at a difference frequency, which is why they are SUPER LOUD. I know this. I have four boys and the youngest two are mind-numbingly noisy. So to teach them it may not make sense for them to sit quietly and listen to soft voices. You might need to make some noise too.
  • ·Boys see colors differently. It has something to do with the rods and the cones in their eyes. This is why when they color, they tend toward bold colors and may even color all black. Girls tend more toward pastels.
  • ·Boys like it colder. They are wired to withstand cooler temperatures than girls so when you are teaching your young son, turn down the heat and put on a sweater. This also explains why my 6-year-old insists on “Shirts-Off” learning during our homeschool day.
  • ·Boys do better when they are moving or at least standing. Making a boy sit all day at a desk may actual hinder their ability to hear and process. If possible, allow your son to move, borrow into a fort, stand at a table instead of sit or some other creative form of movement. My son moves the entire time we are doing oral work and I truly believe it is putting the words literally into his mind and body.
Another interesting difference when your child starts drawing, writing or telling stories, they pointed out a difference between boys and girls that was stunning to me and SO very true. Boys draw and write in “action” or in “verbs” – like bullets whizzing and people moving and dragons chasing people and such. Girls draw “nouns” or “things” like ponies and princesses. (I know this to be true too – I have a daughter as well). So, when your boys are drawing all kinds of crazy stuff, let them tell you the story they are creating and ask them to add more “action” if you want to draw more out of them. 

Also, to help exercise memory muscles and get stronger at recall and story-telling, have your children tell you the entire story about the activity they just did – like if you go to the zoo, ask what happened first, and next and then after that. This helps kids learn to remember details and understand sequence better.

These are just a few ideas presented at the webinar. If you need more information, please check out the IEW website and HAVE FUN with those boys (and your girls too!)

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