Over the past 25 years, I have noticed some trends in homeschooling that have become a bit unsettling. One of those trends has been a move to provide more ‘relaxed’ homeschooling or unschooling for boys because we see them as different learners and in some ways, handicapped from their girl counterparts. Many parents are pulling their boys out of public school classrooms so that they can spend their days exploring and not being restricted by a classroom.
However, as a veteran homeschooling mom, one of the benefits of being ‘old’ is that I have the advantage to have seen some of these experiments ‘play out’ over the last 20 years. Here are some of my thoughts.
First, I do realize that boys and girls learn differently. I also believe there are some things that we can do to help them learn. However, the college classroom (down the road) is NOT going to give much sympathy to boys if they have a different learning style. And, in this age of treating boys and girls equally, why would we give a more ‘relaxed’ education to our boys and not our girls? Shouldn’t girls and boys receive the same sort of education?
Secondly, let me say that I have had two VERY different boys and have experienced two VERY different learning styles. One of my sons was very academic and enjoyed book learning. However, the other son did NOT like the classroom or books at all. But I taught both of them in the SAME way. And today, the son that did not like learning, writing, reading, math or anything associated with education, is now sailing through college classes and has a work ethic that is ‘over the top.’ He also enjoys reading and admits that sometimes the push was too hard, but is glad that I didn’t stop pushing.
As I mentioned above, I began homeschooling over 20 years ago. I was part of several homeschool groups and have not only seen my own children grow up and move onto college and grad school, but have watched other friends’ children grow up and graduate. In my own experience and in my observations of friends’ homeschooling situations, I have to say that boys that were made to learn in a traditional way (at a desk, with homework, reading difficult books and textbooks) have BY FAR been more successful in their college educations and in their careers. Just a few examples:
It has been a pretty cut and dry experiment. For those boys who were pushed and MADE to sit and learn for a period of time each day, they have been quite successful in college and beyond. BUT, for those who allowed more child-directed learning or unschooling, there seems to be quite a bit of floundering and searching well into their twenties.
I have come to realize that we are not just homeschooling boys. We are homeschooling future men and I challenge you to consider what this means:
I am likely to take some slack for my staunch position on this. But I have watched women take over the world, demean men and try to turn boys and men into sniveling, cowardly creatures. This is not what God intended. He intended men to lead the family and the church, but women are often at the helm in many of our churches, homes, business and schools. Don’t get me wrong…I believe women can and should do just about everything that men do. But as I mentioned before, God had a different intention in the garden…He placed Adam over Eve in the general operation of things. And, when Eve was being tempted by the enemy, Adam was distracted…off doing something else or just hanging in the background. Whatever he was doing, he greatly failed his mate and we know that sin made an entrance into the world.
How will your men advance the kingdom? Will they follow or will they lead? Let’s work together to make sure that our boys are growing into men that will lead us well! Don’t be afraid to push them out of the tree or to pull the video game remote out of their hands so that they are forced to learn about this world that God created and how they can make it better for their own children.