Thursday, December 1, 2011

Homeschooling Boys

Do you homeschool your boys? If so, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite books, games, resources and activities.

Leave me a comment with some of your favs. I'll do a round-up post of your favorite resources. (And if you have a lot of say, feel free to drop me an email at


  1. I am a mother to three boys, and another baby on the way. Due in six weeks! We don't know what we are having yet, but I suspect it's another boy! Maxwell is 8, Isaac is 6, Toby is 2 1/2 and this one due the end of February. I home educate my oldest right now, my middle attends a local school. I had to pull my oldest out of school due to his behavior. He's an adult in a childs body, and most adults to not appreciate (or know how to handle) a very attentive/active young boy. It was highly reccomended that I medicate him. I told them no way! I have learned that he likes to know exactly what he has to do everyday for school. We tried work books, we've tried online school, we've tried nothing for a while (I needed a break) and now we are doing "Packets". I go through each of his subjects and pull out "worksheets" or practice pages and staple his daily work all together with directions on what is expected of him and he loves it! His days work is right in front of him. No fussing with books, schedules, computer programs. I make sure each packet contains his reading, writing and arithmetic. I have a book "What every second grader needs to know" and use that as a guide to what he needs to be learning at this stage and that has helped guide me as a parent and give me confidence he's right where he needs to be. I give him plenty of time to be creative. Limit his TV time, and expect him to help around the house. Bringing in wood for the woodburner, helping with his brothers, dishes, laundry, etc.
    One thing I am REALLY struggling with is his arguing. He is very easily agitated, and likes to have things a certain way, wants to know exactly whats going to happen and when. If things don't go as planned he becomes highly anxious. Any thoughts on this?

  2. My first comment: Your oldest sounds a lot like my oldest! My oldest is now 14, but a lot of those personality characteristics -- easily agitated, likes to have things a certain way, gets anxious when things don't go as planned -- still describe him.

    A couple things to think about: That's likely his innate personality. Some people are naturally more comfortable with change; some are not. Your son is expressing a clear preference for order. He likes to know what is coming so he can plan for it. So whenever possible, I'd suggest letting him know in advance what's coming. It sounds like you're already doing a great job of accommodating his natural need for order in his education -- I think that's why the packet idea works so well for him.

    The challenge, of course, is that life isn't always orderly (esp. when you have 4 kids!) and that life doesn't always go as planned. So as a parent, one of your jobs will be to help your son cope with those times. This is a continual process. Help him see you coping with unexpected challenges. Talk him through your thought process. Help him think of coping strategies he can use when he starts to feel upset b/c things aren't going according to plan. Would stepping away to read a book or play alone for awhile help him? Physical activity? It's a trial and error, but together (and as he grows), you'll find ways to help him cope with the world's tendency toward chaos.

    The other thing I'd suggest is learning more about gifted children. From your description ("adult in a child's body") -- and your descriptions of his emotional responses -- I surmise that he's gifted. It was really eye-opening to me to realize that a lot of these perceived-as-negative-characteristics (easily agitated, doesn't cope well with change) are actually common to gifted people -- and that there's a plus side to these characteristics as well! Here's a webpage to get you started:

  3. Thanks! I can't wait to check out these resources!