Homeschooling our kids can be an AMAZING journey – or it can be an excruciatingly painful process. When we first start homeschooling our kiddos, we have dreams of helping them to receive a world-class education. We hope and pray that we will give them a love of learning and that they will discover their God-given passions and purpose in life.
Unfortunately, many of us model our homeschools after the type of education that we received when we were kids – meaning we are copying the local public schools. This is a sure way to make our sons HATE homeschooling.
Families who have all daughters might be able to get away with educating them the same way that schools do; however, if you have boys, you should steer clear of certain types of learning.
Here are 7 ways to make your sons hate homeschooling – (so PLEASE don’t do these):
1 – Forcing them to sit at a desk with a pencil in their hand all day long
Boys learn best when they are moving. We should be allowing our boys to take frequent movement breaks as well as building movement into their lessons whenever possible. This is especially important for young boys! As they get older, they will be able to sit still for longer periods of time. You’ll find that even men appreciate being able to move around while thinking. This is why stand-up desks are becoming so popular and why you’ll see men pace while they are talking on the phone. Let your son move!
2 – Handing them a pile of worksheets to complete all day
Most boys learn a lot more when they are actually DOING something versus just filling out worksheets. Observe your son to discover how he learns best. Be willing to let him take apart your old alarm clock. Or build a tree fort in the backyard. Or collect bugs and dissect them. Or wallow around in the mud to see for himself how pigs cool off.
3 – Expecting lots and lots of homework to be completed every evening
Boys learn more with shorter, high-impact lessons than they do drawing out their schoolwork through the entire day. Don’t feel like you need to drone on and on while talking with them. Make your point and move on. Some practice is good with subjects such as math; however, once your son has learned something he will appreciate it if you don’t hammer it to death with piles of homework.
4 – Never going on field trips
Real-life learning is so important for boys! Get them out into the world and let them experience life. Learning about a battle by visiting the battlefield is going to be more memorable to your son than merely reading about it. Reading the details is also important; but, don’t forget to add in the field trips to make your son’s lessons come alive!
5 – Never getting together with other homeschoolers
Our boys need to learn how to support their families and get along in the real world. Getting together with other homeschoolers and discussing books, or going on combined field trips, or studying various subjects together is a great way for your son to do this. The more varied the people he’s comfortable being around, the better he will be at getting along with future coworkers.
6 – Never asking them what they would like to study
Each of our sons has been put on this earth for a specific purpose. God has put dreams and passions inside each of our children. Our job is to observe them and talk with them so that we can prepare them for whatever God has for their future. If we are set on following a rigid course of study and don’t modify it at all to give our child an individualized education, we are missing out on one of the biggest freedoms that homeschooling has to offer.
7 – Staying inside all day long
Fresh air and exercise are good for all of us. Try to get your boys outside as often as possible. Do your lessons on a picnic table in the backyard or at a park. Take nature walks. Go swimming. Encourage your boys to catch frogs and butterflies and worms. Let your boys explore God’s amazing world and discover the awesomeness of creation for themselves.
Our boys require a different type of education if they are going to flourish. We need to keep the above points in mind so that we don’t cause our boys to hate learning in our homeschools. Remember, we can NEVER teach our children everything they will need to know in life. Rather than attempting to stuff their brains full of information, we need to attempt to ignite the flames of curiosity in our sons.
Question: Do your sons love to learn? Do you have any other advice you can share which has helped your boys to love learning? Please leave a comment below.