The following is a post from contributing writer Mary Prather.
A friend of mine told me when I was pregnant with my son, “A boy is a mother’s joy.”
She was right. Yes, daughters are a joy, but there is something different about the mother-son relationship.
What an honor it has been to homeschool my son, who is now 7. I have found that in order to be successful with him I need to structure things very differently than I do for my 11 year old daughter.
God created this little boy to be on the move, silly, laughing, creating, and building. He created him with special talents and abilities.
Following are 5 tools that are helpful with active, silly, and wonderful little boys!
- BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS We read a lot. We read aloud, alone, and anything we can get our hands on. I’ve found joke books to be particularly inspiring for my little guy. I also buy books with lots of facts in them… science readers are always a big hit. It seems that little boys love to memorize and regurgitate! His favorite fictional series is The Time Warp Trio. We also love to read aloud any sports books by Matt Christopher. I always allow my son to build with his LEGO bricks, draw, color, or do something while we are reading. It would be impossible for him to sit still for a read aloud and that is OK. Do not underestimate the power of good books in your son’s life!
- GAMES Games are played daily in our homeschool. Anything with speed or skill is always requested first. Favorite games include Math War, Battleship, Uno, Bop-It! and Salute the King.
- OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES THAT INCORPORATE LEARNING We have to go outside and get physical activity every day or else we all might explode! I try to incorporate some learning into these times. One of our favorite activities is SCOOTER RACE MATH. It’s very simple: Children have scooter races up and down the driveway and we write down their times. (You could also run, bounce balls, ride bikes, etc…) These times written in sidewalk chalk can then be added, subtracted, averaged, compared – the sky is the LIMIT! You could also play SIDEWALK SIGHT WORDS. Write sight words on the sidewalk and bounce a ball on the words as you say or spell them.
- REWARDS Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. We also all sometimes need a little “motivation” to get a job done. I keep a stash of M&Ms handy to get us through tough math lessons. Sometimes a very hard week of narration and dictation results in a $1 pack of baseball cards. Certain nights might call for playing Wii together as a family. Whether it’s an incentive chart, the promise of special time with mom or dad, or a small treat from the store, make sure your son knows his hard work is noticed and rewarded!
- PRETEND PLAY This has been the hardest for me as a mom because I’m not the one to “play” much with the kids. I’m learning, however, that this is my son’s favorite thing to do. We play army men, LEGOS, cars, and yes, wrestle. Recently he loves to box with me – so we go in the garage and take jabs at each other. He loves that I’m being physical and silly and it releases a lot of energy for the both of us! Do you regularly take the time to enter your son’s world and do what he loves?