5 Tools For Schooling Your Boys


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?    
These days with my little boy are going all too fast.  I want our school days to be memorable, FUN,  and full of learning.   If I incorporate each of these tools consistently in our days they normally go very well!
Do you homeschool a boy?  What’s your favorite activity to do with them?
Mary is a homeschooling mom of an 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy.  She is a musician, reader, and lover of all things education!  Visit her at Homegrown Learners.
Mary Prather


  1. says

    I agree. We will be trying out most if not all of these soon. My six-year-old boy will sit still for lots of reading aloud, but the idea of school is not as exciting to him if we only do that. He loves any type of physical/manipulative game, and he dislikes spelling, so the bouncing ball/spelling idea may be put right into our routine!

    I agree with the memorization/regurgitation point. Memorizing science facts is just fun for my son, and even memorizing poems is easy and something he takes pride in.

    There is a paper plate game to teach addition and subtraction where you take a set amount of pennies (like 10) and take turns hiding a certain number of them under the plate. The rest go on top of the plate. By looking at the top of the plate, the other person has to figure out how many are underneath. My son loooooooves this game.

  2. sarah says

    Thanks for your post. I teach preschool and my child is one of my worst students. He knows all the songs, the acivities aren’t hard for him. He isn’t really naughty, He simply has to move every where and I ‘ve wondered how I am going to teach him k, because he is not a worksheet kid like my daughter is. Today though he found a ruler and was measuring everything, after a couple corrections he was correctly measuring. This article helped remind me that I just have to be more creative with him.

    • says

      I’m laughing, because a couple of years ago my son was my worst student in a music class I taught. I’ve learned a lot since then and it’s getting better!