The challenge of teaching boys

Homeschooling my middle school and high school age children is the most challenging job I’ve ever had.

Yesterday for instance, was a disaster. Being goofy, disregarding instructions, and inattention creates a frustrated teacher. Ok, maybe that’s not quite a disaster but it was certainly “one of those days.” Ever had one?

In my work life I’ve been a nanny, store manager, executive assistant, controller of a large company and a children’s minister. But teaching my own children and one nephew is harder than any of those jobs.

Last night – at the end of a stress filled day – my son runs into my bedroom wild-eyed. He’s coughing, choking and spewing green foam from his mouth. He grabs my water bottle as I rush over, ready to Heimlich him. Once I see he can breathe, I push him toward the bathroom screaming, “What did you do? What the H#%! is that? After he vomits green gunk (and everything else) into my trashcan, he wipes his mouth, looks at me like I’m crazy and says…

“What?”

It turns out, he took “the Gamma challenge” which is the gamer version of “the cinnamon challenge.” I was so angry I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Oh, by the way, my son is a gamer and Gamma is a powdered energy drink. It’s kind of like Tang, but with added junk vitamins. I tossed the Gamma and shut my bedroom door for the rest of the night.

Boys are different and I haven’t yet mastered the art of teaching them. Most of the time I can’t imagine why they do some of the things they do. For example…

Samih tied to door
Why? Why would you tie your drawstring to the front door?

He thought this would be an appropriate cold-weather Halloween costume. I didn’t.

"I'm going to go as a man."
“I’m going as a man.”

I just need to take one picture of you in front of the tree son.

DSC_0067

Now, my girls are better. For the most part they’re easier, except one likes to do her work and get on with life, and the other is not in any hurry.

DSC_0077

Yes, each gender has challenges and goes through difficult seasons, but you know what?

I wouldn’t change a thing. They each teach me about a different side of life and I always remember . . . Tomorrow is another day. And I’ll keep headache medicine and a stress relieving ball nearby at all times.

♦♦♦♦♦

The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) offers an excellent e-book entitled, Teaching Boys, by Andrew Pudewa and Woody Robertson. I’ve ordered products from IEW and highly recommend their site for great info and writing curriculum (I don’t get paid in any way to endorse them). I got my copy of Teaching Boys last year, but I found a link to the free e-book on homeschoolgiveaways.com.

Your turn: Do you have any boy related teaching tips to share?

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