Thing is… my little dude has had his trouble with school. He started with French Immersion… and while I’m a fan of the program… it didn’t work for him. So, in grade two, we switched him to English and enrolled him in Oxford Learning for a year of “catch up”. To learn some strategies for his style of learning and to give him the best advantage possible.
We realized early that he needed more than a sweet disposition and a glorious smile to give him an edge in the classroom!
While he’s come so far and done so well with his reading and language arts… still, he writes without punctuation, doesn’t bother with capitalization and can’t for the life of him spell!
Last night he completed an assignment he’d been working on in class and when I reviewed it, it was Awesome! And yup… I had a moment of not believing it was his own work. Just a moment. OK… overnight. Until I could ask him about the specifics of the assignment over breakfast.
Turns out his phenomenal teacher has introduced “peer editing” into his classroom. He writes a rough draft, then two other kids attack it with highlighters… fixing spelling, grammar, content and punctuation… then he makes his final copy. And guess what! It’s working!!!! His teacher is challenging him. He’s happier this year… proud of his work… thrilled to be reading and writing and organized… he’s doing it!
There’s an article in MacLean’s magazine that suggests we’re raising our boys to be underachieving men. They’re lazy… happy to be playing video games… complacent with their education… not challenged to try harder and be the best they can be. There was a survey of universities and more girls are attending post secondary institutions than boys… more boys are dropping out of High School than girls. In a few years there’ll be a great shift in the number of women in the leading positions at organizations compared to men. I’m not saying they don’t belong there… ’cause goodness knows we’ve fought for equality in the workforce and women have worked hard to get where they are. But maybe… just maybe… while we’ve pushed the girls forward… we’ve left the boys behind.
Telling our daughters they’re awesome… that they can have the moon and the stars… that the world is their oyster… that they can be whoever they want to be… it’s working! Their confidence is boosted. Our smart little girls are applying themselves to do their best, be their best, reach for the stars and be whatever they want to be!
As the MacLean’s article suggests… and I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions… if you take a look in the classroom, the girls for the most part are sitting quietly, staying still, doing their work, being neat and tidy and good and it’s frustrating the crap out of the little boys! All they’re doing is being little girls with sugar and spice and all things nice and our sons with the snips and snails and puppy dogs tails are falling behind!
Kindergarden is no longer about finger painting, sing songs, story time and play… they’re reading and writing… many before even entering school. More of a focus on education than socialization. It’s a good thing… but there’s a problem. Little boys can’t sit still as long as little girls. Little boys can’t focus as long as little girls. Little boys are getting in trouble for their little boy behaviour and from a very young age are being turned off school. Boys and girls are different. They act different. They learn different. So… while our daughters are being rewarded… the boys are falling behind, becoming complacent and frustrated, giving up. The article suggests single sex classrooms… and I think they’re on to something. But until that happens… these boys need to be challenged.
My two daughters know they can be anything they want to be. Tell your sons as well. Be involved in their education. Make them think bigger than they’re thinking. Don’t let them get lazy when the teen years are upon them. Make them want to win. Push them to go further than they can. Introduce them to new things. Give them a bone they can chew on. Show them the world is theirs for the taking. Have them reach for the sun and the moon and the stars. Boost their confidence.
They can do everything as well as the girls can… it might just take a little more concentration… a little more effort… a little more desire!
And when your son shows you an assignment that looks amazing… don’t think for a minute that he didn’t do it. He’s getting it. He’s being challenged. His teachers are pushing him forward. Encouraging him. He’s learning. He’s being the best he can be.
Tell him how proud of him you are. You knew he could do it.
I knew. I’ve known all along.
I just needed a little reminder.