Wednesday’s nature class was an all-boy affair.  Friday’s park day the same.  I haven’t been doing this long, and we’re in Cambridge, so my dataset is inadequate and any conclusions I might draw would not pass what researchers call a significance test.  But I’ve been wondering if more boys are homeschooled than girls.

Is all of the recent bad news about boys prompting people to pull them out of school? It definitely had an effect on me.  “Maybe my boys would do better both academically and socially if they didn’t have to sit still so much, and write so much, and go so long without eating or running,” I wondered.

Now that they are home with me, of course, I’m feeling all kinds of sympathy for kindergarten teachers.  How do they get ANYTHING done with all of the squirmy, unfocused, attention-seeking bodies in the room?  No wonder that our first week of homeschool, where I completely recreated their school experience at home, was such a disaster.

After changing everything around, though, I worry that Zach may be right that we “aren’t learning anything at this school.”  I console myself with the following:

A recent study reports that the literacy gap between boys and girls is growing, with boys in some states falling more than ten points behind the girls.  And this gap persists across class.  The only place where boys are reading as well as the girls? Homeschool.

Ezra was having trouble with reading last year.  And he still does things that really puzzle me – like inserting letters that aren’t there and skipping letters that are (he’ll read both sad and stand as sand).

I understand that if he eventually becomes a great reader, that will hardly be proof of the efficacy of homeschooling.  But for me, that data point of one would definitely be significant.

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  • Cynthia

    Thoughful musings about schools requiring children to sit still so much and how much harder it may be for boys than for girls. Of course, I think that given the differences between boys and girls, they should be schooled separately anyway, especially after hormones become a factor in junior high.

    Two comments: in my life, the most polite children I know are those who are home schooled. They are also more able to hold conversations.

    And the grandson of friends was home schooled part of the time while his sisters were not. The grandparents claim it made a significant difference in his development.

    So — I applaud your involvement in your sons' education. Continue on!

  • Cynthia

    Oops! The opening should be:

    These are thoughtful musings ….