Monday, August 08, 2005

Buddha / Lisa Lippuner, Nongkhai, Thailand

Boys want to be Buddhas. They want to be independent and stoic. They want to imagine that they always make effective decisions and do terrific work - on their own.

Some boys can operate independently to a great extent. But most young males need more attention and cooperation and help from adults than they would ever admit.

My recommendation after years of observation is that boys and their parents ought to agree that Cooperation between Parent and Student is Essential. Especially when you are entering a demanding academic institution and making the transition from middle school to high school.

My thoughts are spurred by USA Today's recommendation of a book by Michael Gurian called The Minds of Boys: Saving our Sons from falling Behind in School and Life. I'm going to look for it at the library.

USA Today's summary of Gurian's thoughts: "Boys learn differently from girls and are not as well suited to sit still in a place like school."

Gurian recommends:
a) "Create a parent-led team...Boys learn better through projects and tasks with a mentor, whether it's a relative, a family friend or a coach."
b) "Do homework together. Sit at the kitchen table every night to go through his homework." USA Today says "Your son might complain at first, but Gurian says most boys crave the one-on-one time and attention.
c) "watch what he eats...The ability to focus is directly linked to nutrition."

As a veteran teacher I highly concur with these recommendations. Each year I watch as parents and students try to avoid and then have to face academic difficulties. Many of those problems can be minimized if Gurian's guidelines are integrated into your lives from the beginning of the semester.

More advice? Call me at 861-6809 or email me at I am here to help.

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