This ... I struggle with. I always feel like I fail the boys in my group. The girls can spew letters and number and do quite often . They LOVE all the little literacy things I add all over the room . They love to write and draw. The boys. The boys.. the run and yell and wrestle . I have the hardest time trying to get them involved in a center long enough to even interact in an educational way with them. Today I almost cried as I walked in a room to find several of them huddled quietly. I was a little worried at first. Do they have sport ( the dog ) tied up and are shaving him ? Have they undressed their private areas and playing show me yours ? What is going on ? No, they were taking turns " reading " to each other. I lavished praise on them and let them go through the treasure chest for an appropriate gift for four little boys that touched my heart.
This afternoon the book " Supporting Boys Learning" showed up on my door step. Ok, it wasnt a miracle. I ordered it. :) Finally at 9:30 Pm I am challenged to read the first chapter. ( Ok, maybe I was really delaying putting away from laundry before bed, but the thing is .. I read! )
The first chapter had another " tear up" moment for me. If you know me, you know I am not a flashcard toting teacher. Much of our day is spent in free play. During this time I do set out specific materials to sneak in some fun learning. We dont recite the ABC's just because but I might be heard pointing out a letter on the front of a book and listening for the sound it makes. Of course we do the obligatory " this is the front of the book, this is the back of the book, this is the spine, this is the title page. The author writes the story and the illustrator draws the pictures. " JUST KILL ME.
Anyway, on page 10 I am already excited about this book and wanted to share:
... " By fourth grade children who attended academically focused preschoolers earned significantly lower grades and behaved worse than children from the other two preschools. ( One academic focused, one child initiated and one that was a combination of the two. ) Boys who were best able to keep pace with the girls had attended child-initiated schools. The boys who fell the furthest behind were the ones who had attended academic preschools. "
I think I can take a deep breath now and just know that I am doing SOMETHING right. I might not feel it. Some days I might even want a new job. I might not see the results of it or hear them until fourth grade. But, I can rest and know that the learning environment I have is what boys need !
I am not failing my boys.
Now.... to read the rest of this book.