Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TOS Review: Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day


I've often noticed how much time my non-homeschool friends spend teaching their children. Sometimes I think that they could benefit as much from homeschool materials as those of us that teach our children on a full-time basis.

Recently I watched a video presentation done by Andrew Pudewa from Institute for Excellence in Writing. I would definitely recommend it to all of the parents I know, both homeschool and non-homeschool parents. In his Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day DVD, he describes the differences between boys and girls and includes the scientific studies that support the informal observations that have often been made. Moreover, he shows how to adjust your teaching style to reach the audience, whether it's all-girl, all-boy, or mixed.

In the presentation, he cites studies that have shown that newborn girls are capable of hearing sounds that are three times softer than newborn boys. This difference continues years later in life. Perhaps my teaching problem lately is not that Brennan isn't paying attention to me when I read. Perhaps he isn't hearing me as well as his sister does when I read to them in a normal conversational tone.

Andrew Pudewa also talks about the differences in the eyes of boys and girls. Boys see action easier than girls do, and they often fail to see differences in color or texture. He gives examples of how to use this knowledge to more effectively reach boys. When helping boys with writing assignments, they may balk at the idea of adding more description (i.e. adjectives). They may, however, be willing and even excited to add more action to their writing assignments (i.e. more adverbs). Writing assignments that rely on a lot of description are typically going to be more difficult for boys. I look back at the past few years and now understand why Brennan and I struggled to finish writing assignments that required x-number of sentences to describe a handful of dirt. Maybe he would've done better if we were trying to list a certain number of things that could be done with that handful of dirt.

If this DVD only covered gender differences and provided ways to teach to those styles, I'd consider it worth watching. The second half of the video goes on to discuss types of motivation and ways to make an assignment relevant to students. It then reveals Pudewa's two secret weapons to use when trying to get a student to learn. The two parts work together to make this presentation an excellent resource for teachers and parents alike. 

This video is available as a DVD for $10. If you'd prefer to just listen to the audio, it's available here to download for $3. Institute for Excellence in Writing also offers several other audio downloads, including some that are free.

Rarely do I consider something a "must read" or in this case, a "must hear." I truly believe that watching or listening to this presentation can make a difference for every parent that is trying to teach their son. Over the next few weeks, I intend to listen to some of the other presentations that Andrew Pudewa has recorded. I wonder how many of them will also make it on to my "must hear" list.

You can see other reviews on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog. Later this year, some of my crewmates will be reviewing IEW's writing skills programs. I personally can't wait to read their reviews in late May.

Disclaimer: I received this DVD as a member of the 2010 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review! I think almost everything that Andrew Pudewa has recorded belongs on a must-listen list...

    I want to get the DVD of this one. I own the mp3, but I want to SEE him too :)



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