Categorized as: Boys’ Learning and Education

Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids

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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…

Reading Captain Underpants

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I used to hear a lot about Captain Underpants during lunch in the schools where I worked. You learn a lot about the lives of your students at lunch table duty! But I have not read Captain Underpants myself in years, so I stopped by the Concord Bookshop the other day and picked up a copy of the first book in the series and sat down and read it. Can I just say that I was laughing out loud? None of this ubiquitously hollow LOL stuff that peppers the internet. I mean, I was truly guffawing.  If I were in 3rd or 4th grade, especially if I were a boy, I would not be able to stop turning the pages. As a 47-year-old woman, I could not stop turning the pages! Read more…

Why Boys are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang that we should teach our children well and feed them of our dreams, but for millions of parents of sons, dreams are only that, and boys are falling behind educationally at an alarming rate in this country.  Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and in Life, and many other authors and educational experts proclaim that we have a crisis in the education of boys in this country. The media attention to this topic has been extensive in recent years, yet I do not see the systemic changes that are needed. Read more…