Friday, October 05, 2007

The Minds of Boys

I just finished reading The Minds of Boys by Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens. I'd seen this a few times on the shelves at the Derby library, but figured that since the subtitle was "Saving our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life" that it would be more applicable to parents who have have boys in institutional schools. I'm glad that I went ahead and picked it up, as it turned out to be a very good read. The main author, Michael Gurian, is a brain researcher who has founded a consulting firm that assists schools in adjusting their instructional and discipline techniques to better fit what research has shown is good for kids, and he particularly focuses on gender differences and what is good for boys versus what is good for girls. The co-author works for his firm, the Gurian Institute.

The book has sections in each chapter labeled "for the parent" and "for the teacher" that address teaching language arts, math, dealing with learning disabilities or ADD and dealing with unmotivated boys. As a homeschooling parent I found ideas in both the parent and teacher sections to be helpful. Much of the information homeschoolers would already have heard and many homeschoolers already use, but there were some good reminders. The reminders on the importance of physical movement for boys made me think about how I will structure any future co-op classes I teach, as well as think about how we do lessons at home. Some of what was written in this book is similar to another book I've read recently called Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax. I'd recommend both the books. I can see that I'd come back to the The Minds of Boys and re-read it when my boys are older and I need another reminder of how their "boy energy" will affect their schooling.

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