Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Developmental or Just Mental?

Boys can't read as well as girls, says one study reported by Fox News. Several reasons are cited including that girls mature more quickly, that boys tend to have more learning disabilities, and that boys "disengage" from school as they get older. Why?

Perhaps, in doing their own thing, homeschoolers have found the answer:

"Here's a fascinating fact," she said. "There is no literacy gap in home-schooled boys and girls."

"Why? In school, teachers emphasize reading literature and talking about character and feelings," she said. "This way of teaching reading does not turn boys on. Boys prefer reading nonfiction, such as history and adventure books. When they are taught at home, parents are more likely to let them follow their interests."

Perhaps this explains a few things about reading to my boy. When I read a story, I enjoy the flow of it, the sound of the words, and like to read it uninterupted. Recently, I read Stone Soup to him:

Cathy: Three soldiers trudged down a road in a ...
Wm: What are those things hanging on their sides?
Cathy: Swords. ...Strange country. They were on their way home from the war.
Wm: What are those things on their backs?
Cathy: Backpacks. Besides being tired, ...
Wm: Wait, wait! Go back, what's in the backpacks?
Cathy: I don't know...they were hungry. In fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.
Wm: Why hadn't they eaten? Why?

This continued sentence by painful sentence. We finally made it to the third page, where the peasants are hiding their food, as they don't want to share it with the soldiers. Of course this elicits Why don't they want to share, Mommy?

As he is more interested in the details, and less in the story, I find it easier to read non-fiction books to him. I have, however, recently added to my knowledge of the inside of my car engine and the names of all the contruction machines. To make matters worse, I am supposed to understand it all.

I recently was quizzed in the car about the sizes of gears as they relate to the speed we are going, and of course, I have no clue. I don't want to give the wrong answer and permanently etch his brain with misinformation, but when he asked if the gears were red or blue, I was able to confidently lie and say they were definitely blue.

1 comment:

pita-woman said...

Maybe with his curiousity of the "Hows & whys", he'll become a mechanical engineer. Not a bad career choice.


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