Wisdom Wednesday

Book Reviw:

Why Boys Fail, by Richard Whitmire

I will admit it…even though I am the mother of two boys…I read this book for a class. I had heard about it from this clip on Good Morning America, and I fully intended to read it, but I didn’t 100% buy the idea that there really was any plight in the education of boys in our country. I sort of resented the thought. Growing up female, I’d been more concerned with issues of the gap between boys and girls in math and science that favors boys, the lack of equal pay for equal work, etc. However, when I was tasked with reviewing how we educate our boys in this country for one of my grad school classes, I decided to give this a read as part of my research.

This book gives an excellent, thorough account of exactly how we are indeed “failing our boys” of this generation in our public schools. Through things as seemingly insignificant as focusing heavily on written expression as the main means of evaluation, curricula that favor fiction versus non-fiction texts, and a decreased frequency of phonics instruction, all come together to create a challenging school environment for boys. Combine these factors with the push for academics at younger and younger ages, when boys, who are slower to mature than girls, are not at all ready to sit and complete paper-and-pencil tasks, and the trends are concerning for parents of sons.

This book was doubly valuable to me as an educator and as a mother of boys. Whitmire’s writing is easy to read and well organized. If you have sons, or if you’re just interested in learning more about how our schools are preparing students for the future, check it out!

10 thoughts on “Wisdom Wednesday

  1. As another mom of two boys (one about to start K in the fall), this topic has been of great interest to me. The War Against Boys was the book that first got me started on the topic and Boys Adrift is on my “to read” list. Thanks for another suggestion.

    1. Oooo thank you for the suggestions!! I will certainly check these out, too! Good luck with K this fall 🙂

  2. I wasn’t done yet with my comment, lol. Yes, I’ve noticed the big difference between my boys and some of my friends girls. The girls LOVE workbooks, reading stories, etc. My boys DO NOT and I’ve stopped forcing them because it just didn’t feel right. Even the homeschool co-op we belong to (I was just talking about this with a friend of mine this week) the girls are happy to sit and the boys would rather wrestle. lol.

    1. That is really interesting!! Before having children (you know, back when I knew everything there was about kids, hahahhahahahaha…) I was totally sure that the difference between boys and girls in educational settings was totally societally based. Now that I have sons, though, and I see other moms with little girls, I feel totally the opposite is true. I really think there’s different hardwiring!!

    1. No no!! 🙂 I’m sure your decision will work out well. You’ve put so much thought and consideration into it. I think regardless of where your children go to school parents need to be vigilant about being advocates for what their kids need. I really do recommend this book though- I think you’d love it!

      1. I will. Thanks Sarah. I read The Way of Boys recently and really related to that book. I’ve been thinking about reading The Out of Sync Child. Have you read that?

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