When are you starting school?


I've had a lot of questions lately about starting homeschooling, state regulations regarding homeschooling and how I feel about becoming a "professional" teacher. lol I am actually not quite prepared to answer these questions. I know they're being asked out of genuine curiosity, but I haven't even looked into the details quite yet because when we had planned on putting our kids in public school, we were going to delay Brighton and Owen's entry into school by one year. So that would put Brighton starting Kindergarten in August of 2012. That's a ways off from now!
One of my favorite books, Why Gender Matters by Dr. Leonard Sax, discusses the role gender plays in learning and shows extensive research that most boys would greatly benefit from starting kindergarten a year later than girls if an all boys school is not an option. Just a few extremely interesting stats from the book:
  • Girls hear extremely better than boys, even as newborns. If you're a woman teaching boys, you need to speak louder. 
  • Girls are born prewired to be more interested in faces, while boys are prewired to be more interested in moving objects. It has to do with the anatomy of the eye. p.19 So it's not surprising that little girls like dolls and little boys like trucks. 
  • Moderate stress (such as time constraints) improves boys' performance on tests, whereas the same stress degrades young girls' performance on tests. p. 92
  • Researchers have found that while areas of the brain involved in language and fine motor skills mature about six years earlier in girls than in boys, the areas of the brain involved in targeting and spatial memory mature about four years earlier in boys than girls. p.93
  • Kindergarten is very different now than it was 30 years ago. The main objective is achieving literacy and numeracy and the problem with that is that many 5 year old boys don't have the fine motor skills necessary to write the letters of the alphabet. p. 95
With so many innate differences between boys and girls, I can only imagine the difficulties a teacher must face in a co-ed classroom. After reading this book a couple of years ago and learning how boys and girls learn and develop differently, we took the suggestion by Dr. Sax to delay the entry into Kindergarten by one year. Studies have shown that a child will do much better by delaying his entry into Kindergarten rather than making him repeat a grade and being labeled as "dumb." Since then, we have made the decision to homeschool, but I am so grateful to this book for giving me a head's up on the differences I will face teaching the kids. If you are a teacher and/or a parent, I highly recommend this book. Another one of his books, Boys Adrift, is an amazing resource to a parent as well, especially if you allow video games in the home. 

Please watch a short video of Dr. Sax being interviewed by CNN about the misdiagnosis of ADHD. 
http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/20/1-million-kids-misdiagnosed-with-adhd/

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