The joy of boys

While I’m not an expert on raising boys like my friend Kim who has been blessed with five boys, I am certainly learning a lot about a gender that I considered mostly a mystery.  Growing up with only sisters, I didn’t really know what life with little boys looked like until I had some.  After a strong-willed, sensitive, challenging first boy we were given a soft-spoken, calm, easy-going second born boy.  They are very different.

One reason we are really happy about homeschooling is that boys tend to need to move quite a bit, they can be loud, they often don’t naturally sit still for long periods, they are very curious and they love getting dirty.  Those characteristics, I believe, are intrinsic and don’t need to be fixed or tamed.  The way our American culture has feminized men has come at great costs.  That’s a whole other post and a can of worms I’ll leave closed today.

Just to say, that I am constantly learning and doing my best to allow the boys to be who they are.  Boys.  Messy, loud, creative, busy, active, wild, physical boys. This ‘boy nature’ doesn’t always fit well in an all day classroom setting and watching our boys be who they are is one of the great delights of home based learning for us.

Some days this means taking a snail break for Caleb:

Being outside is very calming for this high-need boy we have.  He needs time alone outdoors to help him reorganize. He collects snails by the dozens and carefully watches them and cares for them for hours a week right now.

Sometimes, like today all the kids find something to do together after we get some ‘table work’ done.  There are some fuzzy, friendly bees buzzing in a jar next to my hand while I type this.  The kids spent almost 2 hours capturing, studying, observing and being amazed by the incredible bees living in our rhododendron blossoms.

Audrey found a caterpillar on our walk today, brought it home in my coffee cup and carried around until naps.  She insisted on eating with it at lunch time:

Sometimes, boys at home means pain and sadness.  When we aren’t enjoying nature or good books, things can and do go awry.  Like last week when Kyler bit out of frustration at the injustice of his situation:

Or also last week, when Caleb silently took a pen to every single key of the precious piano that I grew up playing on:

And I was so very upset that I forbid myself to utter even a word and when Caleb was in tears because I could not speak to him I finally wrote him this note…

Lastly, in case you want to know, ziplocs can hold bees nicely in a pinch should you run out of mason jars….and mama’s can move very fast should a bee escape in the kitchen!



You guys do the coolest things at your house! Great ideas. And thanks for the encouragement to let my boys be boys…it does not always come naturally to me.

Shellie Moulton

Oh my!!! Just need to laugh…..Coming from I who lives in a house of boys. I understand!


You are seriously in the thick of it Shellie! We are just getting started on the crazy-things-boys-do adventure…