I am the mother of three boys and whilst I feel very blessed, my daily life is hectic, noisy and my pantry is always running out of food.
There are days when I pray that they would sit down and read a book or draw a beautiful picture. Instead they are usually jumping on the trampoline, shooting hoops in the basketball ring or generally wrestling and tearing up my house!!
My boys bring me so much joy, but I do worry about their education and their future. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning difficulty, more likely to be diagnosed with Autism and more likely to show behavioral problems than girls.
So why the difference? What is it that makes boys and girls different?
From my point of view, I honestly don’t know! But it got me thinking about the school system and how well it suits the needs of boys and girls. I know that my eldest son really struggles to contain his levels of activity and my husband and I used to joke when he was a toddler he was like an animal. He needed to be walked or taken out for a run at least twice a day or our house would be destroyed!! But in all sincerity, I can’t help but wonder if girls and boys should be educated in a different way.
I have always been an advocate for co-education schooling, as I believe that life is co-ed so why should we not exist in the same way. But now after a few years of my children being at school, I do see my boys going to an all boys’ secondary school. I worry that in a co-ed school they will get left behind, as it appears (and this is just my opinion!!) that girls are quicker to learn that boys. I know there are always exceptions for this, but if I could have a dollar for every person/doctor/teacher who has said to me “but he is a boy, so it will take him a bit longer” or “he is a boy so we need to give him more time to mature” I would be a very wealthy person!!
Schools do seem to be addressing this and I can see that even co-ed schools are establishing single sex classes for certain subjects and even certain year levels. I am not a teacher, I am a parent, that can see merit in a co-ed school with single sex classes, but I can also see the social impact! Will girls just think they are smarter than boys and use this a playtime tease? Or will boys just see themselves as less important and have an affect on their self-esteem?
So what’s the answer? Should boys and girls be treated differently in their learning? Does it really make a difference in the end?
It’s a topic that never really gets a definitive answer and probably rightly so as every child is unique and no two schools are the same. And whilst the school has to play its part in communicating single sex classes and their benefits, it also important that we as parents support our children to be the best version of themselves, whether that’s in a single sex school/ class or in a co-ed school. What I do know is that children grow and bloom with love, consistency, support and opportunity. So for now as long as my boys have all of these things in their education, I am happy!
Tired... but happy!