Set Boys Up for School Success

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How can boys experience school success? 

Parents and educators frequently ask, “How do we help boys thrive in school?” A question we rarely ask is, What can boys do to set themselves up for school success? What can we do to help boys successfully navigate school?

“It’s really essential that we, as parents & educators of boys, are preparing them to navigate the struggles within school,” says Dr. Todd (Jason) Feltman, author of Transforming into a Powerful Third, Fourth, or 5th Grade Navigator of School Success.  “It’s not just the academic struggles but also the socialization, the physical and emotional struggles.”

Equipping boys with strategies they can use to manage these stressors can increase their confidence & school success.

Strategies to Help Boys Succeed

Generally speaking, boys have a hard time sitting still in the classroom. Todd recommends addressing this issue head-on with your boy. Talk about this challenge & help him brainstorm ways to incorporate movement. Teach him how to self-advocate with his teacher. (Perhaps they could agree on a non-verbal signal that could mean it’s okay to stand and stretch.)

Allowing boys to draw before beginning a writing assignment can also be helpful. (Many boys think visually – and many elementary school-aged boys struggle with handwriting and spelling.)

“Every student has strengths,” Todd says. “We need to teach them how to unpack and apply their strength. I know that boys can take charge of their education.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Todd discuss:
  • Why 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade are so challenging for boys
  • Helping boys self-advocate
  • The link between sleep & learning
  • Teaching boys organization (Note: modeling, mentoring, & regular practice helps!)
  • Why should you ask for boys’ input
  • What to say when a boy says “the teacher doesn’t like me”
  • Setting high expectations for school success
  • Developmentally appropriate school expectations
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode: — Todd’s website

Transforming into a Powerful Third, Fourth, or Fifth Grade Navigator of School Success, by Dr. Todd (Jason) Feltman

Mentoring My Elementary- and Middle-School Students to Become Powerful Navigators of Success, by Dr. Todd Feltman

Building Boys’ Reading & Literacy Skills — previous ON BOYS episode w Dr. Feltman

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