War on Boys Affects our Grandsons

Brilliant Baby GiftsWhen I wrote, “Our Grandsons Have to Be Prepared to Support Themselves in Our Evolving Society,” I knew about the book, “The War on Boys,” written by Christina Hoff Sommers, written almost twelve years ago, and wrote about what I had learned that our grandsons needed.

Then I opened the Sunday New York Times,February 2, 2013, as saw that Ms. Sommers wrote the lead article, “The Boys at the Back,” talking about how she was updating her book and things have gotten worse for our boys than I thought!

Christina Hoff Sommers cited a study coming out in The Journal of Human Resources, about boys scoring as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college, because behavior is important in grades in our schools of today which prize the ability to sit still and work independently.  If teachers had not accounted for behavior, the boys’ grades, like the girls’, would have matched their test scores.

Ms. Hoff traced what I had seen with my daughters.  The 1970s were a time where, as she says, “parents, especially those of education and means, began to value their daughters’ human capital as much as their sons. . . .A few decades ago, when we realized that girls languished behind boys in math and science, we mounted a concerted effort to give them more support, with significant success.  Shouldn’t we do the same for boys?”

Those of us with grandsons shout YES!

Christina Hoff Sommers mentions what boys need: recess (where boys can engage in rough and tumble as a respite from classroom routine), single sex schooling, boy-friendly reading assignments (science fiction, fantasy, sports, espionage, battle), and more male teachers.  She emphasizes that these efforts should start early.  I love her conclusion: “I became a feminist in the 1070s because I did not appreciate male chauvinism.  I still don’t.  But the proper corrective to chauvinism is not to reverse it and practice it against males, but rather basic fairness.  And fairness today requires us to address the serious educational deficits of boys and young men.  The rise of women, however long overdue, does not require the fall of men.”

I gave suggestions in “Our Grandsons Have to Be Prepared to Support Themselves in Our Evolving Society,” of what we can do. I am now thinking single sex schools are not a bad idea.

I read the children’s best seller lists every Sunday, and try to buy books that fit within the categories of interest to my grandsons.  The little ones have more truck books than you can imagine as they love them.

We grandmas have the patience to read a book over and over and over again.  Books make great grandma visit presents.  Here are boy books that my grandsons love.  Start your grandsons reading at birth and read the same book to your grandson as many times as he wants to hear it!

Newborn baby books: http://www.geniusbabies.com/blacwhitredt.html

Innovative Kids baby books: http://www.innovativekids.com/content/view/231/508/

Innovative Kids toddler and preschool books, especially Night Sounds: http://www.innovativekids.com/content/view/232/508/

Once we get to early readers, I bring my grandsons along and let them pick their books.  We make it an outing to select as many books as possible, take pictures of the books on I phones, and then have a list of books from which to select when we visit with




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