Good morning/afternoon, friends! Sorry for the delay in posting today's Friday Forum - we had a little confusion amongst the Bloom Staff this morning :) But we're really interested in today's topic and hope you'll weigh in.
Here are a few excerpts to help you understand the premise:
Author Thomas Spence points out that boys are increasingly more unfit for the classroom - especially when it comes to reading. Boys consistently score lower than their female counterparts on reading proficiency assessments - and the discrepancy is found in every socio-economic and ethnic segment of the population.
In order to get boys to read, publishing houses have started to "meet the boys where they are" catering to their fascinations with bodily humor offering titles like Captain Underpants and Sir Fartsalot Hunts The Booger.
Some say that at least this kind of literature "gets the kids reading." But I love what the author points out:
One obvious problem with the "SweetFarts" philosophy of education is that it is more suited to producing a generation of barbarians and morons than to raising the sort of men who make good husbands, fathers and professionals. If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn't go very far.
He continues with the observation that the appearance of the boy/girl literacy gap happened to coincide with the surge of video games and recreational internet, noting that boys spend more time "plugged in" than girls do and suggesting that this increased screen time causes their academics to suffer.
He ends with this fascinating conclusion:
I offer a final piece of evidence that is perhaps unanswerable: There is no literacy gap between home-schooled boys and girls. How many of these families, do you suppose, have thrown grossology parties?
What do you think about all this? Grossology as a literature genre? Screen time interfering with academics? (How could it not?? Kids get used to hyper-sensation, technicolor graphics and psychedelic sound effects; even the most gripping of chapter books would pale in comparison to that level of stimulation.) How have you been successful in encouraging your sons to read?
You really should take a minute to read the whole article - it's excellent.
xo,em and anne