The Boy Problem

Stumbled across this article today. It’s from 2007, but it was still very interesting, especially as a mother of two boys. Especially as a mother of a kindergartener who only gets in trouble at school because he “can’t stop jumping”. Oy!

If you aren’t into all of the developmental stuff, here is an interesting idea that Dr. Sax proposed (excerpted from the above link):

(Reminds me of the sensory disorder storytime idea)

“A more practical alternative that librarians and other educators can put into place right now is to offer a choice of storytime formats: Noisy-Time Storytime and Quiet-Time Storytime.

Here are the rules for the former:

  • You may stand, sit, or lie down. But please don’t bump your neighbor.
  • You may make noise if you want.
  • Tapping, rapping, and clicking are permitted.

Some familiar books that work great for this type of storytime include Shel Silverstein’s Runny Babbit (HarperCollins, 2005), Suzy Kline’s Horrible Harry and the Locked Closet (Viking, 2004), Kevin O’Malley’s Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery (Walker, 2005), and Steve Jenkins and Robin Page’s What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? (Houghton, 2003).

School administrators who have introduced the “noisy time” format have found that it tends to work best in an all-boys setting. But that doesn’t mean Noisy–Time Storytime is exclusively for boys. If kids are free to choose which format they prefer, some girls may pick Noisy Time, and some boys may opt for Quiet-Time. Here are the rules for Quiet-Time Storytime:

  • Please sit still. Fidgeting distracts your neighbor.
  • Please be quiet. Noise may disturb your classmate.
  • No tapping, rapping, or clicking. Please keep your hands in your lap.

Insisting that every child attend a Quiet-Time Storytime is like insisting that everybody attend a Methodist service, and prohibiting the Pentecostal service. The end result is that you have fewer people attending. Offering a wider range of formats for storytime is one way of increasing the likelihood that all your students will learn to love books—and school.

And we can all shout, “Amen!” to that.”


One thought on “The Boy Problem

  1. I can agree with that. I worked as a camp counselor at a sleep-away camp for 4 summers in college and the girls and boys came at separate times. The boy’s weeks were MUCH noisier than when the girls were there. It wasn’t because they were being bad, they’re just so much more enthusiastic about certain things . . . It’s good to see that some librarians are taking that into account!

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