We have seven boys and I'm going to let you in on a little secret of ours... we have no idea what we're doing! lol! I have two sisters and Ben has two sisters. Ben is obviously of the male species, but really, we have no idea how to raise a boy... let alone seven. Looking to the bible is our only hope and clue - maybe that's exactly what God wanted? No skewed thinking. We also think of "raising men"... not "raising boys". In other words ... after all the passing gas, mud, and wrestling matches... what is the final "product" that we hope to achieve when they fly the coop? A wider perspective.
That makes it easier to say that we desire to raise young men who:
-Love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength.
-Have skills in addition to reading, writing and math.
-Know to never hit a woman/girl - never.
-Are confident and can speak articulately to others.
-Can say "I love you".
-Are providers and protectors.
-Can think outside the box.
-Do hard things.
-Can lead well.
-Are compassionate for the less fortunate.
-Articulate love with words and actions.
-Have a sense of humor.
So, when you have a list of "outcomes" like the above it makes the every day focus easier, especially when you home school (in my honest opinion). You incorporate things like the below into their day:
-Daily bible time and discussion.
-Cultivating hobbies and interests.
-When their sister (wrongly) hits them, explain why he can't hit her back.
-Opportunities to speak with adults outside their family.
-Daily chores (they should know how to clean! :)).
-Teaching them biblical money skills.
-Don't solve every problem - "Oh no, what are you going to do?" when a problem arises.
-Laugh every day with them.
-A part in caring for their younger siblings.
-Allowing them to invent, take apart, and create.
-Allowing them to lead weekly - a bible study, geography lesson, etc.
-Listening to them talk and dream out loud.
A lot of this of course applies to my girls as well ... but there is a different "spin" on it for the boys. We desire them to be leaders - in their families, churches, communities and work places - and that starts when they are little. So much of our society's problem today is that men don't know how to be biblical men ... they are big pile of lumps because no one ever taught them how to lead well. This is a great message that is worth an hour of your time: http://marshill.com/media/real-marriage/men-and-marriage.
Our oldest is twelve now and we are starting to see the fruit of these seeds we've been planting and watering. It hit me the other day that we only have six more years ... 2/3 of our time is gone with him. Wow. He is turning into this incredible young man and it makes my heart do back flips when he tells his dad "I love you" in front of his friends..... Or if I have to leave a lesson for a younger sibling (crying, diaper, etc), he just automatically takes over..... Or that he is learning to play the guitar and write his own songs on his own initiative.... Or that he can lead a bible study and be knowledgeable in the things of the Spirit and Word.... Or that he knows more about electronics than I ever will... And especially when I hear things like when I was at the hospital with Noah and Ben was super sick (before the babysitter got to our house) ...he told his dad to go to bed and he put on plastic gloves (lol) and changed his brother's dirty diaper... because someone had to do it. I love that! LOL!
I guess I am making up for not having brothers ... by raising an army of men.
God help them! lol!