Everyone knows boys are falling behind girls in education. And that has lots of people, especially educators and politicians, busy pointing fingers and engaging in loud discussions.
Largely left out of this discussion are parents of boys, who are perhaps more aware than anyone that their bright, eager sons hit an invisible wall somewhere near fourth grade, after which they go from engaged to unengaged, discouraged, and disaffected. By their teens, too many seem determined to be slackers in school regardless of parental pleas, incentives, or discipline.
There are lots of books on underachieving boys, but most address educators and come complete with intimidating graphs, case studies, academic-speak, and lists of remedies on which parents are powerless to act.
What about the average guilt-ridden, frustrated mother or father of an underachieving boy? Someone who wants to know in plain language what’s behind this trend and what they can do
about it? What about mentors who crave positive support, not political shrillness?
Most existing books on “the boy problem” make parents feel even more helpless than the school system and their job demands have made them feel already. In Jump-Starting Boys, we have endeavored to empower parents and mentors, and to give them a sense of being able to reclaim the duty and rewards of helping their children.
Toward this end, we have heartwarming true stories and take action checklists. Our aim has been to reassure and support, to turn fear and guilt into can-do confidence.
Who are we? Sisters who have raised boys, and sisters who have worked four careers between us: teacher, family therapist, journalist, and author. Pam is the award-winning author of young adult books particularly popular with boys (including Peak Survival, Skater Stunt boys, and First Descent). Cynthia, a former teacher who now counsels troubled families, speaks regularly at parents’ groups and women’s gatherings.
We firmly believe that reading confidence is a keystone to educational success, which in turn increases one’s chances of a more stable, satisfying life. We hope you’ll find insight in Jump-Starting Boys.
Continue reading “The Introduction to “Jump-Starting Boys” by Pam Withers & Cynthia Gill”