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With special guest:

  • Jennifer Fink

Are our boys failing school or is school failing them?

This is a question for everyone because while kids haven’t changed much over the last 100 years there has been a fundamental change in the performance of boys and girls in their education.

In the USA, Australia and 70 other developed countries according to UN figures, boys now lag behind girls on every single academic measure, they get into trouble and they drop out of school more frequently than girls. There are fewer boys at University and there are far more lost 20-something boys than 20-something girls. For the first time in the history of the United States boys are less educated than their dads. So what is going wrong and what can we do about it?

Undeniably school is a big part of the young lives of our children. It appeared to our guest today, Jennifer Fink, based on her experience working in the community as a registered nurse and as a mother of four boys that it is the schools that are going wrong. Jennifer looks at the way school is taught with all children forced to conform and sit quietly rather than learning while active. Reading is not geared for what boys are interested in and some books that would appeal to boys are not made available or frowned on. There is even a prejudice against boys reading with UN figures showing that boys did 30% better in reading tests if the examiner did not know it was a boy taking the test.

And when the lack of male teachers is added to fatherlessness in the home it is clear we have to do something different.

Jennifer Fink has made a difference since she founded in 2013. Listeners can go to that site and find tips on boy-friendly literacy strategies. There are also some great tips on improving communication with our boys in a way that inspire the boys to respond more fully than with just a grunt.

Also in today’s program Jennifer tells us about the practice in Wisconsin Family Courts of making it the norm for separated parents to spend equal shared time with their children. This has worked for the children and the parents even though mothers may not have expected these benefits to flow.

We cover some big topics today with an inspiring and successful message for all of us who care about the next generation.

Jennifer Fink

Jennifer Fink is a freelance writer, Registered Nurse and mother of four boys. Her parenting experience is vast: In her 15+ years of parenting, Jennifer has been a married parent and a single parent. She’s home-schooled her boys and shepherded boys through both public and private school. She’s worked both out of the home and in the home, part-time and full-time. She writes frequently about health, education and parenting, and her Parents magazine article Help Your Son Succeed in School won the American Society of Journalists and Authors 2012 Outstanding Article Award in the Service Category.

Song selection by our guest: Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean

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