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Homeschooling one boy in a family full of girls?

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Does anyone have this situation with an older boy?

 

Our family continues to grow, yet my son remains the only boy. He is young right now (4) and seems to love his place in the family, but I get worried that he will miss out later in life. He has plenty of time and space to run outdoors, but I also know that boys develop so much in relationships with other boys.

 

I feel like I will fail him keeping him at home in a household full of girls. I'm not talking about sending him to traditional school anytime soon, but I wonder about what expectations I should have for the future. We were planning on homeschooling all the way through. Can anyone give some been-there-done-that advice?

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I grew up in a homeschooling family with four girls and one boy. My brother was the second oldest and an extreme extrovert.

 

It is definitely a challenging dynamic to have a primarily female environment and a growing boy. On the other hand, my brother went to high school in large part because of that and it was NOT a good idea, for completely different reasons. So that is not necessarily a fix.

 

Things that did work well - prioritizing his social connections outside of his sisters, finding activities (such as hockey) that gave him male interaction, a weekly co-op where there were boys his age, and giving him curricula/project options that were not just what the feminine contingent of the household wanted.

 

I think it's a tough balance that requires some extra attention, but it is doable. School, while it may be a good solution in some cases, is not an automatic improvement overall. You are probably on a good path already, just by virtue of your thoughtful awareness of the issue!

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My son is our only boy and oldest, he is 11.5. He is a pretty laid back kid and doesn't complain too much about being the only boy. He does do Scouts which is a great activity for him(and is all boys- he just crossed over to Boy Scouts which has a lot more activities- at least monthly camping trips and more) and also does TKD which is predominately male but really I haven't heard a lot of complaints as of yet. We'll be happy to be the place where his friends can hang out and take him to various things. I wouldn't stress about it yet. My policy on such things is to keep an eye out for opportunities and issues and look at it when it comes up.

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My son is 11yo and has 3 sisters- 12yo, 8yo and 5yo.  

 

Not everyone can do this, but we are self-employed so my husband started taking our son to work on Saturdays when he was 2yo.   When he was 7yo (I think), he started going to work with his Dad every Friday as well as Saturdays.   I think its important that he have time with the men, away from an all-girl household.   

 

They usually go on at least one or two father-son camping trips each year and he is heavily involved in Trail Life.   I have stayed out of TL, and the girls and I rarely attend any events b/c I feel that it's important that he have that time with his Dad.  

 

 

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Thank you all so much.  I am not so worried anymore.  It is just wonderful to hear others' stories, knowing that it is all working out!

 

I think it's a tough balance that requires some extra attention, but it is doable. School, while it may be a good solution in some cases, is not an automatic improvement overall. You are probably on a good path already, just by virtue of your thoughtful awareness of the issue!

Ellen, glad to know your brother's experience.  You made such a good point about school also being a negative experience.  I mean, that is a huge reason why we are homeschooling in the first place!  

 

My son is our only boy and oldest, he is 11.5. He is a pretty laid back kid and doesn't complain too much about being the only boy. He does do Scouts which is a great activity for him(and is all boys- he just crossed over to Boy Scouts which has a lot more activities- at least monthly camping trips and more) and also does TKD which is predominately male but really I haven't heard a lot of complaints as of yet. We'll be happy to be the place where his friends can hang out and take him to various things. I wouldn't stress about it yet. My policy on such things is to keep an eye out for opportunities and issues and look at it when it comes up.

Scouts!  Yes, that would be wonderful.  We need to start looking into that.  

 

My son is 11yo and has 3 sisters- 12yo, 8yo and 5yo.  

 

Not everyone can do this, but we are self-employed so my husband started taking our son to work on Saturdays when he was 2yo.   When he was 7yo (I think), he started going to work with his Dad every Friday as well as Saturdays.   I think its important that he have time with the men, away from an all-girl household.   

 

They usually go on at least one or two father-son camping trips each year and he is heavily involved in Trail Life.   I have stayed out of TL, and the girls and I rarely attend any events b/c I feel that it's important that he have that time with his Dad.  

My husband is very involved and does a lot of special activities with him.  I was worried it wouldn't be enough, but you are very encouraging.  Also, we are looking into TL for when that time comes.  It sounds like something he and my husband would love!

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Does anyone have this situation with an older boy?

 

Our family continues to grow, yet my son remains the only boy. He is young right now (4) and seems to love his place in the family, but I get worried that he will miss out later in life. He has plenty of time and space to run outdoors, but I also know that boys develop so much in relationships with other boys.

 

I feel like I will fail him keeping him at home in a household full of girls. I'm not talking about sending him to traditional school anytime soon, but I wonder about what expectations I should have for the future. We were planning on homeschooling all the way through. Can anyone give some been-there-done-that advice?

 

Your ds won't be the first boy who grew up in a family of girls and lived to tell about it.

 

I don't know what expectations you're expecting. :huh:

 

I don't understand why you think you'd be "failing" him by keeping him at home. The houseful of girls are his siblings, the only people in the whole world who share the exact same gene pool. Perhaps God knew that your ds would need to have a close relationship with a house full of girls so that he could complete his life's plans. I don't know, but it just seems to me that you're agonizing over this too much.

 

When he's old enough, sign him up for Boy Scouts.

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I agree with Ellie that it really isn't a big deal.  It is what it is.

 

My ds15 is my oldest -- with 5 younger sisters.  I've told him that I don't know why God has given him so many sisters.  Most of his friends don't have so many sisters, but many of his friends do not have a brother.  (They just have smaller families.)

 

I also tell him that some day he will have brothers-in-law.  :laugh:

 

 

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My boy is the only male with lots of sisters. He's 8 now. He doesn't seem to mind being surrounded with girls. We have several friends who have boys so we try to get together with them. He does Trail Life and golf and those have been good outlets for him. He often goes golfing with my hubby so they enjoy the guy time doing that. I get lots of sympathy from people for having only 1 boy. Honestly, it annoys me. This is our family and my kids don't know differently. I'm choosing to not worry about it.

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Yeah, I'm not really clear on what the problem is with growing up in a houseful of girls.

Is the assumption that girls will spend their time braiding hair and talking about clothes and the boy will be bored?  Because not all girls do that...Many are sports-minded, outdoorsy, assertive, intellectual, competent or whatever...whatever particular traits it is that you're worried about simply may not apply.

 

And I'm grateful that Scouts is co-ed where I am!

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Yeah, I'm not really clear on what the problem is with growing up in a houseful of girls.

Is the assumption that girls will spend their time braiding hair and talking about clothes and the boy will be bored? Because not all girls do that...Many are sports-minded, outdoorsy, assertive, intellectual, competent or whatever...whatever particular traits it is that you're worried about simply may not apply.

 

And I'm grateful that Scouts is co-ed where I am!

It doesn't have to be a tricky dynamic, but it CAN be. It really bothered my brother growing up that he was the only boy. We played a lot together, but interests did diverge a lot as we got older (despite us being fairly 'non-girly' girls) and it was something he brought up often. It's great if this is not the case.

 

I'm not saying this to be discouraging. I'm saying it because I wouldn't want the OP to feel like something is "wrong" with her family if it at some point bothers her son to be the only boy. And I think it can be worthwhile to acknowledge those feelings and provide ways for a child to get the same-gender connection he is looking for.

 

Dynamics can be so different from child to child and family to family and I think it's admirable to be thinking ahead (not living in fear, just being thoughtful) about how to optimally adapt to potential needs.

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We've got the opposite issue, as you can see in my sig. One girl and FIVE boys! 

 

I worry a lot about her sometimes, but as she's gotten older, I've seen that it's not always a bad thing. She is much more resilient than most girls her age in terms of bouncing back from teasing and such. She is much more comfortable around boys than most young girls are and seems to be more confident as well. Like she isn't afraid to go up to a group of boys and ask them to spar at TKD or to ask a group of kids at church if she can sit with them or whatever.

 

I think that comes from her constantly having to stand up for herself in a group of wild and outspoken brothers. Plus she is very close with my oldest, even though they are three years apart. They're a great team, she's outgoing, he's the workhorse basically, lol.

 

I have taken care to put her in "girl" activities like dance classes because we felt that she needed to be around more girls when she was about 5-6. She wasn't too keen at first, but has grown into it over the years and really looks forward to spending time with her girlfriends at class and camps and such.

 

So I guess my recommendation would be to find something(s) that is male-dominated that he is interested in. Scouts, sports, Mathletes, Science Olympiad, Lego, there are plenty of things out there that would fit the bill as he gets older.

Edited by nerdybird
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I don't really get what the problem is.

 

 I have 6 boys and only one girl. My dd would love a sister but there isn't one.

 

What about families that have  just one of each. they don't have a sibling of the same sex and survive.

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Yes my dd has only brothers! She has girl time with friends, cousins, grandmother, aunts... Me!

I think you have some good ideas so far.

 

The only time not having a sister bothers her is after someone has been feeling sorry for her with 'all those brothers' >:( We are careful to encourage thankfulness for what we do have. She has a great time with her brothers and they adore her. I doubt she'd be happy to share being the boss with a sister ;)

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My son had six sisters. He's almost 11 and I'm not sure he notices. He will make an excellent husband some day because there is nothing about females that intimidates or discomforts him.

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One boy, one girl here. Time with Dad is definitely important (actually, I would argue that it's important for all children, though for different reasons--it's important for girls to have their love-tanks filled by Dad and to see how gentlemen treat ladies and so on). But as far as setting a tone in the home as boys grow into young men, dad's role is very important. Your son will get time with other boys through activities and friendships if you make time for that, so I wouldn't worry about that aspect. He will also get a lot of opportunities for learning how to treat his sisters, and his future spouse might really appreciate that!

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We have 2 boys, but they are 10 years apart.  I don't see them having a close relationship due to this age gap, but maybe they will surprise me.

 

Here are a couple things we've done:

1.  DH started taking DS fishing.  I absolutely love that they have this time together.  Sometimes one of my middle DD's goes along too, other times we go as a family, but sometimes it's just the two of them.  We try to make a similar effort with all our DC (taking them out individually).  Sometimes it's just a trip to the grocery store, other times it's an actual activity.  I think this one-on-one time is important for all my DC, not just DS.  With a single child family, I imagine this happens regularly, but with a larger family takes a bit of planning and effort.

 

2.  I read a blog post fairly recently (it may have been Brandy Vencel's blog), but she mentioned that she loved how Grammar of Poetry DVD was taught by a male teacher.  She thought her son might find poetry a bit "girly", but having a male teacher kept it from seeming too girly of a subject to enjoy.  I've been selecting some DVD programs to use with my DC for the high school years, and even though there isn't interaction between the teacher and student with DVD programs, I like the idea of having a variety of "teachers" and not just me teaching everything.   ;) Our former co-op occasionally had dads teaching classes, and I thought that was great too.  I encourage my DH to take over a subject or two (especially art), but he hasn't been able to do much consistently.   :(  He does sometimes help with math lessons.

Edited by Holly
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4 girls, 1 boy here. Well, young man. He found his "guy" time with dh and with Scouts. He really found his niche with Order of the Arrow in Scouts. He was very close to Ed before Ed's death--it was tough. I rather doubt he'll ever have that close a guy friendship again. 

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My boy is 11 and he has 7 sisters. We have always homeschooled.

 

We don't have any problems with him being the only boy in a 'girly' home.  He spends time with his dad.  He plays with the boys in our street because there happens to be some and they keep knocking at the door asking for him....not because we sought them out.

 

He plays in a cricket team (Aussie thing to do ;) ) because he is cricket mad...not because we were desperate to seek out boy companionship.

 

He plays sport with a bunch of boys after church because that's what they all like to do together.

 

He also plays board games and music with his older sisters.

 

He plays games and kicks the ball around with his younger sisters.

 

He's very comfortable with girls and has none of the awkwardness that can pop up around that age sometimes.  I think it's important that he (and my girls) learn to relate well in whichever situation they are in. I haven't seen that has had any issues because he's not constantly around other boys.  In fact, when he joined his cricket team, he seemed to blend well with the other boys. It hadn't mattered a bit.

 

Also, (you may already have thought of this), but I make sure that he takes part in household chores and learning to cook etc.  Just because he has 7 sisters doesn't mean that he is going to sit around and have them do everything for him.  I think it's just as important that he learn those skils as it is for them. He's on our chores roster and is scheduled to make a meal for the family once a week.  He makes me a pretty good bullet proof coffee and latte too  :hurray: .

 

 

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I've got one girl and 3 younger boys, plus our best friend's son who is over everyday. With only 1 boy, and depending on your dds,  you may be missing out on lots of extra loud noise, wrestling and physicality, ball games breaking out anywhere and anytime, and lots of other insanity. If you want to add some of these exiting things into your home, just invite boys over and some kind of running game will start up - or they will be on a computer. ;)

 

I didn't know birthday parties could be quiet until my dd was invited to an all-girls party. It was a shock.  :laugh:

Edited by wintermom
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I have one boy and 2 girls (and a male dog).  That's all we are going to have. 

 

My son loves to play fight.  All. the. time.  I "die" everyday at least a 100 times.  :)  I personally don't really want to play fight all the time and neither do my daughters.  Especially, my middle child.  She wants to play with her barbie dolls. 

 

They do spend most of their time playing legos or with magna tiles or play act.  Sometimes they have to take turns what game they want to play. 

 

All my son's friends are girls.  He has one male friend who is in public school, so we don't get to see him often.

 

My dh wants to spend time with all of our children. He has expressed that he does need to spend more time with our ds.  We plan on going camping, fishing, and other "boy" activities in the future.  (as a family) 

 

I do get sad to see his sad face whenever he wants to play power rangers or just shoot at me and I nor the girls want to play those games.  I usually then just make them each pick a game which they have to play for 5 mins. 

 

You just do what you got to do.  :) 

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I have one boy and 2 girls (and a male dog).  That's all we are going to have. 

 

My son loves to play fight.  All. the. time.  I "die" everyday at least a 100 times.  :)  I personally don't really want to play fight all the time and neither do my daughters.  Especially, my middle child.  She wants to play with her barbie dolls. 

 

They do spend most of their time playing legos or with magna tiles or play act.  Sometimes they have to take turns what game they want to play. 

 

All my son's friends are girls.  He has one male friend who is in public school, so we don't get to see him often.

 

My dh wants to spend time with all of our children. He has expressed that he does need to spend more time with our ds.  We plan on going camping, fishing, and other "boy" activities in the future.  (as a family) 

 

I do get sad to see his sad face whenever he wants to play power rangers or just shoot at me and I nor the girls want to play those games.  I usually then just make them each pick a game which they have to play for 5 mins. 

 

You just do what you got to do.  :)

 

This reminds me of my family growing up.  I only had one brother, so my mom made me and my sister play with him.  At our house, Barbie dated He-Man, not Ken.  :)

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This reminds me of my family growing up.  I only had one brother, so my mom made me and my sister play with him.  At our house, Barbie dated He-Man, not Ken.   :)

 

Ah, He-Man is now Anakin.  Times have changed.  :) 

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I wouldn't worry! It's a different dynamic but my husband was raised by a single mom, no father figure at all in his life, and surrounded by women (aunts, grandmother, cousins, etc). My mom worried about him for awhile and thought maybe he needed to hang out with the local butcher to get all "manly" and stuff, haha. But he turned out just fine and is one of the best husbands there is. 

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I wouldn't worry! It's a different dynamic but my husband was raised by a single mom, no father figure at all in his life, and surrounded by women (aunts, grandmother, cousins, etc). My mom worried about him for awhile and thought maybe he needed to hang out with the local butcher to get all "manly" and stuff, haha. But he turned out just fine and is one of the best husbands there is. 

 

He'll understand women. :D

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