Sunday, March 26, 2017

Importance of Movement for Boys (Girls, Too)

One of the key concepts in my book Wired to Move; Facts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in Early Childhood Settings is that young boys need to move to learn. Today, more and more evidence of this is emerging. Making sure your young boy has lots of time to run and jump and explore--rather than sitting on the couch glued to video games--gets his brain moving, supports learning and fosters good behavior. Check out this article:

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Check out this article in the Atlantic that talks about how and why children learn through movement It's especially important for boys, who are constantly on the move!

Monday, May 2, 2016


Jeremy’s worried about going to kindergarten. It’s in a big brick building. Will he get lost? He likes the idea of riding the school bus, but how will he find his classroom when he gets off? He wonders if he’ll make friends. Will his teacher be nice to him?

Kindergarten is a new experience, even if your boy has been in preschool. He needs to feel comfortable, not fearful. His first impression can affect his attitude about school and his learning. This is especially important for boys.

There are some things you can do to make sure he gets the best start:

• Register him early so he can be comfortable with the school and the school has time to learn about him.

• Present kindergarten as an exciting new experience. Ask him what he thinks school will be like and correct any misunderstandings or fears.

• Talk about and visit his school, bus stop or walk the route to school. Let him meet his teacher.

• Encourage him to be independent. Give him opportunities to follow directions and do tasks on his own.

• Read books, discuss the story and the pictures. Make sure he has chances to use scissors, crayons, pencils, markers, paint and paper. Help him learn his ABCs, numbers and colors.

• Most of all, let him know you're confident that he will do well. And always, always, be positive about school.

Learn more about raising boys in my book Wired to Move: Facts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in Early Childhood Settings, published by Gryphon House. Available at, barnesandnoble.comgryphon 

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Jeremy is always running or jumping or climbing. When he’s outside, it’s fine. But when he’s inside racing from the kitchen to the dining room to the family room over and over again, it drives his Mom crazy. Especially when she’s trying to get some work done.  Why can’t he just sit still?

Does he need to spend so much time running around? The answer is yes; it’s his nature. He needs to move. It turns on his brain. When he’s not active, three-quarters of his brain shuts down. It’s not like that with girls. When their bodies are still, 90 percent of their brains stay active. That’s why it’s often difficult for boys to sit and listen. They fidget. They don’t pay attention. When he’s moving, his brain is alert. And that’s important to learning

So it’s important to give your boy enough time and space to move around and expend his boundless energy. Make sure he gets lots of outdoor play. When he’s inside or the weather is bad, find a special place or activities that allow him to move his body.

You might put an exercise mat in a corner of a room for a mini-gym. Have a special space for racing cars, etc. Play games that allow him to move. Act out characters in a book. Put on some music for marching. Give him jobs to do that require movement.

If you’re choosing a preschool, make sure they allow plenty of outdoor and indoor “movement” time, that they alternate quiet and physical activities and schedule periodic “brain breaks.” 

Find out more in Wired to MoveFacts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in Early Childhood Settings, published by Gryphon House. Available at amazonBarnes & Noble and other online and retail booksellers.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My interview "Getting Boys to Love School" on Education Radio is now live on the Bam Radio Network . Hosted by Rae Pica, and also featuring Richard Hawkins. Rae Pica his the author of many books on education. Richard is the co-author of "Reaching Boys: Teaching Boys" and former headmaster of Cleveland's University School. You'll find the interview here:

Getting Boys to Love School

Rae Pica with Richard Hawley, Ruth Hanford Morhard, Heidi Veal 
Boys continue to struggle in our educational system.  In this segment, we look at proven strategies to get boys to love school. 
Follow: @bamradionetwork @raepica1 @ruthmhrm @vealheidi 
#edchat #edreform #ece #earlyed #AskingWhatIf

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I did an interview this afternoon on the BAM Radio Network-WSCR with authors Rae Pica and Richard Hawkins. The topic was "Ensuring Success for Boys." Rae hosts the show and is the author of numerous books on education. Richard is the co-author of "Reaching Boys: Teaching Boys" and is also the former Headmaster of University School in Cleveland. I spoke about my book "Wired to Move: Facts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in Early Childhood, focusing mainly on the importance of incorporating movement in the classroom. It'll be up on the internet soon. 

Watch for it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Jennifer sits quietly on the couch, reading. Josh has a book too, but it’s opened up like a teepee on the floor—it’s become a garage for his bulldozer. You’ve tried to read to him, but he gets antsy and starts wriggling. He’s just not interested. Is it really that important?

Yes it is. Reading is going to be critical for him in school and in his everyday life. Studies show that boys, on average, are 6 months to 1½ years behind girls in reading and writing at all elementary school levels. It’s not that boys aren’t as smart. It’s because their brains work differently. The language centers in a girl’s brain develop earlier and work more efficiently, but we can help boys close the gap through reading.

If he’s not interested, how do we do that? It’s hard for young boys to sit still--so while you’re reading to him, talk about the pictures, let him act out the stories, make sounds or move like the animals, planes or other things in the books.

And choose books about things that interest him, like:
• trucks, trains, planes
• real-life boys, people and places
• how things work and grow
• animals, dinosaurs, insects
• funny or action-oriented stories
• superheroes, American heroes (pioneers, founders, scientists, inventors), everyday heroes (firemen, policemen, servicemen)

You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Find out more in Wired to MoveFacts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in Early Childhood Settings, published by Gryphon House. Available at amazonBarnes & Noble and other online and retail booksellers.