My new book Mrs. Morhard and the Boys is about the remarkable Mrs. Josephine Morhard, who created the first organized boys' baseball leagues in the midst of the Great Depression. Her achievement and her approach to boys' baseball were unique. To her baseball was more than a game. It was a tool to help boys grow up right, and she had distinct ideas on how to do just that. Josephine Morhard was the mother-in-law I barely knew.

Decades later I found myself working on a project to help boys grow up right. It was the Boys' Project of Starting Point, a nonprofit early education agency. Using the latest research, I wrote Wired to Move, a practical nonfiction book on how boys' brains work and how teachers and parents can use that understanding to help them become their best. I found that many of Josephine Morhard's Morhard's ideas stood the test of time.

This blog combines the old and the new--ways to nurture young boys (and girls) along with some inspiring stories we…


Josephine Morhard was a rare divorced woman of her time. She had a young son whose father was an alcoholic and became brutal when he drank. She knew her son needed better male role models. Through her baseball leagues, she provided them, for him and for all the boys. Today, outside of their fathers, sports coaches are often the men boys most try to emulate.

Much of a young child's learning comes from observing and imitating adults. Like Josephine, you want your child to have the right role models. Maybe it's a parent, brother, or sister, uncle or aunt--someone who teaches right from wrong, plays ball with them, helps with homework and shows the value of hard work and education. Or it could be a friend, neighbor, teacher or coach. Hopefully, many of them.   

Having good role models is important for every child, especially for single moms or dads.


In Josephine Morhard's time, kids played outside nearly every day, boys played baseball in the streets and most Moms were housewives.  It's different today, but boys still need the movement and exercise of those days. Young boys need to move to learn. Brain research shows us that. 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:


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!


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 hi…


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…
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:…/3708-getting-boys-to-love-…
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 
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