Grand River Academy is a close-knit boarding school community for boys where students study and live to prepare for college and beyond. Here, young men are encouraged to be themselves, while being given opportunities to reinvent themselves to become happier, more self-aware and productive.
Advantage #1: Tailored Teaching Style
It has been scientifically shown that boys learn differently than girls and the standard method of teaching in America currently favors female learning styles. Larger portions of a boy’s brain are devoted to spatial-mechanical functioning, so boys both pay attention more and learn more effectively when there are props to move around and interact with. Boys compartmentalize new information, so it is harder for them to quickly switch subjects. Also, because boys have less serotonin in their brains, making them more inclined to act impulsively, they are not as able to sit still and pay attention for long periods of time. Changing the presentation of information to conform to how boys learn shows significant improvements in overall academic success, and boys’ private schools are able to put their entire focus on these methods of delivery. The bottom line is that boys and girls learn differently—We teach in ways our boys learn best.
Advantage #2: More Likely to Explore Other Subjects
Often in the public school system, boys are under pressure to study “masculine” subjects, such as math and science. At Grand River Academy where this pressure is removed, boys are free to explore the subjects that they are most interested in. In fact, boys who study at GRA are more than twice as likely as boys in coed schools to pursue advanced studies in art, music, and foreign language, which are subjects typically engaged in by female students. Grand River boys are also more likely to participate in art, athletics, and community service as extracurricular activities.
Advantage #3: Deeper Sense of Self
Without the pressure to be “masculine,” students at GRA are able to explore what masculinity means for themselves. Without feeling the need to “prove” their masculinity, our boys are free to define for themselves their interests, emotional sensitivity, and behavior, which is more limited among students at public or coed schools. The diversity of male role models present at Grand River Academy also helps young men see that there is no prescription personality for masculinity. This kind of self-acceptance allows our boys to function more effectively within groups and communities as well as build up self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Advantage #4: Young Men Find Lasting Friendships
When boys are more able to pursue interests that are closer to their own passions, they will engage with others who are also passionate about those subjects. This common ground allows the adolescents who attend these schools to forge lasting friendships with their peers that they may maintain throughout their lives. Creating these positive relationships with peers helps students develop personally as well as connect more deeply to the subjects they are engaging in.