I think what I mainly learned from Boys Adrift (which I finished last night, that's right ANOTHER book!) was that each child is different, and as much as our society wants to pretend that boys and girls are just the same they aren't. They just are not.
I'm really happiest when our schools diversify their learning techniques, or skill levels.
Because EVERY child is different, which is why they EACH have their own parents.
And yes, this is a turn that finger right around from the schools. It's YOUR job to raise your child.
And mine. I mean, it's my job to raise my kids.
I do think my boys need to get outdoors more. I really need to get on getting them new bikes. I need to get on Craigslist....
I think healthy competition is good. As much as Siblings without Rivalry steered me against competition, I think that competition on things that are more quantitative might be good for them. Or even competition against themselves. I've been doing that with Conner, us checking his scores each week and seeing if he "beat" them from the last week. It seems to help.
But, the morale of this story is to read the book, to parent EACH child how they need to be parented and then try your hardest.
Also, don't give them plastic water bottles. :)