Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Adventure

My husband, Josh, has been into bow hunting for a couple years now. He originally became interested when researching different methods of hunting in Washington. He really enjoys it and has gotten a deer every year since he started. My dad, who used to bow hunt for many years when we lived in California, got caught up in Josh's enthusiasm and decided to start bow hunting again himself. Our youngest son has shown a lot of interest in bow hunting and archery in general. He sits with Papa watching bow hunting shows on TV and begging Papa to let him shoot the bow. Jay has a youth practice bow that we got him for Christmas one year. He would shoot it all day long if allowed. This summer, while camping, Papa made Jay a bow out of a tree limb and a piece of string. The arrow, a sharpened marshmallow roasting stick. The suprise was when Papa put his block target out for Jay to practice and wouldn't you know? Jay was actually hitting the target over and over again! Papa was so impressed that he is now looking at bows that are designed for youth and beginners that start at a low draw weight and can be adjusted up to a legal hunting draw weight.

And of course, Josh is wanting me to start bow hunting, too. I've always liked hunting and always wanted to start again. Especially considering I have never gotten a deer. I really enjoy watching the hunting shows on TV of all the husband and wife teams, especially The Archer's Choice with Ralph and Vickie. They are my favorite hunting couple. I really enjoy how they portray hunting as a family affair.

But the one thing that had kept me from being able to hunt in Washington was I couldn't find my hunter's safety certificate. I had looked into taking the course again, but it never lined up with our schedules and I have to admit, the online/self-directed course intimidated me. I had given up and resigned myself to going along with Josh on his hunts. But I felt sad because I wanted to be hunting, too. I want to get my first deer!

While looking up the age requirements for the course for Jay, I read about how to get a duplicate hunter's safety certificate for Washington. I wondered if California might have something like that and looked it up. Low and behold, California does! The kicker was they didn't start keep records until 1989. I couldn't remember what year it was that I took the class but figured it couldn't hurt to call. The worst thing is that I wouldn't be in the database and I'd be right back at square one, trying to find a class to take.

I was happily suprised to find out that I am in the database and it will only cost $5 to get a copy! So I put in my request and am waiting for the duplicate to arrive. Next year, I will be joining my husband in the field!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting back to the routine

We're supposed to have our "official" first day of school next Tuesday, September 7. Then I got a phone call from my cousin on the west side of Washington that she and my aunt will be coming here that day and would like to get everyone together for lunch or something and visit. Josh said for family, we can rearrange the schedule or just have an extra day off. Great, expect I have almost all of September planned out and my planner looks so nice I don't want to scratch everything out and re-write it, lol! But, he's right. For family, we can rearrange our schedule.

I am proud of myself for getting the whole month's lesson plans written out. I have a huge stack of teacher's guides and student textbooks/workbooks to go through for each day in order to make the plans. That's what I get for going the eclectic route instead of the all-in-one curriculum route. But with the boys and their individual needs and learning levels, we really don't have a choice. I have looked into programs like ACE and Alpha Omega where you can get each subject in a different grade level. We may do that next year, who know's we may end up doing that halfway through the year. One thing I've learned with homeschooling, nothing is set in stone and nothing is guaranteed to work. You can only try it, see if it fits, then either keep going or change it. I had to do that already last school year with Joey.

We had tried out Heart of Dakota. I really liked the program and the format (not too long for Joey, just what he needed) but it didn't fit him as far as what he was learning. Everything either went right over his head or wasn't challenging enough. It was not a fun daily process, either trying to "dumb down" the lessons or find something to supplement the lesson to give him enough learning. Yet, I will still recommend Heart of Dakota to anyone who asks. Plus, if it hadn't been for Heart of Dakota, I wouldn't have discovered Rod & Staff which has turned out to be the PERFECT fit for Joey.

So my goal is to finish September's lesson plans today, then in 2 weeks to start mapping out the lesson plans for October. I would like to go into each month with a full month's lesson plans ready to go. It's not been easy. I've spent many wasted minutes just trying to hunt through teacher's guides that aren't very clear on how to use the curriculum trying to decipher the instructions and figure out how to plan daily lessons. I really don't like having to "wing it", which is what I suspect the author of Jaysen's math program had in mind, lol! I'm the kind of gal that really needs it mapped out for me, at least until I get a better understanding of things. I feel we are still in our first year of homeschooling as Joey was just withdrawn last November.

I'm still learning, still stumbling my way along in the dark. But the good news, I see the light ahead of me, ready to guide me as soon as I pick myself up off the ground and am ready to continue the journey.