Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Gramps, Guns and Greasy Lunch

… are three words that describe our morning. My dad called yesterday evening to see if we wanted to go shoot. It was getting late, time to fix dinner and wind down for the evening, so we rescheduled for this morning. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘goin’ shootin” is a regular part of what we Southern folks do. Probably not all Southerners (because that would be stereotyping and stereotyping is wrong [/snark]), but if you were born and raised south of the Mason Dixon, then you’ve been shootin’ at least once in your life. Basically, it’s target shooting – not skeet shooting (clays or pigeons). We’ve used everything from aluminum cans to slabs of scrap lumber with a target painted on it. Today’s target was the plastic lid to a 5 gallon bucket that we rescued out of the trash in my grandfather’s garage. PeaGreen calls this ‘recycling’.*

‘Shootin” can involve pistols or rifles, semiautomatics or revolvers. Again, lots of Southerners keep a selection on-hand because we like options and guns are fun – don’t let anyone tell you they’re not. {wink}

We live on about 10 acres of land next door to my grandmother and my parents. The back of the property is where we normally go to shoot. There isn’t anyone for miles and miles in that direction, so it’s a safe place. We’re big on gun safety around here – we have to be. My dad and brother both hunt, and all of us are firearms enthusiasts, so even if we didn’t have guns in our home, the kids would still have them in their immediate environment. I’m of the opinion that even if you don’t like guns or are completely opposed to them, gun safety is something that you can’t afford not to know and definitely something that you should teach your children. If you are a gun owner or enthusiast, then I’m sure you already have tips (and I’d love to hear them in comments!) on teaching gun safety. If not though, this is a pretty good little free Gun Safety Course for Kids that is in e-book form that you can read through with your child that addresses all the salient points of gun safety. I firmly believe that the number one killer in gun related violence and children is ignorance – children who have not been taught a healthy respect for the power of a firearm. I’d rather be the one teaching my kids than letting them learn from TV or video games about guns.

Can you believe that even standing in the funky stance, he still managed to hit the target 4 out of six shots? PeaGreen elected to forgo shooting today in favor of collecting spent casings. He gathered quite the collection this morning.

I’ve read a lot of debate on parenting forums about guns and have found that the issue is pretty polarized – those who think guns are evil and those who think that it is possible to be both a responsible parent and gun owner. I’m not here to debate that – it’s clear which side of that issue I am on. I once read a signature line that went something like, ‘I wanted to test the theory about guns killing people, so I put a loaded pistol on the coffee table and sat back to watch it. I watched it all day long and I’ll be damned if it didn’t kill a single person. I guess it really is people who kill people and not guns!’. I thought that was pretty darn clever.

I forgot to mention how very warm it was today, so we only spent about an hour outside. Even in the shade, we were all soaked by the time we went back up to the house. My dad came over to see our Cosmo Kitty (finally) and grab some Robert Jordan books and the kids and I got dressed and went to see Toy Story 3. The timing was off for meals today – the movie started at 1:40, so we didn’t want to have a full lunch or the delicious, buttery movie theater popcorn would be wasted – so we drove thru McDonald’s and grabbed a couple of cheeseburgers. After the movie (which I liked, but thought that there were way too many similarities to TS2 to make this truly great) we went back home and found that my aunt and her dd (who is the same age as the boys) were at my grandmother’s, so we all jumped in the pool for a while to visit and cool off. All in all, a pretty good Summer-fun kind of day!

Warmly,

~h

P.S. Oh! I almost forgot – I found a few more thing that I wanted to share. There’s a Deschooling article that I thought was really great, and also a free reading program at Progressive Phonics that looks good. I found a lot of nifty resources at Freely Educate and science stuff at Hunkins Experiments.

* and speaking of recycling and science, we got PeaGreen an UberTropolis building kit last week – it’s so cool! It meshes with other building sets like K’nex and Lego and encourages kids to find other things to use in their creations as well, like soda bottles, paper clips, straws – all kinds of things.

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